Skip to main content

How To Perform Aksharabhyasam At Home And Basar temple

Aksharabhyasam is a traditional religious function of Hindus. 'Akshara' means letters (alphabets) in Sanskrit and 'abhyasam' means practice. It is also known as 'Vidyaarambham' which literally means starting of education. In this function a child is given initiation for writing / education. With this function the child is ready to receive formal education in a school. The function is performed in different ways in different regions of India.

In the olden days, aksharabhyasam was performed when the child was 5 years old. But presently because of early education at Kindergarten level, parents perform this ceremony when the child is in his 3rd year i.e. after the child completes 2 years. Normally there is a belief that aksharabhyasam should not be performed after the child completes 3 years and is in its 4th year.

The function can be performed either in a temple or at home.

Procedure to perform aksharabhyasam at home

Engage a priest and fix an auspicious day / time. Invite close relatives for the function. Make preparations for the function in advance by getting the list of items required for the puja. On the day of the function, make the necessary arrangements and dress up in your traditional attire. Also dress up the child in a traditional way (of course depending on the comfort of the child). If the child becomes fussy, let the child wear which dress it wants to wear.

Light up lamp / deepam in the puja mandir and be seated in a comfortable way / place. When the priest starts chanting mantras, keep do as per instructions.

Normally the child sits in his father's or maternal uncle's lap for 'aksharabhyasam'. The child is made to hold a plate full of rice grains spread on it or a slate. The person in whose lap the child sits, holds its hand (normally right hand) and makes him / her write the first letters which are either 'AUM' or 'Om Namah Sivaya' in regional language after the pooja is performed by the priest.

At the end of the puja, offer naivedyam like kheer / payasam or halwa.

List of items for the pooja

  • Turmeric powder - 1 small pack
  • Kumkum (vermilion)- 1 small pack
  • Sandalwood powder (Chandan) - 1 small pack
  • Agarbatti - 1 small packet
  • Camphor (karpooram) - 1 small pack
  • Flowers / garland, preferably yellow or white
  • Fruits - bananas or any other fruits
  • Coconuts - 2
  • Quality rice - 1 Kg
  • Betel leaves and nuts - 11
  • Payasam / Kheer or Chakra Pongali for naivedyam
  • Traditional slate for writing, slate chalk pencil, small notebook and a small pencil
If you wish to distribute slates and slate chalk / pencils or notebooks and pencils to the children, you can do so. However, it is not compulsory but it is a personal choice which depends on one's affordability.

Normally aksharabhyasam is performed in Hindu temples. However, it is determination and dedication to perform the function which is more important than taking pains to travel long distances and troubling the little ones.

Important temples for performing aksharabhyasam

How to perform Aksharabhyasam at Basara Temple

For performing the function at Basara temple, take care of the following things:
  • For performing the function in the main temple premises in front of the main deity of Goddess Saraswati, buy Aksharabhyasam (special pooja) ticket for Rs.1000/- (subject to change). The temple opens daily at 4.00 a.m and tickets are sold from 4.00 a.m to 4.30 a.m.

  • Aksharabhyasam timings - 7.30 a.m to 12.00 noon and 2.00 p.m to 6.30 p.m. Temple remains closed from 12 noon to 2.00 p.m.

  • The function is performed in mass and hundreds of families are crowded / seated inside the main temple.

  • An important point to note. This is performed in mass and hundreds of families are seated inside the main temple. The temple priest gives instructions in the mike before starting the pooja. Concentrate and follow the instructions carefully so that you can easily and successfully complete the pooja.

  • It will be very congested inside and a bit noisy too. You would find it difficult to sit properly due to crowd. Adjust yourself and try to sit at ease. Keep all the required items in your lap. And let your child sit in his / her father's or in the lap of other family member who accompanies you. By doing so, you may feel convenient while performing the function.

  • Mantras will be chanted in the mike by the priest. Repeat the same and do as instructed in the mike. After the pooja is over, go in lines, give the slate along with the rice spread on it to the priest who is seated on a platform. He will make your child write 'OM' on the slate. You can then continue in the line, have darshan of Goddess Saraswati and move out.

  • You can even perform the function at any place within the temple premises but outside the sanctum sanctorum. Ticket for ordinary Aksharabhyasam pooja is Rs.100/-.
Performing Askharabhyasam at Basara temple on special festival days like Basant Panchami is very effective. But the temple is heavily crowded on these days and you need to stand for hours in long lines for buying tickets and then for entering into the main premises for performing pooja. At times you become impatient standing / waiting for long hours in lines. You get irritated when small kids become cranky / fussy and you keep shouting at them.

Try to keep yourself engaged in some activity so as to kill the boredom. Keep your child / children engaged to avoid their fussiness. Get a couple of their favorite toys / books / play things and keep them engaged.

Carry some dry eatables like biscuits, cookies, chips etc to feed your child and also keep some healthy drinks, juices and water bottle particularly for your child. Do not feed too much food to your child as you might find it difficult to get out of the line in case of urgency like going to toilet.

Things to carry to the temple for the pooja

  • 1 Kg rice to be spread on the slate while performing the pooja when the priest instructs to do so.

  • 1 small pack turmeric powder (pasupu), 1 small pack kumkuma to apply on the slate / book before starting the pooja.

  • A small piece of new cotton towel on which the new slate has to be kept. It it is not compulsory.

  • All other materials like notebook, pencil, slate, slate chalk, flowers, coconut, garland, flowers and all other pooja materials are available in the shops in the temple premises.

Auspicious days for performing Aksharabhyasam

Aksharabhyasam can be performed on any auspicious day / time. However there are some best days to perform it. These are:

Popular posts from this blog

How to perform Ksheerabdi Dwadasi Pooja / Vratam

Ksheerabdi Dwadasi falls on the 12th day after Deepavali Amavasya in the Hindu month of Kaartika Maasam. It is an auspicious day for the Hindus, particularly the married women. On Ksheerabdi Dwadasi day, married women, mostly in the Southern states perform Tulasi Pooja in the evening. Holy Basil plant is worshiped by the married women on this auspicious day for a happy and blissful married life.

Recommended for reading: Significance of Ksheerabdi Dwadasi. Mostly, married women observe fasting in the daytime on this auspicious day, though it is not compulsory.
Procedure for performing Tulasi poojaRefresh yourself with a shower in the evening and dress in a traditional way as per your family customClean the potted plant and smear turmeric paste around the pot i.e Tulsi kota.Decorate the pot with dots of kumkuma and rice flour. Draw 'Kalyanam bottu' (special way of putting bindi to the brides during wedding) at the center of the dots.Decorate the plant and the pot (Tulasi kota) …

How To Celebrate Atla Taddi?

Dussehra festival is followed by Atla Taddi which is one of the important festivals celebrated by Telugu women in particular the young unmarried girls. Atla Taddi is celebrated on Aswayuja Bahula Tadiya i.e the 3rd day after the full moon day in the Hindu month of Aswayuja. The festival is also known by the names of 'Undralla Taddi', 'asoonyasayana vratam' and 'chandrodaya Umavratam'.

The festival is mainly aimed at blissful and long married life. Marriage is not only an important social event but also a sacred one as per Hinduism and every young Indian girl dreams of her married life. Hence, the young unmarried girls compulsorily celebrate the festival in view of getting a prospective groom. The festival of Atla Taddi is very much similar to Karva Chauth - a festival celebrated by the married women in the North states of India.

'Atla Taddi' literally means the festival of 'atlu' i.e dosas (a crispy and thinly spread pan cake with the batter mad…

Lyrics and meaning of Brahmamokkate Parabrahmamokkate

This Keertana is one of the best and most popular compositions of Saint Annamayya in which he describes the universal truth of oneness and omnipresence of God in all the creatures alike. The Keertana is sung in Bouli / Mayamalava Goula Ragam.

Pallavi
Tandanana Ahi Tandanana Pure Tandanana Bhala Tandanana
Brahmamokkate Parabrahma Mokkate Prabrahmamokkate Prabrahmamokkate

Meaning:
The word 'tandanana' is a slang used in the local folklore to give a rhythmic punch to the folk music. While the words 'ahi' 'pure' and 'bhala' are words of appreciation in the local language (different dialects of Telugu). The second line describes the oneness of God.

Charanam
Kanduvagu Heenadhikamu Lindu Levu Andariki Srihare Antaratma
Indulo Jantu Kulaminta Nokkate Andariki Srihare Antaratma

Meaning:
There is no class distinction like high or low and it is Sri Hari (the Supreme God) who dwells in all the beings. There is even no distinction among the creatures as it is He who dw…