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Divine Meenakshi-Sundareswara Wedding at MTS

Heavily decked in jewels and flowers are deities Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswara

Heavily decked in jewels and flowers are deities Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswara

by M.K.Sriram
PEARLAND, TX – April 29th, 2018 is a day to remember for ever in the Houston Hindu religious platform. The Thirukalyanam (Holy Wedding) of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswara (Siva) was celebrated with extraordinary festivities, joy and grandeur at the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This wedding was the finale for the ten-day Mahotsavam (Great Festival). This festival follows the tradition set by the world famous Meenakshi temple at Madurai. Year by year, this signature event of the Meenakshi temple has been getting grander and grander. This year’s festival has been the Ultimate!
The weather was just perfect for the occasion, with devotees attired in predominantly green (Meenakhsi’s favorite color) assembling at the Ganesh Temple in the morning. Many families had brought specially made Seer (savories and sweets), flower and fruits. The traditional live Nadaswaram and Thavil (South Indian musical pipe & drums) music filled the air created the perfect festive ambience throughout the ceremonies. After initial pujas to Lord Ganesha, the Seer Bakshanams were carried in a procession around the main temple and awaited the arrival of the Deities from the temple. A most beautifully decorated Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Siva, accompanied by Lord Vishnu were brought in palanquins on the shoulders of ardent devotees and joined the procession to the Kalyana Mandapam. Priests performed the garland exchanges to the tune of the famous “Maalai Mattrinal” song played by the musicians. The Deities were then gently rocked on a swing decorated with flowers, while the ladies performed a ritual.
The Deities were then carried to the main Mandapam. Oh, what a glorious sight it was to see the Deities seated in the most gorgeously decorated Mandapam! it instantly uplifted the hearts and minds of the devotees. Many dedicated volunteers worked on stringing beautiful flower garlands. The priests performed important rituals such as Rakshabandanam and Kanyadaanam, with participation by all the sponsor families. Many families availed of the opportunity to offer Vasthrams (saris & dhothis) and Mangalyam for the wedding. The most auspicious climactic moment was the Mangalya Dharanam (tying of Mangalyam), and it was a truly indescribably divine moment that will always remain in the memory of the attendees.

COMM_MTS_Meenakshi_Sudharshan Wedding_processionThe grandest of processions followed with Meenakshi in the brilliant silver Ratham (chariot) and all Deities in their respective Vahanas. Several ladies performed Kummi Dance in front of the Ratham. The devotees thoroughly enjoyed and merrily celebrated this joyous wedding procession. The final rituals were completed and the temple flag that was hoisted ten days ago, was brought down to mark the completion of the grand Mahotsavam.
A sumptuously delicious sit-down lunch with traditional wedding items was served on banana leaves to about 2000 devotees. Scores of volunteers worked on cutting vegetables, helping with the cooking in the temple kitchen and serving.
Chairman Mrs. Padmini Nathan along with temple board members showed great sense of teamwork in the planning, execution and coordination with committees. Temple priests led by Sri Manicka Bhattar conceptualized and performed the pujas and homams so beautifully. The talented group of artisans led my Sri Ramanathan worked tirelessly day and night to put on the magnificent event. Special thanks to volunteer photographers Srini Sudarrajan, Lakshminarayana Setty and Milind Patil. The Cultural Program by High School graduating students was a treat to watch after the lunch.
Video of the event can be found at: https://youtu.be/BcQmOSyxzXo ).

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