Maha Kumbabhishekam Prasanna Ganapathi Shrine


By Ranjana Narasiman

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple Society in Pearland, serving the Hindu community of greater Houston for over 35 years, is preparing to celebrate the Maha Kumbabhishekam (Consecration ceremony) of its renovated Ganesh Temple, with its one-of-a-kind, granite garbhagriha, and vimanam (sanctum and tower).  This celebration, marking the reinfusion of divine energy of the deity, will last an entire week from November 22  to 29 with the highpoint on Friday, November 29, at 9.00 am.

The ceremonies are designed to give the spectator a glimpse of the mystical, spiritual world……to open the doors of the “unseen” subtle world to the “seen”.  Divine power is invoked through fire ceremonies (Agni Karyam) and infused into the deity and the abode through elaborate liturgy as prescribed by the agamas (a source of authority that came down to us to interpret the vedas, the divined truths).  A list of the ceremonies is as follows, detailing the events on the specified days:

The grand finale is the Kumbabhishekam, starting at 9.00 am on Friday, Nov. 29 when, around 9.15 am, divinely charged water from the kumbas or pitchers will be ceremonially poured over the deity and the gopura-vimanam  (the top of the new temple tower) where the mundane meets the divine, to the thundering sound of the Nadaswaram and Tavil (traditional wind instrument and drum) played in a crescendo, while flower petals from a helicopter above will be spread over the vimanam, as a “seen” blessings from the sky.  Devotees will be served a traditional lunch on a banana leaf and a cultural program will follow as an offering to God around 2:00 PM.

Preparatory Ceremonies:

Nov 22-Nov 28

• AGNI STHAPANA: A Yagasala (sacred place) is constructed near the temple to invoke Agni, the Fire God.  Homa kundas (fire pits) are established for the deities in the yagasala.

• KALASA STHAPANA:  Decorated pots or kalasas are positioned in the yagasala to represent the bodies of the deities.  Cords connect the Homa  to the Kalasas.  A silver line connects the main kalasa to the deity.

• AGNI KARYAM: During the fire ceremonies, through the mantras (chants) and mudras  (gestures) by the priests, an etheric form of God is created, which becomes the vehicle for the divine power.  Thus,  spiritual force is transferred continuously from the homa to the kalasa, from the kalasa to the deity.

• JEERANODHARANA:  Alongside the Kumbhabhishekam-related events, ceremonies to enable and sanctify essential repair and restoration work that is not possible when the deity still contains its divine power, will be carried.