By Swami Harshananda
Aṅkurārpaṇa literally means ‘offering the germinated seeds’.
Building a temple is considered a pious act. Since the temple is a house of God, the construction must be done not only meticulously but also religiously. One of the important religious ceremonies connected with the various stages of construction is ‘aṅkurārpaṇa,’ the rite of offering the germinated seeds.
It is performed before the construction begins, before laying the last brick or stone (murdheṣṭakā) into the superstructure,prior to the installation of the main image, before the opening of the eyes of the image (akṣimocana) and so on.
The rite itself consists of placing the germinated seeds of different varieties of paddy, sesamum, mustard etc., in 16 copper vessels and placing them in front of Soma (the deity presiding over the process of germination). The main purpose of the rite is to facilitate the result of the work without obstacles.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore