While the Swamiji is engaged in his japa (meditation) after his bath, the utsava-muurti (festival icon) — a small metal icon used in procession — is brought to the maNTapa. A basket filled with fried rice is placed on each side of the icon. Milk, fruit, coconuts, betel leaves and nuts, and laDDu-s are placed in front of the icon.
On both sides of the maNTapa the rows of oil lamps brighten the area. The Swamiji completes his evening meditation and arrives at the passage in between the maNTapa and candrashaalaa. Two chowrii-s (hand-held fans used in worship) made of yak’s tail set in golden handles are kept there. The Swamiji picks them up and waves them in front of the icon in an intricate manner. This is the first of two rituals performed in service of Krishna outside the garbha guDi. The second is the maNTapa Pooja which takes place after the raatri Pooja.
For about five minutes the Swamiji serves the Lord by fanning Him with the chowrii-s. The Swamiji then hands over the chowries to his disciples who continue to wave the chowries in an artistic manner.
The Swamiji himself now performs pa~nchopachaara Pooja by offering the fried rice and jaggery kept in the baskets. Through the navagraha window he waves aarati to Sri Krishna inside the sanctum sanctorum, and then to the small icon on the maNTapa. He then waves aarati to the icons of Hanuman and GaruDa in the chandrashaalaa. From here the Swamiji goes to his simhaasana and worships the icons of his own MaTha.