Meanwhile we our focus is on Bodhinatha’s travels. Today he has moved on from Albany and is in transit, departing for Europe tomorrow morning.
From Maryland, devotees are sending us photos and news now of the grand annual Nallur Chariot festival observed at the Murugan Temple there each year, held there this past week.
Nigel Siva sends these photos and captions.
“Arati to Ganesha after Ganapati Homa and Abhishekam on the Ratham maiden-Run Day. Gurudeva gave this Ganesha murti to Mr. Saravanapavan in 1982 to initiate the Murugan Temple. Mr. Saravanapavan then handed over this major task to Dr. Guruswamy. Gurudeva attended the Murugan Temple Kumbhabishekam in 1999.”
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Shanmuganathaswami attending the Subramanya Homa.
Abhishekam to main Murugan, Valli and Devasena murtis in the main sanctum of the Murugan Temple.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami is carrying the kumbam, while Shanmuganathaswami is carrying the kalasam (the top ornament of the Ratham). They are walking from the Temple to the Ratham site.
Ratham sthapati Mr. Jeyakanthan (from Sri Lanka, and currently living in England) is doing puja and offerings at the Ratham site. He is 51 years young and this is his 50th Ratham; a young talented energetic soul. He made this Ratham in just eight months!
Sthapati Jeyakanthan hands over the rope to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami to initiate the maiden pull of the Ratham. He kept pulling till the Ratham made its first full procession around the Temple; it took about 14 minutes.
Women on the left, men on the right are pulling the Ratham.
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Shanmuganathaswami standing at the back of the Ratham. In the bottom row, above the wheels, you can see (from left to right) the carvings of Chellappaswami, Yogaswami and Kadaitswami. Thus a link from Nallur Temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, is made to the Murugan Temple of North America!
On the Nallur Festival Day, arati to main Murugan in the sanctum and also to the utsavar murti of Murugan, which will ride on the Ratham.
Murugan (utsavar), Valli and Devasena on “simahsanam” (lion -pedestal) are being carried by Murugan devotees from the Temple towards the Ratham.
Murugan, Valli and Devasena in the Ratham.
Ratham at the South-West corner of the Temple. Over 750 Murugan devotees attended from many parts of the US and also from Canada.
In the afternoon, after the Ratham procession around the Temple, Murugan, Valli and Devasena were re-decorated in green cloths and green garlands while they were still in the Ratham; then, carried by devotees on the lion-pedestal back to the Temple. This “changing into green cloths” is a well know tradition of the Nallur Temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. This Ratham was sponsored by Sri Lankan Tamil Murugan devotees from New York and New Jersey, and they made sure that every Nallur tradition has been strictly followed here as well, even brought green cloths for all the priests!
After the Ratham Festival, Murugan-Valli-Devasena thiru kalyanam (wedding) was performed. Then, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami gave a speech on Karma to the devotees.
The Nallur Festival is not complete without the presence of the Swamis from the Kauai’s Hindu Monastery. This is the closest live link that the Sri Lankan Tamils, who live abroad, have with the Nallur Temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka—the connection with Nallur Temple through Yogaswami, then through Gurudeva, and now keeping that still alive through Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
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prostrations to Lord Ganesa!!. I Am grateful and truly blessed to have been able to attend a portion of that memorable day. I learned a new lesson as well.Jai Satguru it was so wonderful to be near you and Swamiji Thank you ,Thankyou, Thank you. Aum shanti.Toshadevi and Lily.
Bodhinatha continues with his weekly series of commentaries on The Path to Siva. In this past Sun One talk, he elucidates the four key beliefs in Hinduism, the three pillars of Sanatana Dharma and Gurudeva's three stages of faith. Primary to Hinduism is the key belief that God is within each of us. To have a well-rounded understanding and experience of Hinduism, to make spiritual progress, adhyatma vikasha, we need scripture, humility, temple worship, devotion. To fully experience God we need the guru to give the spark for meditation and deeper wisdom.