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Grand Celebration of Thai Poosam at Sri Meeenakshi Temple on Sunday, February 4

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By Bhargavi Golla

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Thai Poosam with great grandeur, devotion and enthusiasm on February 4. This is one of the biggest and colorful festivals at MTS.  Around 1000 devotees participated in the celebration and about 250 registrations for Kavadi and Paalkudams.

It is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai (January – February) on a full moon day and the day of the star Poosam (Pushaya).  Thai Poosam is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan, the son of Shiva and Parvathi. Murugan is also known as Karthikeya, Subramanya, Shanmukha, Shadanana, Skanda and Guha.

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It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvathi presented a Vel (lance) to Lord Murugan to vanquish the demon army of Tarakasura and combat their evil deeds. Therefore, Thai Poosam is a celebration of the victory of good over evil.  Devotees prepare for the celebration by cleansing themselves through prayer and fasting for at least six days before Thai Poosam.  

Priests Sri Manickasundara Bhattar, Sri Kalyana Sundaram, Sri Balaji Sethuraman and Sri Sridharan Raghavan performed initial rituals including Sankalpam, Vinayaka puja and Punyahavachanam at the Ganesh Temple for Kaavadi (a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod with small milk pot on both sides) and Paalkudam (brass pots with milk and covered with a coconut and tied by yellow cloth) and handed those to devotees.

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Devotees carried kaavadis on their shoulder and paalkudams on the head in a procession around the main temple to Kalyanamandapam while chanting Vetrivel Muruhanukku Arohara and Muragan devotional bhajans.  Many children along with their parents carried kavadis and paalkudams in the procession.  By completing this walk the devotees feel a sense of satisfaction and spiritual awakening in their lives.   Energetic devotees entertained the crowd with Kavadi Dance and Kummi Attam at the procession

At the kalyana mandapam priests performed the Abhishekam, Alankaram, and Upacharam to “Utsava Murthi” of Lord Murugan and Deivayanai and Valli Devi with the milk from Kavadis and Paalkudams. Devotees recited “Kanda Shasti Kavacham” and Bhajans, which filled the atmosphere with sacred vibrations and Divine energies.   Volunteers distributed the milk from the “Abhishekam” and “Prasadam” bags with coconuts and fruits.    

                            
The Utsava Murthies were taken in a procession on the silver chariot to the main temple for the final Aarathi.  The procession was accompanied by Chenda melam performed by young MTS devotees. The Divine Thai Poosam concluded with a sumptuous feast, organized by Food committee lead, Rani Chilukuri and served by volunteers.

MTS Chairman Dr. Padmini Ranganathan thanked the priests, staff, Board and volunteers.    This event was coordinated by Dr. Dorairajan, Malar Narayanan and Nachal Sethuraman. A short video of the event can be found at: https://youtu.be/EC_r6k5CQrE

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