Sri Sita Rama Kalyana Mahotsvam at Sri Meenakshi Temple


By Nalini Sadagopan

PEARLAND: “Seetha kalyana vaibhogame; Rama kalyana vaibhogmae” – with the auspicious rendering of these lines, devotees cheerfully assembled to celebrate the Sita Rama Kalyanam entered the wedding hall of Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland,  carrying the seer varisai – an array of delicious sweets and savories, on May 11 around 9 AM. The stage was decorated so beautifully that it brought in the celestial ambience. The blissful wedding took place with every step of the way being carefully explained by the knowledgeable priests at the altar while those gathered to sponsor the event diligently followed the ritual. Right from the bedecked bride and groom, to the décor, to the spread of sweets, to the rendition of songs apt for each segment of the wedding the spectators were blessed to be part of this holy matrimony. Ladies gathered up on the stage for the pidi sutral (offering of colored rice), followed by kanya dhanam (offering of the bride to the groom), mangalya dharanam (tying the knot) and maalai maatral (exchange of garlands); the entire ceremony took place colorfully and sequentially. With so many events in grandiose happening over the past weekends at MTS, the Houston devotees proved to be ardent supporters of the Sita Rama wedding and had flocked fervently to make it a huge success. Following the wedding, the celestial couple was carried around the temple premises in the silver chariot in a procession while the devotees chanted Vishnu Sahasranamam. Other notable activities were – the melodious rendering of lilting krithis on Rama & Seetha by the well-known musician Bombay Mahalakshmi; rendition of Tulasi das’s Nama Ramayanam by the children of the Vedic Heritage School; attendees scribing the “Rama” nama on sheets of paper as is the tradition back home; and a sumptuous lunch. Kudos to the organizers and the MTS board for making Houston the cultural hotspot of US by tirelessly bringing such great events to help keep our rich Vedic and value-based traditions