Supremely Magnificent Suvasini Puja at the MTS Navarathri Celebrations

By MK Sriram

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple, reputed to be the most authentic temple in southern United States, is celebrating the Navarathri festival in a very grand manner.  This is the nine-day festival that occurs twice a year, once in spring and the other in fall called the Sarada Navarathri, which this year is celebrated from October 10 till October 19. Each year, the decorations and the traditional Golu displays get more creative and grander, and surely this year most agreed that it reached a pinnacle never reached before.  Nearly a thousand devotees had the most marvelous experience of their lives visiting the temple on the Suvasini Puja.

Worshipping the Divine Mother in Her three magnificent forms, Mahalakshmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswathi is the main significance of Sarada Navarathri. It is a matter of great pride to the Hindus that Hinduism gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God because the Hindus believe that mother is the creative aspect of the absolute.   

The temple bas been most beautifully decorated and special morning and evening pujas are being performed to Goddess Meenakshi.  She is adorned with exquisite vasthrams and abharanams that leave indelible impressions on the devotees’ minds.  Lalitha Sahasranama stotras are recited everyday by many devotees  which set such a divine vibration throughout the temple.  Everyday, the priests decorate the utsava murthys amazingly and very creatively in different mythological forms.  The Ambal deities’ alankarams include Sri Rajarajeswari, Sri Kadamba Vanavasini, Sri Kamakshi, Sri Mahishasara Mardhini, etc. while Lord Venkateswara’s utsava murthi was decorated as Vakunta Nathan, Lakshmi Narayanan, Navaneetha Krishnan, Kalinga Marthanam, Sri Rama Pattabhishekam etc.

The highlight event of the festival was the Suvasini Puja celebrated on Friday Oct 12th.  This is a very auspicious puja performed by married women (sumangalis) as well as young ladies for the welfare of their families. About 500 ladies, attended this puja with their families.  It was one of the grandest events ever, conducted at the temple.  It was a most unforgettable sight, to see the  Main Temple completely filled with devotees, primarily the brilliantly clad ladies and children.  Devi’s benign blessings were surely showered on the devotees as they chanted the Lalitha Sahasranamam, various slokas such as Harigiri Nandini and other devotional songs.

The priests performed the pujas and abhishekam with great devotion. They did an exquisite decoration of Goddess Meenakshi with garlands of fruits and vegetables.  This is the first time ever this special Shakambari Alankaram has been adorned on Goddess Meenakshi.  The Supreme Goddess indeed gave her devotees a most divine darshan.  The priests then performed the the sahasranama archana, followed by chantings from the four Vedas to Sri Meenakshi, who is indeed the Mother of all Vedas. A grand deeparadhana to all the deities including the utsava murthis was the finale of the puja.

The temple was very pleased and honored to offer a gift to each of the lady participants who represent the Divine Mother – a lovely sari, shipped from India.  This was greatly appreciated by the devotees.

The devotees were treated to a sumptuous dinner after the event.  This festival gets grander and grander every year at MTS.  Chairman Padmini deserves a tremendous amount of credit for making this happen with the support of the Religious Activities Committee lead Sheila Sriram and committee members, the priests, temple artisans and administrative staff, the Food Committee, the Cultural Committee, various other committees, the Board and Council members and finally all the volunteers.  The Golu (doll) display being such a phenomenal success attracting hundreds of visitors every day, the Temple has decided to keep it open beyond the traditional nine days, all the way up to Deepavali Bazaar on November 3rd.  So, whoever has missed this visual and spiritual treat, have the opportunity to visit the temple on or before Deepavali.   Sri Meenakshi Temple is celebrating Deepavali with a grand and spectacular Diwali Bazaar on Saturday, November 3rd from 9 AM to mid-night.  The admission to Diwali Bazaar is free and all are welcome.