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Samashrayanam and Bharanyasam
The Andavan Ashramam is a beacon of light in the Srivaishnava line, offering succour and refuge to millions of followers by enlightening them on the path of prapatti, the easiest means of attaining the Lord. The acharya, Srimad Andavan, awards initiation to followers through a five-fold ritual called samashrayanam, and conducts sacramental surrender or prapatti through a ritual known as bharanyasam. Thousands of devotees undertake vows of samashrayanam and bharanyasam everyday at the divine lotus feet of Srimad Andavan.
What is Samashrayanam?
Samashrayanam means ‘to approach and take shelter of the acharya with all sincerity’.
In a nut shell, during samashrayanam, the acharya initiates a person, irrespective of caste, creed or sex, as his sishya. It is a commitment from the disciple that he or she will live as per the wishes of the acharya. Thus the person gets linked formally to the Sri Vaishnava parampara.
During samashrayanam, five purifications known as pancha-samskaram are performed and the candidate becomes a ‘Sri Vaishnava’. The five samskarams and its main purposes are:
01 — Tapam
The acharya embosses the impressions of heated sankha and chakra – the the holy conch shell and the sacred discuss held by the Lord – on the arms, near the shoulders
02 — Pundram
The acharya marks the candidate with dvadasa-urdhva-pundram (the traditional Sri Vaishnava mark shaped like a ‘U’ using sacred white clay, and a yellow line in the middle, worn in twelve places of the body)
03 — Namam
The acharya adds the name ‘dasan’ to the candidate, to indicate that one is forever a servant of the Supreme Lord Sriman Narayana and the purvacharyas led by Bhagavad Ramanuja
04 — Mantram
The acharya reveals the three secret mantras to initiate the candidate into Srivaishnavism
05 — Yagam
The acharya authorises the candidate to learn and practice the worship of Sriman Narayana in His deity form (bhagavad-aradhanam and paduka-aradhanam)
What is Bharanyasam?
Bharanyasam is an act of submission of our soul performed by our acharya on our behalf to enable the saranagati or loving surrender of the soul to Sriman Narayana to whom it always belonged.
After bharanyasam, the Lord gives the assurance that the soul goes back to SriVaikuntam to engage in nitya-kainkaryam or eternal service to the divya-dampati because of the request of the acharya to Sriman Narayana. This is the easiest way that one’s soul can be redeemed.
There are two important activities one must avoid after bharanyasam:
First – one must avoid ithara-devata-aradhanai or the worship of any devatas other than the Supreme Lord, Sriman Narayana. A Sri Vaishnava accepts Sriman Narayana as the para-tattvam or the Supreme Lord and knows Him as the only Lord who can be worshipped. Therefore ithara-devata-aradhanai must be avoided at all costs, because a prapanna or a surrendered soul has to live with the full maha-vishvasam or great faith that the protection and refuge of Sriman Narayana and His protection alone is enough for one’s redemption. Therefore a Sri Vaishnava undertakes a ‘vow of chastity’ to the Lord, where he does not need to depend on any other source of protection or refuge, and lives with this full conviction all the time.
Second – one must avoid bhagavata-apacharams or offences done to other devotees and servants of the Lord, under all circumstances. This is because the Lord is so merciful and kind that He will even forgive apacharams against Himself, but will not condone offences we make against His bhagavatas or His devotees.
Do you want to undergo Samashrayanam or Bharanyasam by Srimad Andavan?
Fill this form and send it to us. Please note that filling this form does not entitle you to undertake samashrayanam and bharanyasam. It is recerommended to visit Srimad Andavan at his current camp, and place a ‘vinnapam’ (a spiritual request) at his Thiruvadi to grant Samashrayanam or Bharanysam to obtain this divine grace. If for some reason, you are unable to visit personally, you can you ring +91-81448 98885 to place a vinnapam to Srimad Andavan, and await his divine sacntion. If the request is personally sanctioned by Srimad Andavan, you may proceed to travel to Srimad Andavan’s camp on the day specified to obtain the grace of Samashrayanam or Bharanyasam.
Please note that the acharya has to be physically present to award samashrayanam and bharanyasam. You should look at the travel plans of Srimad Andavan on this site to time your trip to the place where the acharya is currently residing. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you ring the following number and get the divine sanction (niyamanam) of Srimad Andavan for your samashrayanam or bharanyasam before arriving at the designated place.
IMPORTANT NOTE: CURRENTLY SRIMAD ANDAVAN IS IN CHENNAI TILL 22ND SEPTEMBER, AND SAMASHRAYANAM AND BHARANYASAM ARE ONLY BEING AWARDED ON FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS.
Please note: Only the filling this form will not entitle you to take samashrayanam and/or bharanyasam. You will have to call an Ashramam official on +91 81448 9885 or +91 (0) 44 2499 3658, and speak to him about your situation. If the acharya sanctions your request, the Ashramam official will inform you to be present on an agreed date at the venue where the acharya is camping. Please do not make any travel arrangements before the divine sanction of Srimad Andavan is obtained.