Sri Meenakshi Temple Celebrates the Navarathri Festival with Highlight of Suvasini Pooja

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By Bhargavi Golla

HOUSTON: Navaratri is a Hindu festival of nine nights dedicated to the worship of the goddess Shakti, as the emanating power, the essence and the creative manifestation of the Supreme Being.  The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or Dasera.  It was the day on which evil was finally destroyed by good.  During these nine nights, the mother goddess is being worshipped in nine different forms.  The spectacular display of Golu (kolu) is an essential feature during Navarathri in south Indian tradition.

The MTS Navarathri Cultural Event commenced on the first day with an exciting and enthusiastic performance by the students of the Vedic Heritage School. The bhajans flowed gently under the guidance of Bhavani Iyer. The performance was coordinated by Mahesh Iyer, the MTS Vedic School director as he took the effort of assembling and creating this delightful exhibition. A very special guest appearance of Vidwan Erode Nagaraj (a very talented mridangist and a disciple of Palladam V. Ramachandran and Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman).  The cultural programs were off to a successful start of the Navarathri festival.

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At Sri Meenakshi Temple, in the midst of an expansion construction, Navarathri was celebrated during October 13 through 22, with beautiful alankarams every day and the Golu is beautifully displayed. The goddess is being worshipped in nine different alankarams for Sri Meenakshi and Sundareswara on oneside and Sri Padmavathy and Sri Venkateswara on the other; the elaborate alankara’s include on day1 of navarathri Tuesday the Oct 13, the Alankaram was Sri Raja Rajeswari and Sri Vaikunta Nathan, on day2 Anna Purani Devi and Sri Lakshmi Narayana, on day3 Sri Dakshinamoorthy and Sri Venugopalan, on day4 Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam and Sri Kalinga Narthana, on day5 Sri Meenakshi Digvijayam and Sri Navaneetha Krishna, on day6 Sri Meenakshi Thirukalyanam and Sri Nachiyar Thirukolam, on day7 Sri Meenakshi giving the Nectar of Wisdom to Thirugyana Sambandar and Sri Rama Pattabhishekam, on day 8 Sri Mahisasura Marthini and Sri Vamana Avatharam and day 9 Sri Meenakshi Performing Siva Puja and Sri Saraswathi.

On Friday, October 16th, the Suvasini Puja was conducted beautifully inside the main temple by the eminent priests of MTS.  This Puja for women is performed on a Navarathri Friday every year by MTS.  The program included Abhishekam and Lalitha sahasranama Archana for Sri Meenakshi and special Alankarams for Utsavamurthis followed by Manjal Kumkum distribution to ladies.  The main temple was packed with devotees chanting Lalitha sahasranamam.  The major attraction for the evening was 300 colorful sarees, which were given to the Puja sponsors.   Prasadam was distributed at the end of the puja and a light dinner was provided by MTS. The Navarathri cultural program show casing local talent was put together by the cultural director Mala Gopal; Sasi Pillai coordinated the daily Navarathri Poojas on behalf of RAC. As the devotees pray to the Goddess in all three forms Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi, we wish the readers a Happy Navarathri. (Contribution to article by Adhi Gopal).