Bajagovindam and Sri Venkateswara Kalyanam Celebrated on October 8

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan

By Kamala Raghavan

PEARLAND: The celebration of Sri Venkateswara Kalyanam appropriately titled “Bajagovindam” is one of the traditions at most South Indian temples during the month of “Purattasi”, and here in Sri Meenakshi Temple Society in Pearland we follow the same tradition The purpose of such festivals is believed to shower all of God’s creations with health, wealth, happiness and prosperity.


The sequence of rituals that comprise this festival are interesting and meaningful. A decorated podium is created inside the Kalyana Mandapam where the beautiful utsavamurthys of Lord Venkateswara and Padmavathi are set up to indicate the happy gruhasta ashrama (married life) of the deities. The celebration started with a seervarisai procession from Ganesh temple accompanied by Nadaswaram. Malai Matruthal (garland exchange), pidi sutruthal and oonjal seva was done perfectly by the priests with over 300 devotees enjoying the divine wedding celebration replete with music and chants. MTS priests Sri Narayana Charyalu, Sri Sridharan Raghavan Sri Pawan Kumar Sri Bashyam along with our retired priest Sri Doraiswamy Bhattar followed all the steps for a beautiful celestial wedding of Sri Venkateswara and Padmavathi. Devotees were involved in performing “rakshabandanam” and “kanyadhanam”, witnessed the festival, and got the blessings. After the wedding, utsava murthis procession with Ratham and all the vahanas was a beautiful sight to watch. The wedding music brought the South Indian Temple festive mood to all the devotees.

 It was indeed an amazing and blessed day with lots of bright sunshine. After the completion of the procession and other rituals of dhwaja-avarohanam, the utsava murthis were taken by the “Ratham” or chariot to the main temple for “oonjal seva” and final Aarthi. Everyone enjoyed the sumptuous lunch with the traditional wedding menu served by many volunteers. Chairman Narayanan thanked all the staff and volunteers for their hard work which made the occasion a memorable one.


MTS Youth Raise $6000+ for Harvey Relief

By An MTS Devotee

PEARLAND: Barely 3 weeks after the devastating flooding in Houston, three musically talented high schoolers rallied together to raise funds on behalf of Sri Meenakshi temple. Their efforts paid off handsomely with the community spontaneously coming together in support of this initiative and donated over $6000. It is indeed heartening to note that some of the most significant contributions came from our youngest devotees such as Sandra (8 years) donating the last of her piggy bank.


Adhi Gopal (vocal), Kishore Iyer (violin) and Naga Srinidhi (mridangam) presented a 2 hour traditional Carnatic Music concert. The honorable Chairman S. Narayanan, kicked off the event offering generous appreciation for the youth effort. Temple board member Arun Sundar received the collected funds on behalf of MTS. Senior residents in the Indo American community such as Dr. Appan and Anantha Aiyer attended the event along with dozens of other well-wishers. The event started off with Adhi Gopal enthralling the audience with a series of specially chosen songs for the occasion, culminating in the lilting Brindavani Thillana composed by the legendary Dr. Balamuralikrishna.

Following this was a violin recital by Kishore Iyer where he highlighted Sooryakantham Ragam, seeking blessings of the sun god. Naga Srinidhi kept the audience spell bound with masterly thani-avarthanam in Khanda Triputa thalam. The proud parents of all three artists were overjoyed by the camaraderie and thanked everyone for attending and contributing. Such events definitely point out the importance of inculcating the next generation with the true spirit of giving.