Sri Meenakshi –Sundareswarar Thirukalyana Utsavam Concludes the Chittirai Mahotsavam

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Seer Varisai from Ganesh temple to welcome the Devine bride and groom at MTS
Photos by Srini Sundarajan

By Nachal Sethuraman

PEARLAND: Chithirai Mahotsavam at Sri Meenakshi Temple came to a conclusion, with a grand finale of Meenakshi Thirukalyanam on Sunday, May 3.  The Thirukalyanam is the celestial marriage ceremony of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva.  It was held at the Temple Kalyanamandapam, which included all details and rituals of a divine royal wedding. The ceremony started with the Seervarisai procession, with devotees carrying the Seervarisai for the wedding from Ganesh Temple to Kalyanamandapam. An Oonjal Seva ceremony (beautifully decorated swing carrying the heavenly bride Sri Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar) progressed in front of kalyana mandapam; this was followed sequentially with the Sankalpam, Vighneshwara Puja, punyahavachanam, Rakshabandanam, Kanyadhanam,  Agnipradakshinam,  Mangalya Dharanam,  Lajaa homam and Purnahuthi.  The ceremony concluded with Mangala Aarthi. The Nadhaswaram, played during the ceremony by Sri Chitravel, infused the wedding celebration mood to the guests who participated in the divine event.

According to Agama Shastras, periodic Kalyanotsavams spread and instill the message of dharmic values. Each step in the wedding ceremony reinforces our commitment to the society in which we live. Enactment of celestial weddings enforces divinity to the family structure.

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The beautifully decorated podium at MTS is ready for the celestial wedding

Following the ceremony, there was Rathotsavam, with procession of all utsava murthis placed in their respective vahanams for a Pradhakshinam around the temple.

Weddings are complete only with a sumptuous feast.   The feast consisted of several delicious dishes prepared in the temple kitchen. Many devotees volunteered to cut vegetables and serve the lunch on banana leaves to about 1200 devotees, with enthusiastic volunteers under the coordination of Jeyam Thiagarajan.

There was food for the mind as well with the grand finale of the cultural program with a rising star in Shilpa Sadagopan followed with the feature concert by Padmavathi Saranathan and Manjula Rao; Mala Gopal need to be commended for coordinating cultural programs for the ten days of Mahotsavam.
The efficient team under the coordination of RAC chair Narayanan with event coordinator Dhani Kannan and many sincere volunteers, Priests led by Sri Manicka Sundaram Bhattar and Sri Kalyana Sundara Gurukal, temple administrators, staff had ensured this divine celebration proceeded in a smooth manner befitting the Grandeur in both magnitude and festivity of the occasion; all this right in Houston for all devotees to enjoy!