Athirathram, a supreme Somayagam of 12 days duration has just concluded on a happy note. It has been witnessed by close to 10 Lakh devotees. Athirathram, considered as the ultimate invocation of Vedic scriptures for Universal harmony, the oldest surviving Vedic ritual in the world, was conducted at a village called Yetapaka. Yetapaka village is on the left bank of River Godavari, 3 kms. from the famous Temple of Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy at Bhadrachalam, Khammam District, Telangana. The ritual invokes Vedic mantras to usher Universal harmony, the welfare and well-being of all living beings on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe.
Yagam, Homam, Havanam, Havan, Yagna or Yajna is a ritual of sacrifice or offering of ghee, milk, grains, fruits, flowers, soma and herbal preparations called as Havana Samagri to Agni that is the fire of Homa Gundam – the ceremonial fire pit, accompanied by the chanting of Vedic mantras. The duration of some Yagams is few hours and of some a day or more, and Athirathram Yagam is of 12 days. It is said that Athirathram Yagam is being practiced for the last 4000 years. There are very ancient references of this Yagam and its benefits. It is said that King Dasaratha performed Athirathram. However it has gone into oblivion in most of the country but for the Namboodiri Brahmins of Kerala who have kept this tradition alive till today. Sri Kesapragada Hariharanatha Sarma, a 62 year old Vedic pandit who performed 16 Somayagas along with his son Sri Rajasekhara Sarma, witnessed Athirathram being performed in Kerala last year and decided to organize it for the first time in known history; among Telugu people. He has organized Athirathram at Yetapaka through his organization Samatha Lok Seva Samithi. Great Vedic scholars Sri Naduvam Narayanan Somayaji, Sri Krishnan Namboodiri, Sri Kadaloor Sri Das Namboodiri and their team of priests from Kerala were invited to conduct Athirathram, which they have successfully conducted with great results to amazement of people who witnessed the Yagam and others who followed its 12 day progress over TV.
Here are two video clippings in Telugu to inform you of Athirathram in detail:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PCSA61QyiQ