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
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
email@example.com ” he concluded.