Sita Rama Kalyanam Brings Divine Joy to Chinmaya Prabha

Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty amidst the procession bringing Bhagwan Ram to the Mandap

Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty amidst the procession bringing Bhagwan Ram to the Mandap. Photos: Jayesh Mistry, Rajesh Thatte and Nilesh Shah.

By Satchitananda

HOUSTON: Rama Navami, the day Bhagavan Rama incarnated on earth, is a day of great joy. This year, the auspicious occasion of Chaitra Masa Shukla Paksha Navami was celebrated on March 25. Conducting Sita Rama Kalyana Mahotsava on Rama Navami, Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH) highlighted the great Agamika tradition of the divine wedding ceremony echoing the famous celebrations in South India, particularly in Bhadrachalam, Telangana.

Celebrating Sita Rama Kalyanam is a tradition where the utsava murti of Lord Rama and Sita Devi are brought forth in a procession and their marriage is performed as between a bride and bridegroom. Since Lord Rama represents Knowledge and Mother Sita personifies Devotion, this union symbolizes the secret to the most fulfilling way of life. Thus, through the holy ceremony of Sita Rama Kalyanam, the blessings of the divine couple are invoked for the welfare of the world.

Brni. Shweta Chaitanya leading Maa Sita procession

Brni. Shweta Chaitanya leading Maa Sita procession

CMH began preparations for this most significant event from weeks before, with multitudes of volunteers who poured their hearts and efforts to set the stage for the festivities. On Sunday, March 25, the excitement started building up early with many eagerly gathering an hour before the event. The Saumyakasi Sivalaya courtyard was transformed into a giant wedding hall in Janakapuri, with a shining wedding mandap at its focus.

There was an excitement of being at a wedding, one of divine royalty, yet there was inner serenity of being at a spiritual event. The event began with kids and women dancing to bring the bridegroom, Rama’s utsava murti, from the gates. Every aspect of the ceremony was projected on a big screen to enable all the hundreds who were seated in the courtyard to witness and enjoy the entire proceedings. All the Bala Vihar children were given the pride of place to watch the Kalyanam since it portrayed Hindu culture at its festive best.

As Rama was ushered with petals, Sri Ganesh Satyanarayana officiated as the main Priest for the Kalyanam assisted by Priest Raghuram Bhatt. The procession to bring Maa Sita to the wedding mandap was led in by Brni. Shweta Chaitanya. As the Bhajan team added melodious music to the atmosphere, the steps of the wedding ceremony, complete with Mangala Sutra dharana transported all to Mithila. Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty, lovingly known as “Uncle,” performed all the ceremonies as the hundreds assembled watched in rapt attention.

Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty performing Aarti under the guidance of Priest Sri Ganesh Sathyanarayana.

Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty performing Aarti under the guidance of Priest Sri Ganesh Sathyanarayana.

Even the weather participated gently, as a gentle breeze blew and the Houston skies balanced clouds and sunshine. CMH followed even the minutest detail of tradition as all devotees were served water, flavored majjige (buttermilk), lemonade, and sweets after the divine wedding. As the event came to a close, everyone had a special darshan and all were treated to a sumptuous mahaprasadam.

Sri Rama is the ideal representation of Dharma, and Rama Navami along with Sita Rama Kalyanam offers an awe-inspiring opportunity for all to reflect within and attempt to live His ideal traits. CMH’s strong traditional connection, being rooted in Swami Chinmayananda’s deep scriptural insights coupled with Karma yoga transformed a traditional event into a memorable spiritual journey filled with joy, also guiding one to focus on the inward expedition.

Wisdom of the ages, blended with practical application and fused with fun is the norm at Chinmaya Mission Houston, located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353, Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX-77498.

For more information, visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059.

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