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 <<CityNews Main Send Flowers to India!

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Thousands Attend Brahmotsavam Celebrations At HTA


Photos by
B.K. Mohan


Hundreds of devotees thronged the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, at Riverdale, to participate in a spectacular, spiritually suffused Brahmotsavam celebrations from Wednesday, May 23 to Monday, May 28, 2007.

The colorful, ritual-studded 15th Varshikotsavam of Balaji Temple and 3rd Varshikotsavam of Siva Temple were marked with a rich mix of religious ceremonies and cultural treats. All the deities in the twin temples wore a festive look in their ornate fineries and fresh garlands and Utsava Vigrahas were decorated with fetching alankarams. A huge canopy was erected in front of the temple foreground, under which attractive and artfully decorated homa-kundas were constructed. The temple’s resident priests conducted homas chanting vedic shlokas, in front of the consecrated fires.

The first day of the celebrations commenced with ‘dhvajarohana’-the hoisting of the garuda (eagle) flag on the dhvajastambham.The Ratha Yatra (chariot procession), when the Lord and his consorts are carried in a chariot, was full of spectacle and gaiety as devotees joined in the procession chanting ‘Govinda, Govinda’ to the accompaniment of nadswaram and thavil.

Many volunteers contributed generously in cash and also rendered dedicated service towards ‘annadanam’ serving free delicious food and prasadam in the Temple’s dining Hall, to all who attended the festivities. The vendors One Gram Gold Jewellery and Sai Raghav Creations, from Texas, did brisk business selling imitation jewellery and flowers respectively, while SRIM Center booth, under the supervision of Dr.Sujatha Reddy gave out information on the Ashram , which was inaugurated recently by Amma Karunamayi. Dr. Reddy said she felt encouraged by the interest shown in the Ashram by devotees and visitors, which augured well for it’s future. She added that she also enjoyed participating in the festivities and spiritually uplifting ceremonies like the Styanarayana Pooja.

On Saturday afternoon, devotees and music connoisseurs in the temple’s packed auditorium, were treated to a riveting classical music concert ‘Ganga-Kaveri’by the acclaimed fusion group led by reputed mridangam maestro Vidwan Anoor Ananth Krishna Sharma and his ensemble of five other talented musicians including two outstanding flautists of India, Vidwan M K Pranesh on the Carnatic flute and Suramani Pravin Godkhindi on theHindustani bansuri.The inimitable blend of Indian classical ragas Khayal, Thumri,Pallavi etc. with Western musical instruments (rhythm pads and drums, keyboards) had the audience spellbound. The event was organized by the Chair, Cultural activities,Jayanthi Srinivasiah and coordinated by Seshu Sarma,noted for bringing top-notch cultural shows to Atlanta.

On Sunday afternoon, another gem of a Telugu drama, ‘ Venkateswara vaibhavamu’was presented by Syam Yellamraju, who conceived the idea, wrote the script,, produced and directed the play about the glory of Lord Venkateswara. The drama,which took over six months of painstaking preparations, with a big cast of 40 on-stage artists, 12 production artists,captivating music and striking stage effects enthralled one and all.

Vasantotsavam –Chakra Snanam and the ensuing blessing of the devotees was another highlight of the festivities. This was followed with ‘dhvajavarohanam’,the lowering of the Garuda flag.’Annamayyagana sankeertana on Sunday night as part of the sayanotsava was led by two noted musicians-Sreenath Kadambi, who had travelled from Jacksonville and Smt. Savitha Namuduri, a famed ‘All India Radio artist. The uplifting two-hour devotional singing concluded with darshana and prasadam.

On Monday, more than hundred devotees participated in the grand Group Satyanarayana pooja, conducted inside the Balaji Temple by the resident priests Rangachari and Kesava Murthy.

An elated President of the Hindu Temple, P.Ravi Sarma said, “Throughout we were fortunate to have good weather. I am delighted with the big turnout and the positive feedback from the devotees and the visitors who were fortunate to participate in the unique Indian heritage, traditions and culture. As one recently arrived devotee from India remarked, ‘This is my first visit to the Temple. And what I have glimpsed here in the last few days was a little slice of heaven!’ The celebrations of such magnitude would not have been possible without the support of sponsors, donors, performers, and dedicated services of the organizers, resident priests, and volunteers and I wish to thank them all. The Temple is getting ready for the 16th anniversary celebrations of the completion of the architectural details of Siva Temple,from May 21 through May 26,2008. The completion will be observed with Kumbhishekam when the ceremonial consecration of Rajagopuram will be performed. The kumbhishekam of the Lord Venkateswara Temple was performed in 1996. So 12 years later, it will be kumbhishekam of the Siva Temple.”

“Anyone wishing to know more about the Temple’s activities or willing to help in any way is requested to contact me through my e-mail ” he concluded.



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