It was a chilly morning in Vancouver. 1 degree Celcius (34 F)
The temple priests, accompanied by Bodhinatha and Nirvani Nilakantha, set off to fill the main kumbha for the kumbhabhishekam with "Ganga water" from British Columbia's Fraser River. On the way back to the Ganesha temple they stopped at a nearby Murugan temple for kumbha blessings then at a Maha Laxshmi temple for more blessings. Back at the temple the Ganga puja was done.
Manickam Senthivel family is hosting Satguru as usual. Manickam shared some information about our late Gurudeva's involvement-- "1) When Gurudeva visited Vancouver in the year 2000, we met Gurudeva at the Airport and later at the hotel Gurudeva stayed for Blessings. At that time Sri Ganesh Maha Sapai was only 2 months old and started with a picture of Lord Ganesh and with a few devotees. Mostly we took this picture to devotees homes and conducting payans. 2) Next day after Gurudeva left Vancouver, I travelled to Kauai for Guru Purnima celebration in 2000 (My first time to Kauai). With the blessings of our beloved Gurudeva a small Murthi was given, and advised by Gurudeva to have the murthy in devotees' house in turn and perform pooja. Gurudeva also mentioned the temple will be built within 15 years. That happended now. I am very proud that I carried Lord Ganesha's Moorthy to Vancouver from Kauai. 3) Dr. Thillai and his wife Dr. Sakthi worked very hard with other devotees to have this new temple today in Vancouver."
Manickam also shared about the chief priest conducting the current kumbhabhishekam-- "The name of the Chief Priest performing Kumbhabhisekam is Sivagaratnam Siva Sri Krishna Pankuga Kurukkal. At present this priest is attached to Sri Jeya Thurga Temple as a Chief Priest in Mississaga, near Toronto, Ontario. This preist is from Jaffna and trained by Sri Pichai Kurukkal of Pillaiyarpatti.
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.