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The Rapture of Ram-Sita Vivah Among the Devotees

The worship hall of the Shri Sita Ram Foundation during the concluding ceremonies of the Ram-Sita Vivah last Sunday, April 1

The worship hall of the Shri Sita Ram Foundation during the concluding ceremonies of the Ram-Sita Vivah last Sunday, April 1

By Nagehwara Baratam

HOUSTON: The Holy week of Ramnavami (the birth of Lord Ram) culminated with a weekend long ceremony that was organized by the Shri Sita Ram Foundation at its worship hall at 1200 Blalock.  The celebration began with a 25-hour unbroken marathon recitation of the Ramayana by teams of 10 to 15 people, to the accompaniment of a dholuk (two-sided long drum) and harmonium and ended with a bhog (concluding prayers). The chanting began on Saturday, March 31 at 10am and concluded on Sunday, April 1 at 10am. The entire function was conducted by Hanuman Swami along with another priest from the Sri Rama Jaya Niketan temple of Katy.

Almost 300 people came to see the concluding spectacle of a Ram-Sita vivah (marriage), the second year the SSRF has organized the event.
The two deities were taken outside to the parking lot for the wedding ceremony to begin. During the  kalyana (wedding), the devotees were divided into two groups.  The group of baratis (groom’s processioners) accompanying Lord Rama represented Ayodhya dwellers and the other group accompanying Sita’s represented her Janakpuri family.  

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It was a joyous event where every devotee became a member of the divine grace family and became a participant in the kalyana mahotsavam (wedding function) as if they are really from Ayodhya and Janakpuri. On reaching Janakpuri, where Sita was waiting, her parents Janak Maharaj along with his wife Sunaina Devi joyfully received the baraat and exchanged sweets. 

As a part of kalyana, Hanuman Swami performed rituals like Vishwaksena pooja, Raksha bandan, Maha Sankalpam followed by kanyadan. Janak’s wife Sunaina also showed the congregation the precious clothes and jewellery she gave to Sita. At the Shubh muhurtha, Sri Ram Chandra tied the sacred knot to Sita, during continuous chanting of Vedic verses.

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It was a delightful moment where everyone danced blissfully, and sang bhajans under a shower of rose and flower petals with joyous shouts of Jai Sia Ram.  For the devotees, it felt like they were indeed witnessing the wedding of Shri Ram and Sita in Janakpuri. It was marked by great festivity, dance, singing and revelry with large artificial colored roses tossed around the hall between the seated devotees in an expression of gaiety.

After the celebrations, the devotees were treated to a large vivah bhojan (wedding feast) held in an enclosed white tent in the parking lot.

Another Kalyanam is planned on Saturday, April 7, at La Hacienda,12503 Telge Road, Cypress, Texas, 77429; starting at 10 am.

Shri Sita Ram Foundation holds many such events during the year, notably the annual Ram Leela and the Diwali Dussehra Festival at Skeeters Stadium, which will be on October 20 this year.

For more information visit www.ShriSitaRam.org or email at info@ShriSitaRam.org

Sri Rama Jaya Niketan is planning to build the Sri Hanuman Temple along with Sri Ram Parivar in Katy with Hanuman Swami as the Head priest. He was also instrumental in establishing the Ashtalakshmi Temple on Synott Road in Houston.

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