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Currently abhishekams, archanas etc.

are allowed to be sponsored for specific


deities only. There is no provision for regular devotees to sponsor routine, daily
pujas. This proposal will take care of that gap.
Nithya sarva devata seva (the document covers that) is a scheme of dhaanams
by devotees in an affordable scale to enable them sponsor routine, daily pujas to all
devataas. This DOES NOT INCLUDE Vishesha puja DONE DURING SPECIAL DAYS.
Usually BOT/OC /Taskforce decides on this. Currently Vastram sponsorship follows
this proposal and is successful in enabling grassroot-level dhaanam.
What does Nithya sarva seva mean?
Nithya sarva seva is the complete repertoire of the routine puja done to the deities
at the temple without fail. It is one of the primary duties of the priests and the prime
responsibility of the temple. This includes Abhishekam, alamkaram, archana,
naivedyam for each deity. The frequency of the routine varies: all deities have
abhishekam every week; some deities have abhishekam daily; others, just once a
week; Nataraja - 6 times a year only. Based on the fixed routines, the puja has to be
carried out.
What does it include?
Each of the 4 parts cited above include materials (dravyams). For example,
abhishekam are done for different deities each day as part of the weekly routine in
addition to those that have one daily. Garlands are used for those deities any given
day. Common naivedyam is done in large quantities which is distributed as
prasadam in small cups daily. Seasonal puja is done (like Nataraja) a few times a
year. Dravyams used for these 4 components form the material cost. There will
always be willing sponsors to cover the cost of the materials for this nithya sarva
devata seva. Many pujas include homam (navagraha, sankata hara Chaturthi etc.)
which has some materials.
How can the nithya seva cost be quantified?
Any of the routine puja should consist of Abhishekam, alamkaram, archana and
naivedyam. There are incidental expenditures for the deities like milk to all
sanctums (fixed amount of milk), cleaning vastrams, and energy bill for naivedyam
in the kitchen. By quantifying amount for each deity based on the respective
routine, an annual cost and thereby, a daily cost can be calculated.
But this is a
laborious process. Instead, in a given month, one can expect around $4000 be
spent on these routine and daily araadhana. This amounts to $125 for one day of
sarva devatha seva.
Is there a tradition to do like this?
Yes, it is traditional to do dhaanam or kattalai of materials (or the cost of the
materials for individual parts of daily puja). For example, a part of the harvest
would be written off to the temple for naivedyam; people would donate a piece of
land for madapalli (kitchen); people still donate oil and flowers for daily puja on a
life-time basis. Even now, some SSVT devotees have donated for flowers on a
routine basis.
How can this noble concept of dravya dhaanam for nithya devata seva be
translated to our times?

By breaking down the materials used for abhishekam alamkaram, archana and
aradhana, and naivedyam, we can specify a token amount for each kind of
materials. For example, for alamkaram and archana, flowers are used as garlands
and pieces. Grocery items are used for naivedyam and for abhishekam. We can
encourage the devotees to do dhaanam of the puja materials as a token amount
with that purpose. Allow Dhaanam of any of the different kinds of Puja
Materials as a token amount. PLEASE REFER TO THE FOLLOWING TABLE
FOR A **SUGGESTED** LIST.

Puja Materials

Daanam

Milk and honey


Honey
Flowers
Fabrics
Fruits
Nuts and Raisins
Ghee
Sesame Oil
sandal powder
vibhuti
Kumkum
turmeric
abhisheka powder
juices
other fragrance items for
abhishekam
Naivedhya materials
rice
Types of lentils and grains
Vegetable, canola,
groundnut oil
oil, ghee and other dravyam
Individual cost of nithya
sarva devatha seva
abhishekam
Alamkaram (flowers and
vastram)
Naivedyam
Total cost per day

Ksheeram
Madhu
Pushpam
Vastram
Phalam
draksha-badam
ghrutham
thailam
chandan

daanyam
thailam

Token amount per


day
$10
$5
$35
$21
$21
$10
$10
$21
$10
$10
$10
$10
$10
$10
$10

$21
$21
$21

dravyam

$21

Dravyam
pushpam and
vastram
Annam

$35
$50
$75
$125

How is this different from what we already have in our


temple services list?

Currently, SSVT allows individual pujas to specific deities. For example, one can
request a specific abhishekam for $101-150 any day or sponsor weekly
abhishekams for specific deities like Mahalakshmi, Saraswathi for $25. One can
sponsor garlands by talking to the office. ON special days, targeted pujas are priced
differently - for example, mahotsavams, deepavali mahalakshmi puja etc. Some big
donors get to do whole day puja.
Nithya Sarva Devatha Seva option
(sponsoring pujas of all the deities scheduled in a given day) at an
affordable scale is not currently available.
What is the benefit of this scheme overall?
There are two important benefits:
1) For the devotees: they get to do dhaanam of things in small scale to
deities; if it is fairly priced they would repeat that process
2) For the temple: by recovering the cost of puja materials, the savings can
be moved to corpus fund for long term temple maintenance.
What are the other types of dhaanam options?
Vidya daanam
The Board should start a savings plan for the education (traditional and
contemporary combined) of the children of priests who work at SSVT beyond
probation. Devotees can be encouraged to pay into this pool which will benefit only
the priest children for their education purposes.
Anna Daanam
Let temple allow the devotees to sponsor for anna dhaanam (food boxes or credit
tokens) every holiday (weekend, national holidays etc.). Mark tables and space in
the cafeteria as Anna dhaanam table" in the cafeteria where food boxes can be left
for people to take as long as they are available.
Note:
Paanakam (sweetened, lime water) and Buttermilk can be included under this
header during summer months. Pongal can be included in Dhanur maasam
/margazhi. Rotis and upma during sivarathri; Milk after Satyanarayana puja and
navarathri chandi homam.
By opening up sponsorships of different types anna dhanam, the burden on the
temple to do this will only be minimal or none.