Devaprasnam is an astrological ritual performed in the temples in Kerala primarily to know the ‘divine opinion’ regarding the functioning of the temple. A chief astrologer selected by the temple authorities decides the time and method of the Devaprasnam ritual. The divine opinion too is revealed by the chief astrologer.
Devaprasnam to perform this ritual first step is Dhakshina moorthy pooja wich is Prathishta in center of Rasi chakra with this they use two nila vilaku(Lamps), Ashtamangalam(Comprising of eight items),Thamboolam(beetle leaf),Nirapara(Avessel filled with paddy).
For drawing rasi chakram they use rice powder or bhasma and in second step is navagraha and rasi pooja and then gold coin pooja (in Kerala they call it as puthu panam )
After this pooja this gold coin i.e ( puthu panam) is given to child age of 7 to 12 years.The child is informed to the gold coin keep in the rasichakra which she likes any of the 12th rashis.Astrologer take this rasi as a important Aroodam(Element) in Ashtamangalaprasna.The time at which the child places the coin is considered as a new birth time.
After getting this Aroodam they find other five Aroodams for calculations and then discuses on following important subjects as follows Precha(Invitaion) , Nirgamam(The time at Which the astrologer leaves his home for the prasna) , Margam (considering the happening on route), Mandiragathi(Entering into the place of prasna) , Prasnakriya sambhavam(The start from in Dakshinamoorthi pooja to end of the pooja),Soothram(Panchamahasoothram),Thrisphutam ,Chathusphutam , Pranathithrayam , Ashtamangalam (A 3 digit no. considering at the time of prasna),Deepam(Lighting of the lamp),Karthaswaram(sounds heard during the pooja tenure)Sannidhyam(The godly presence with the intensity) ,Visesha bhava phalam ,Towards the end of the prediction issues relating to land,temple construction, and daily poojas & rituals are considered and the astrologer also mentions about the temples to check the sanctity of the diety and the purity of the temple. Purity of the temples as well as the sanctity of the diety will be reduced or vanished by doing unstructured poojas and also by violating temple's rules like unbathed entrance, ladies entering the temple during their periods etc.
Thought of a Devaprasnam arises when there are difficulties in the day-to-day functioning of the temple and when corrupt practices are noticed in a temple.
Devaprasnam also suggests solutions for the problems faced by the temple.
If the purity is lost then the sanctity will also reduce. By performig Deva Prasna all the above malefic effects can be revealed and remedies are suggested to increase the sanctity This is also conducted for finding out the auspicious place for construction of temples, dieties to be worshiped there and other related rules to be enforced to maintain the prosperity of the temple.
There are several variations in the Devaprasnam ritual and the most famous one performed in major Kerala temples is the Ashtamangalya Devaprasnam. There are numerous rituals associated with the Devaprasnam and also there are several astrological calculations involved in the ritual. The astrological ritual is usually performed by a senior most astrologer, who is widely respected in the field. The prasnam is usually headed by the main astrologer and numerous astrologers will help the leader in the ritual. In some temples devotees are allowed to witness the Devaprasnam.
Hindu Devotees in Kerala have high regard for Devaprasnam and the ritual and solutions suggested are performed immediately. The full details of the Devaprasnam. Can find in some important books like “prasna margarm “, “Devaprasnam” and ( “Prasna kouthukam” - this book written by sree Krishnan kutty Guptham )
Written by astrologer Vijay Kumar