The ritual performed in which the murti or statue of deities is bathed with several liquids such as milk, yogurt, honey, sugar syrup, clarified butter (ghee), rose water and fruit juices is called “Abhishekam”. This auspicious rite is performed in a vessel known as Abhishek Patra or Jal Patra which comes in different sizes and shapes depending upon the number of idols to be placed.
The Abhishek Patra that we can see here is large-sized and made of brass. The idol can be seated, bathed, dressed and ornamented on the plate of the vessel, which also has a small passage from where the all the liquids are allowed to exit and get transferred in a separate vessel. This collected mixture of different liquids is called “Charanamrita”, also known as the ‘elixir of life’ and is distributed among the temple guests.
It is considered to purify the heart of devotees because it is obtained from the Lotus feet of the deity. The body of this Patra is cuboidal in shape and multi-layered, each layer having a different design engraved. Note the perfect finishing of the detailing of the motifs which makes it so attractive and graceful.
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