Grand Vinayaka Chaturthi Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple


By M.K.Sriram

PEARLAND: Ganesha, Ganapathy, Vinayaka and known by many many other names was given a huge “birthday” party by His devotees, last week at Sri Meenakshi Temple.  Lord Ganesha’s birthday falls on Chaturthi day, in the waxing phase of the moon or Shukla Paksha in the Tamil month of Avany.  Sri Meenakshi Temple takes great pride in conducting the pujas and festivals in the most authentic and traditional way, literally transporting the devotees thousands of miles across the globe to Bharatha desa.  This is a miracle that happens every single time and leaves an indelible memory in the minds of the hundreds and hundreds of  bhakta janas.  This event was observed on Monday, September 5, the actual Chaturthi day, as well as celebrated again on Sunday, September 12.

September 5, being Labor Day, offered many people to partake in the event.  The puja started early morning at the Maha Ganapathi sanctum in the southwest corner mantapam.  Abhishekam was performed with the chanting of the Veda Sukthas and Sri Rudram bringing delight to the hearts of the devotees. Sri Maha Ganapathi was then adorned with alankarams and arathi was performed.

The main function took place at the recently renovated Ganesh Temple that had been beautifully decorated for the event.  The devotees gathered there for the Sankalpam to initiate the puja.  This was followed by Punyahavachanam and Kalasa puja.  This was followed by homam when the priests chanted Ganesh mantras and offered the special dravyas to the Agni or Fire god.  The significance is that by this offering we pray for the peace and prosperity of the community.  The finale of the homam is the purnahuthi, which is the final offering.


The priests then performed abhishekam for Sri Prasanna Vinayaka, the very first deity of Sri Meenakshi Temple for whom the people hold a very special affection.  The waters from the kalashas sanctified by the Vedic mantras were poured on Lord Ganesha, and one could not help experiencing the warmth and love of the Son of Parvathi shower on them.  The utsava vigraha and the moola vigraha were then decorated beautifully while bhajans were sung. The final arathi was spectacular and brought tears to the eyes of the ardent devotees, when they felt they were one with Lord Ganesha.  The utsava Moorthy was taken on a procession around the temple on the Mooshika Vahanam.  Prasadam distribution was done at the main temple.

A delicious lunch contributed in part as annadhanam  by devotees supplemented by the temple kitchen staff, was enjoyed by all who attended.

Devotees who missed the Monday event got another chance to celebrate on Sunday the 12.  This was also very well attended.  This day also marked the 37th anniversary of the temple, so there was a special 108 kalasa puja and abhishekam.  The devotees had the unique fortune to individually carry the kalasam to the Ganesh sanctum.  After the beautiful abhishkekam accompanied by Vedic chantings, Prasanna Ganapathy and utsava Moorthy were beautifully decorated and decked in flower garlands.  The priests then performed the final arathi.  Lord Ganesha was then taken on a procession in the grand ratham around the temple.  Prasadam distribution was done at the main temple.  Another grand lunch was served to the devotees.

The Visarjan function took place in the afternoon.  Sri Meenakshi Temple that caters to the needs of people with different traditions and practices has been performing this for the last few years, The clay idols sponsored by devotees are immersed in the temple pond symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.

All in all, this was a truly grand two day festival at Sri Meenakshi Temple. Priests Sri Manicka Bhattar, Sri Kalyanasundaram, Sri Balaji and Sri Pavan Kumar performed the rituals with great devotion.  MTS under the leadership of Chairman Sri Narayanan and Religious Activities committee members Smt Padmini Nathan and Smt Sheila Sriram with event coordinators Sri Tupil Narasiman, Sri Padma Golla and Sri Dorairajan did an outstanding job with countless hours of hard work and support by the temple silpis and administrative staff.