Magnificent, Majestic Mahakumbhabhishekam at Sri Meenakshi Temple

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Dr P. Vaduganathan

PEARLAND: ‘The Sri  Meenakshi Temple Day’, as proclaimed by Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, will forever be remembered by the 3000 people who were blessed to witness it on Sunday, November 29. They stood awe-inspired by the unique and simultaneous Mahakumbhabhishekam over five Kumbhas or the Vimanams of the Main temple.

The clouds had dissipated, the temperature mellowed and the mood was pleasantly moderated to greet the much anticipated pouring of the holy water over the Kumbha. The Sun peeped out and a Garuda flew over the Rajagopuram.  Devotees arriving early were greeted with Kumbhakonam coffee with hot breakfast and MTK 2015 T- shirts designed by MTS youth.

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After conclusion of the final Yaga Sala Puja, the 16 eminent priests from MTS, other US temples and India garlanded Chairman P. Vaduganathan, Vice chairman S. Narayanan, Secretary Srikanth Venugopalan and Treasurer Padma Golla and proceeded to the Vimanams for the Kumbhabhishekam.

The “Curtain Raiser” or the Opening ceremony began with a welcome address by Dr. P. Vaduganathan.  He recalled that this first Shakthi temple in North America was initiated in 1977 and the Main temple constructed in 1982.  After 33 years, the much needed expansion and renovation was taken up in the Main Temple Renovation Project (M.T.R.P.) adding a new sanctum and Vimanam for Goddess Mahalakshmi.  Over a hundred artisans worked on it.

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Kumbhabhishekam is a Hindu Temple ceremony that homogenizes, synergizes and unites the mystic power of the deity.  Kumbha is the Head or Shikara or Crown of the temple also known as Vimanam. To the three existing Vimanams for Shiva, Meenakshi and Venkateswara, two new Vimanams were created for Mahalakshmi and Utsava Murthis.

After a Ganesha slokam by the popular classical and play back singer Srimathi Mahathi from Chennai, about 70 children and adults recited Sangeetha Samarpanam with “Devi Neeye Thunai” on Meenakshi and “Sri Bhargavi” on Mahalakshmi under the tutelage of Rajarajeswari Bhatt.  Consul General of India, ParvathaneniHarish and Pearland city Mayor Tom Reid unveiled the granite time-markers of the 1982 and 2015 Kumbhabishekams.

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The huge mass of devotees crammed the quadrangle of the temple beholding the priests who performed the simultaneous Mahakumbhabhishekam on the five (5) Vimanams, to the accompaniment of Devi stuthi and Mahalakshmi Ashtakam recitation. It was a once in a lifetime experience of bliss.

Consular General Harish ceremoniously opened the main door made in India out of teak wood. The crowd hurried in to get a glimpse of the newly expanded Main temple. Every one could experience the grandeur of the expanded space with new columns, tall ceiling, new Lakshmi Sanctum , the pradhakshina around each sanctum, and the ornate new teak wood sanctum doors with silver kamalam.

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After Mahabhishekam for all the murthis, Thirukalyanam of Meenkashi – Sundareswara and Padmavathy – Srinivasa was conducted, followed by Rathothsavam and Vahana Purappadu.

After a sumptuous lunch, there was music concert by Kruthi Bhatt with Vittal Rmaurthy, Erode Ngarajan, Mahesh Iyer, Keerthana Bhatt and Ravi Balasubramanian.  Cultural events included a concert by Srimathi Mahathi from Chennai on Friday and dances on the glory of Goddess Meenakshi by local dance schools on Saturday.  A special Souvenir was released.

The project cost of 1.5 million dollars was fully raised by the Fund raising committee led by A.V. N. Reddy.

The construction committee was led by Vinod Kaila and ably assisted by A.V.N. Reddy. Padmashree Muthiah Sthapthi the chief temple architect from Government of Tamil Nadu supervised the project as Ashok Mungara the local architect managed the construction.

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Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Production provided live sounds for the event with high end professional equipments to cover the main temple events. It was done on the roof of the temple and he also provided live sounds for the concerts in the ballroom.
He said, “ It was a challenge to provide sounds during nonstop rain but we were able to successfully manage it, and were also able to provide live audio feed and live video streaming.”