A file photo of priests performing the celestial wedding in Bhadradri temple on Rama Navami day
A file photo of priests performing the celestial wedding in Bhadradri temple on Rama Navami day

Bhadrachalam: Witnessing the Sitarama Kalyanam in the birth year of Lord Srirama—Vilambi—the devotees will get special rewards, it is said. Last time, the Vilambi Telugu year fell in 1958.  This year, being Vilambi, the devotees were looking forward to witness the celestial wedding to reap the special rewards. 

According to Bhadrachalam temple priests, the coronation of Lord Rama will take place on the thithi of Pushyami. Once in a year, Maha Pattabhishekam is performed. Once in 24 years, Pushkara Samrajya Pattabhishekam is performed. 

Once in 60 years, the temple performs Maha Samrajya Pattabhishekam in the Telugu year of Prabhava.  The benefits of witnessing the once-in-60-year ritual are equal to that of witnessing the celestial wedding of the deity in his birth year. 

That is why a great significance has been attached to the Srirama Navami celebrations to be held on March 26 this year. Speaking to The Hans India, retired head priest of the temple Koti Ramakrishnamacharyulu said he was fortunate enough to have witnessed the celestial wedding of the deity in his birth year Vilambi Nama Samvatsaram in 1958.

But, there was not much publicity given to the celebration then. He wanted the State government to give publicity to this aspect so that the turnout of the devotees at the temple would be mammoth.  

The celestial wedding in Vilambi Telugu year is equal in significance to the Maha Samrajya Pattabhishekam that occurs in Prabhava Telugu year. Sanskrit scholar of the temple STG Srimannarayana felt that the State government should make elaborate arrangements for the celestial wedding this year.