Magnificent Suvasini Puja at the Navarathri Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple


By MK Sriram & G.N. Prasad

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple, reputed to be the most authentic temple in southern United States, recently celebrated the Navarathri festival in a grand manner.  The nine day festival occurs twice a year, once in spring and the other in fall and is called the Sarada Navarathri. This year Navarathri was celebrated from October 2 to October 11.

During Sarada Navarathri, the Divine Mother is worshiped in Her three magnificent forms, Saraswathi (Goddess of learning), Lakshmi (Goddess that bestows wealth) and Durga (Goddess of Strength and Valor) It is a matter of great pride to the Hindus that Hinduism gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God because the Hindus believe that mother is the creative aspect of the absolute.

The temple was most beautifully decorated and special morning and evening pujas were performed to Goddess Meenakshi, who is adorned with exquisite vasthrams and abharanams that left an indelible impression in devotees’ minds.  Lalitha Sahasranama stotras were recited everyday by many devotees which set such a divine vibration throughout the temple.  The priests decorated the utsava murthys amazingly and very creatively in different mythological forms daily.  The Ambal deities’ alankarams included Sri Rajarajeswari, Sri Annapoorni, Sri Visalakshi, Oonjal Sevai, and so on; while Lord Venkateswara’s utsava murthi was decorated as Vakunta Nathan, Lakshmi Narayanan, Navaneetha Krishnan, Kalinga Marthanam etc.


The first Friday of Navarathri was celebrated at MTS with highlight event being the Suvasini Puja celebrated on Friday Oct 7, this year.  This very auspicious puja was performed by married women (sumangalis) as well as young ladies for the welfare of their families.   More than 400 ladies, attended this puja this year with their families.  It was one of the grandest events ever, conducted at the temple.  It was a most unforgettable sight, to see the newly renovated Main Temple completely filled primarily with almost 800 devotees, including the brilliantly clad ladies and children, with standing room only.  Devi’s benign blessings were surely showered on the devotees as they chanted the Lalitha Sahasranamam, various slokas such as Hayigiri Nandini and other devotional songs. The daily Alankaram for the Suvasini puja included the Meenakshi Thayar as Sri Shakambri devi, completely decorated with about 30  different vegetables and fruits.

The priests performed the pujas with great devotion, the abhishekam, followed by an exquisite decoration of Goddess Meenakshi with more than 10,000 bangles donated by a devotee.  This is the first time ever this special “Valaiyal Alankaram” has been adorned on Goddess Meenakshi.  The Supreme Goddess indeed gave her devotees a most divine darshan.  The priests then performed the Sahasranama Archana, followed by chanting from the four Vedas to Sri Meenakshi, who is indeed the Mother of all Vedas. A grand deeparadhana to all the deities including the Utsavam murthis was the finale of the puja.

The temple was very pleased and honored to offer a gift to each of the lady participants present, who represent the Divine Mother – a lovely sari from India.  This was greatly appreciated by the devotees.

The devotees were treated to a sumptuous dinner after the event.  This festival gets grander and grander every year.  MTS Board deserves a tremendous amount of credit for making this happen with the support of the Religious Activities Committee members, the priests, temple artisans and the administrative staff, the Food Committee, the Cultural Committee, the PR  committee, the Board and Council members and finally and most importantly all the volunteers.