Masi Magam Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple


By M.K.Sriram

PEARLAND: Masi Magam, a special event for Lord Murugan was celebrated by Sri Meenakshi Temple on Feb 22.  This auspicious day usually falls on the Magam nakshathra of the Tamil month Masa (Generally Feb 15 – March 15). This year’s event had more significance because it coincides with Maha Magam festival celebrated once in 12 years for 10 days in the temple at Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu where millions of people take a dip in the holy waters of the giant temple tank.


Sri Meenakshi Temple closely follows the traditions and customs of Madurai and this festival replicated the grand celebration at the ancient Thirupparankundram Murugan temple.  The puranas say that Goddess Parvathy, in the form of Shakti (Supreme Power), blesses the divine weapon of Lord Muruga to ensure victory in his battle with the demon Surapadman. The abhishekam is performed on the Vel or spear of Lord Muruga.  More than 100 ardent devotees participated in the beautiful puja.  The priest performed Abhishekam to the accompaniment of chanting of the sacred Rudra veda mantram.  This was followed by the singing of the melodious and popular Tamil hymn Kanda Shashti Kavacham that was composed by the 19th century poet Devaraya Swamigal.   Dr. Bala Iyer, gave a very informative presentation on the significance of the month of Masi and this day of Masi Magam.


The devotees sang several other bhajan waiting patiently for the thirai (curtain) to open after alankaram.  When it did open, there was a spontaneous cry of “Muruganukku Haro Hara, Vel Muruganukku Haro Hara” from all the devotees, seeing the spectacularly adorned deities of Lord Karthikeya with his consorts Valli and Devayanai.  The final archana was performed, followed by Deeparadhana.  This was truly a very divine and fulfilling experience for the devotees, aptly described by one of the visiting parents from India “We never miss Madurai or Mylapore when we are in Meenakshi Temple, Houston, where all the pujas and festivals are done just like in India”. Several of the volunteers had prepared prasadams that was distributed along with dinner arranged by the coordinators. The puja was very well conducted by Priest Manicka Bhattar, supported by other priests and temple staff.  The event was coordinated by Shakuntala and Bala Iyer along with Sheila Sriram, the Festival Coordinator under the leadership of the Chairman Narayanan and Vice Chairman Padmini Nathan.