Abishekam - Milk
What is an abishekam (hydration ceremony)?
An abishekam 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.
Why is the Milk Abishekam performed?
Milk is a substance obtained from the sacred cow. Highly nutritional in value, milk is used extensively in Ayurveda, the traditional system of medication in India, for addressing many health-related issues. Hence, while an abishekam is done with many substances, like water, curd, honey, etc., milk remains a very common material used for performing this sacred ritual. The Milk Abishekam can help the devotees and their families become healthy and live long.
How is the Milk Abishekam performed and what benefits accrue of it?
The Milk Abishekam basically ensures welfare and joy and can, as such, be performed for any deity. However, here the ceremony is performed individually and separately for Lord Ganapati, the remover of obstacles, Lord Shiva, the great Lord, who is one among the holy trinities, Goddess Bhagavati, the mother Goddess, who is the combination of power and compassion, and Lord Vishnu, the supreme God of protection and sustenance.
Performance of this abishekam involves pouring milk gently on the idol amidst the chanting of sacred mantras appropriate for the deity concerned. In the process, the milk starts imbibing the divinity and turns into an invigorating tonic. Anyone who accepts it with sincerity and consumes it with faith can get its lasting benefits into the system.
Blessings come in the form of physical and psychological strength, sound health, longevity, and all-around wellbeing and happiness. Abishekam milk can also be distributed as a prasad to the other devotees present. The milk would have its healing effect in the systems of all those who consume it, and this can get added as additional blessings for the devotees who sponsor the abishekam.