Sri Meenakshi Temple Celebrates the Arrival of New Year 2016

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By Aakash Srikanth & Adhi Gopal

PEARLAND: Long before the dawn of the New Year, devotees were gathered at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) to bid farewell to 2015 and to welcome 2016.  The special midnight pooja has become a regular feature at MTS with many devotees braving the winter cold for the occasion.  The auspicious Dhanur Masa (Marghazhi) which falls from mid-December to mid-January is significant for the early morning Thiruppavai and Thiruvempavai recitations that reverberate at the dawn hours to awaken the Gods, and set the scene for the New Year on January 1.

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(Transfer of Board at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society with Puja and Key handover from left:
P. Vaduganathan (outgoing Chairman), Srikanth Venugopalan (outgoing Secretary) and Padma Golla (outgoing Treasurer, not in the photo) to Murali Ravoori (Secretary), S. Narayanan (Chairman) and GN Prasad (Treasurer).

It was a Grand New Year’s Day celebration at Sri Meenakshi Temple. From the early morning to the late night the main temple was filled with devotees. In spite of the cold weather more than 8,000 devotees visited Meenakshi temple, Pearland, Texas.

The Ganapathi Homam, Meenakshi Laksharchana, Pallakku procession for Meenakshi, Special Archana for Mahalakshmi at her new sannidhi, and the Pallakku procession for Venkateswara all went remarkably seamlessly, with the large number of devotees participating.  The Priests did an excellent job with the throngs of devotees coming to pray and seek blessings from the God. The decor and the ambience of the inside main temple greatly complemented the expanded precincts of the main temple that now accommodates nearly double the previous gathering prior to the Main temple renovation project.

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Exceptional Talent with concert by MTS children

This year with the change of MTS board, a special pooja was done to ask blessings for the passing of the torch between the old and new board members as the board membership was transitioned.  In addressing the audience the new Chairman S. Narayanan enumerated his vision for the MTS over the next two years, highlighting the focus in enhancing and excelling serving the devotees, and talked briefly about the plan to launch the next construction phase of the MTS with the Corner Mandapam Renovation Project (CMRP).

As the year 2015 comes to a halt, the Meenakshi temple hosted a New Year cultural event with the theme of “Mahalakshmi Vaibhavam” to honor the new extension of the temple. After a delicious lunch served by various Indian Cuisines, the show began. We were so blessed to invite Anantha to open the program with a prayer as Mala Gopal coordinated the cultural event.

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Devotees packed inside the newly renovated Main Temple on New Years day

As the program moved on, we experienced delightful classical performances from Sreepadham School of Arts, Dharshi School of Arts, Abhinaya School of Arts and Sunandha School of Performing Arts, as well as students from Katy and Sugarland.

Following the classical dances, many children came up to the stage to perform mini concerts as they left the audience in awe while giving their musical offerings to god. After a wonderful program, the cultural event was concluded with an arthi bhajan lead by a few teenagers as we were all blessed for the new 2016 year. The Kalyana Mandapam was packed with audience in the afternoon to watch our children perform.

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Dance performance by young children from various Schools gather at MTS Kalyana Mandapam

Food booths were always crowded, and the vendors did an awesome job serving all the devotees.  Thanks to Consul General P. Harish for his presence with his family.

MTS thanks coordinator Secretary Murali Ravoori, Treasurer GN Prasad, all the volunteers, board members, council members, and staff for their hard work and dedication in putting on such a wonderful New Year’s Day experience at our Temple.