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Abhishekam: Kalaba Charthu

Abhishekam: Kalaba Charthu

“Kalaba” refers to chandanam, or sandal paste, and “charthal” is “applying.” Kalaba Charthu is thus the ritual of applying sandal paste on the deity.
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What is Kalaba Charthu?

“Kalaba” refers to chandanam, or sandal paste, and “charthal” is “applying.” Kalaba Charthu is thus the ritual of applying sandal paste on the deity. 

What is an abhishekam?

An abhishekam is the holy bath given to a deity. This is the sacred hydration ceremony performed for inviting divine energies into our lives. It is a simple but highly effective purification process. Such a ritual is performed to the deities, who themselves are the embodiments of purity, only because this remains the most practical means of purifying our own souls.

What is the specialty of sandal paste?

Sandal paste has a pride of place both in our religious domain and in the medical system. This is believed to aid greatly in the attainment of higher spiritual goals and hence forms an important part of many of our ceremonies and rituals. The powerful Agna Chakra is located between our eyebrows, which is also said to be the position of the third eye. Applying the sandal paste at this point activates the Agna Chakra and the third eye, and helps greatly in our rising to higher levels in meditation. Hence, devotees often smear themselves with sandal paste in between their eyebrows or on their foreheads while applying it on the deities also. Sandal paste is also a natural coolant and is used extensively in the Ayurvedic system of medication for addressing many health issues like fever, headaches, prickly heat and skin problems. 

How is an abhishekam with Kalaba Charthu done and what are the benefits of doing this?

Lord Ganapathi is the remover of obstacles and a harbinger of success, and his blessings are always sought, especially while starting any endeavor. This Lord remains the presiding deity of the Kalaba Charthu Abhishekam. In this worship, sandal paste is applied ceremonially on the idol of Lord Ganapathi, and an abhishekam is performed to him, followed by a pooja. This remedy will get for the devotees the blessings of the Lord and bestow them with all-around welfare.    

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