When a Leader is Weighed with a Bundle of Lotuses

modi thulabhara in guruvayoor temple

Thulabharam, also called Tulabhara, Tula-Purusha, and Tula-Dana is one of the oldest Hindu ritual customs, an ancient practice which is followed in many parts of India, but majorly followed in south India. The holy Thulabharam is conducted within the temple complex. Thulabharam in Guruvayoor temple is considered highly auspicious and the same is being practised here since centuries. Though a number of materials including flowers, fruits, sugar, jaggery, rice etc. are being used, the legendary leader will be weighed with an equal quantity of lotuses which has so much of spiritual significance.

Tula means the weighing scale and the word Dana means to donate. Tula in Astrology means the zodiac astrological sign Libra, and its zodiac symbol is also a weighing scale. The holy practice of Thulabharam involves placing a person on one side of the big weighting scale against commodities or donation-charity items, like food, grains, lentils, fruits, flowers, gold, silver, coins, sugar, rice, or jaggery, coconuts, etc on the other side. The weight balance of the two sides should match or be equal. Once the weight is balanced equally, the items on the other side of the weighing scale are donated to the God or temple, which in turn many temples distribute to the poor or needy or stock for any religious event, etc.

This practice or custom is performed for the auspiciousness and favorability of God towards the person being weighed. The ceremony is performed by the Temple Priests. Fragrant incense sticks are lit and Mantra is chanted. Natives performing the Thulabharam seek God’s grace in life aspects, such as, overall being, success, prosperity, good health, mental peace, children, parents, wealth etc. Each Thulabharam ritual can be for a specific purpose as per the need, desire or problem of the devotee. Many devotees perform the Thulabharam for the grace and worship to Lord Shiva among other deities.

Thulabhara signifies surrendering totally into the Lotus feet of LORD. When Narendra Modi does this with the majestic lotus flowers which is considered as the most auspicious and the favourite flower of the Lord Vishnu, it not only shows his devotion to the Lord, but also that the legendry victory he has received is but the mercy of God. Only such humility would make a leader great, or that is the greatest attribute of a leader!

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