Grand Navarathri Festival at Sri Meenakshi Temple

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Navarathri daily alankaram of Siva Parvathi and Vishnu Lakshmi on either side of Sri Meenakshi Sannadhi featured at MTS.

By M.K.Sriram, Mala Gopal And Bhavani Iyer

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Navarathri in a grand manner this year, from Sept. 25 till Oct. 3.  Worshipping the Divine Mother in Her three magnificent forms, Mahalakshmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswathi is the main significance of Sarada Navarathri, which uniquely emphasis the importance to the mother aspect of God.  Pearland’s Meenakshi temple (MTS) was decked most beautifully in a festive atmosphere with special morning and evening abhishekams and pujas.

Every day, the Divine Mother was adorned with exquisite vasthrams (clothes) and abharanams (Jewelries).  A unique feature during the MTS Navarathri is the daily decorating (alankaram) of the utsava murthys which the Priests did in amazingly creative way based on special significance and puranic associated story.  The Saiva deities’ alankarams included depiction of Goddess Meenakshi as Sri Rajarajeswari, Sri Chandikeswarar, Sri Kannappa Nayannar, Sri Kala Samhara Moorthy, Sri Puttukku Man Sumantha Thiruvilayadal, Sri Ashta Dasha Bhuja Durga, Sri Mahishasura Mardhini and Sri Siva Puja.  Similarly Sri Perumal was adorned with alankarams to depict Sri Vaikunta Nathan, Sri Lakshmi Narayanan, Sri Venugopalan, Sri Navaneetha Krishnan, Sri Rama Pattabhishekam, Sri Vamana Avataram, Sri Nachyar Thirukkolam and Sri Saraswathy.  These alankarams were a truly indescribable sight to see, especially the evening puja with simultaneous aarthi for the Utsava murthys of Sri Meenakshi and Sri Venkateswara.

The grandest event of the nine day festival was the Suvasinis Puja, on Friday Oct 26.    The auspicious puja performed by sumangalis (married woman) for the welfare of their husbands and their families had 200 ladies attend the puja. Saris’ blessed at Sri Ambal’s feet were distributed to all pooja sponsors, along with Manjal Kumkum followed by a dinner.

Golu, the display of dolls, is one of the main attractions of the Navarathri festival.  Volunteers with the help of the silpis tirelessly worked to put up a spectacular golu display in the new Ganesh temple.   This year’s special display was the scaled model of the Ayyappan Sabari Malai, superbly put together by the MTS Ayyappa bhaktas, covering even the minute details of the landscape which captivated all.

There was a rich variety of cultural programs of slokas and bhajans by VHS students, music, dance and discourses (including Sundara Kandam recital), every day at the Ganesh Temple beside the golu display that was enjoyed by the visitors.  This brought an unparalleled ambience to the temple and all the devotees felt they were transported to a festival in Madurai or Chennai in India.  Thus the Navarathri festival was a phenomenal success.  Kudos to all the MTS Board members, staff and volunteers, in particular the Priests and staff of MTS, RAC committee, cultural and education committee for organizing and sustaining a highly successful Navarathri celebration at the Meenakshi Temple.