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Sri Maha Lakshmi Koti Kumkumaarchana Begins At HTA
BY RAVI R. PONANGI
Religious fervor and gaiety marked the beginning of the three month long Sri Maha Lakshmi Koti Kumkuma (vermilion) Archana that was held on Akshaya Tadiya, Sunday, May16 at Hindu temple of Atlanta, Riverdale, as hundreds of devotees thronged the temple to witness the rituals.
Sponsors of the archana carried sanctified kalasams around the temple and placed them in front of Maha Lakshmi. The day’s program started on Akshaya Tadiya with Nava kalasa snapanam and alamkara tirumanjanam (abhishekam). Then Koti Kumkumaarchana Maha Sankalpam was given to devotees by the priests. After taking the kalasams and utsava murtis of Lord Vishnu and Sri Maha Lakshmi in a colorful procession around temple ( parikrama) about 300 hundred devotees individually performed Lakshmi Sahasranama and Ashta Lakshmi puja. For many it was a sentiment to worship Goddess Lakshmi to bring in prosperity.
The Three month long Kumkumaarchana will conclude with the three day Ashta Lakshmi Yagam in Sravana masam from August 20-22. Giving the details, Dr. Hyma Mikkilineni informed that they have contemplated to perform this great worship for the past several years. Keeping in view of the significance of the worship and the aspirations of devotees, the temple board decided to perform the worship this year. This is the first time Sri Maha Lakshmi Koti Kumkumaarchana is being performed in the southeast part of USA. Ten years ago, the Pittsburg temple performed the worship.
Dr. Mikkilineni said, the celebration is once in a life time opportunity. “Do not miss this opportunity to worship the Goddess of wealth. It will be a feast to our eyes,” she said,
The Hindu temple of Atlanta, Riverdale has drafted ten priests from India, in addition to the temple priests to perform special pujas connected with kumkumaarchana. All the priests coming from India are well trained in ancient Hindu practices. They were trained in Tirumala Tirupati Veda Patasala, Jeeyar Vedic institute and other Vedic schools. Duly observing the rituals of abhishekam, homas and archanas they will recite Sri Maha Lakshmi Sahasra Namam a 100 times everyday, reciting various names of Sri Maha Lakshmi more than 100,000 times daily for three months for a total of one crore times.
Dr. Mikkilineni said, in preparation for kumkumaarchana, Ashta Lakshmi pujas have been conducted in several homes around Georgia with devotees’ participation. All these events were very well attended.
Approximately 1100 kilograms of Kumkuma brought from India will be used for Sri Maha Lakshmi Koti Kumkumaarchana