Festivals And Pujas celebrated during the year at Shree Lakshmi Narayan Prayer Hall
Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday
Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday – 31st December, 2011
The birthday of the presiding deity, Goddess Lakshmi is celebrated on a grand scale the 31st of December of every year. And this year was no exception. A cake was cut by Amma in the morning which was followed by Ganapathy Homam. Uma Maheshwara Parvathy Puja Japa Homam was conducted for the third time under the guidance of Brahmashree Gopu Vadhyar assisted by our Prayer Hall priest, Shri M. Ganesh Vadhyar.
108 Lotuses were dipped in honey and offered in the Homam, for the purpose of good education, early marriage, good health and prosperity.
‘Thulabharam’ was done as an offering to the God, wherein a devotee offers his/her equivalent weight in the form of sugar, rice, jaggery, banana, etc. as per their prayer. The Thulabharam function saw many devotees happily fulfilling their prayers.
A large-scale Annadanam service was offered to almost 800 devotees and also to the orphanage children.
In the evening, the Goddess and the Lord were taken out in a procession with traditional accompaniment of nadaswaram, from Vasant Vihar, Thane to Brindavan, Thane. Many devotees who participated in the procession were delighted to have darshan of the Goddess and Lord and also Amma, in the Rath.
Lakshmi Kubera Puja was conducted for the first time in the Prayer Hall on the same day. Devotees who contributed for the Puja received Prasadam from Amma in the form of a silver coin with an imprint of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan.
Kalyana Utsav of the Devi and the Lord
Kalyana Utsav of the Devi and the Lord
Every year, the 1st day of the New Year in January is celebrated as the Wedding Day of the Goddess and the Lord. This year too, we had the famous “Chhappan Bhog” (56 items – both sweet and savory) made by devotees offered to the God.
A special invitation card was selected by the Goddess herself, and she also choose her family members this year too, from among the devotees – through Amma – and the blessed couples got to perform the wedding of the deities. The wedding ceremony was performed with songs sung by the devotees for every ritual such as Viradham, Kashi-Yatrai, Kannoonjal, Pal-Pazham, Mangalya Dharanam and Wedding feast, very beautifully written by Guru Mata Brahmanandamayi. Annadanam was a grand occasion with over 900 devotees having prasadam at the wedding.
There was “Nalangu” which was duly conducted by an ardent couple-devotee, Shri Manickam and Smt. Geeta Manickam.
The deities were dressed up beautifully for the Reception too. A grand reception was organized in the evening with devotional Bhajans rendered by Guru Mata Brahmanandamayi along with Kum. Pooja and Kum. Gayatri. The chhappan bhog was later distributed as prasadam to the devotees.
Lord Narayan’s Birthday
Lord Narayan’s Birthday – 22nd December, 2011
The birthday of the Lord Narayan is celebrated with great joy and devotion on the 22nd of December every year. Similarly, this year also on 22nd December, both Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan were beautifully decorated by Amma. In the morning, there was a cake-cutting ceremony. Sampoorna Narayaneeyam was arranged on this auspicious day for which Annadhanam was prepared by the devotees with utmost devotion.
Om Amma Charitable Society organized a scintillating musical evening of Carnatic Classics by Smt. Alamelu Mani, mother of renowned ghazal and Bollywood playback singer Shri Hariharan.
It was a great evening to have in our midst Shri Hariharan himself, who later released a booklet on Smt. Alamelu Mani. Smt. Alamelu Mani was accompanied by the legendary violinist Shri Shivakumar on the violin and Shri Rajesh Srinivasan on the mridangam. Shri. Manjapra Mohan, exponent of “Nama Sankeertanam” also visited our prayer hall to have a darshan of Amma.
Arudra Darshanam
Arudra Darshanam – 8th January 2012
Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan were decorated as Goddess Parvati and Lord Parameshwar.
Vaikunta Ekadasi
Vaikunta Ekadasi – 5th January 2012
Devotees had divya darshanam of Sriman Narayan reposing on Adishesha with Goddess Lakshmi on this auspicious day.
Thyagaraja Aaradhana Festival
Thyagaraja Aaradhana Festival -19th Februry 2012
Thyagaraja aaradhanai was conducted to pay respects to Saint Thyagarajar. Pancharatna Keertanai and various Keertanais of Saint Thyagarajar were rendered by Amma along with her students and by Carnatic vocal singers. Children and elders participated in the Festival.
Maha Shivarathri
Maha Shivarathri – 20th February 2012
Devotees had a divine darshan of Lord Narayan aand Goddess Lakshmi dressed as Lord Shiva and Parvati from Kailash. Rudrabhisekam was performed for Lord Shiva and bhajans were held in the evening. Ardent devotees participated in large numbers. Archanai, performed with flowers and vilvam by Shri. Gopu Vadhyar, appeared as a big lingam to devotees.
Thai Poosam
Thai Poosam – 7th February 2012
A charming procession with Lord Murugan was taken around the temple early in the morning with devotees singing bhajans. Amma’s Bhajan was performed in a devotees’ house in the morning and a special bhajan was performed by Amma in the Murugan Temple, at Nerul, Thane.
Ayyapa Vradham and Sabarimala Yatra
Ayyapa Vradham and Sabarimala Yatra – 11th February 2012 to 24th March 2012
Devotees of Lord Ayyappa began their 41 day vratham on this day. Every year devotees of Lord Ayyappa, visit Sabarimala under the leadership of Sri Ramesh Guruswamy. This year too they undertook the yatra with a group of 80 ayyappas. During the 41 day vratham period, Ayyappa devotees visited the prayer hall every morning to chant the Nitya Slokas. This year Vibhuthi Abhishekham and Pushpabhishekam were performed to Lord Ayyappa every day by Ayyappas. Amma distributed prasadams to all Ayyappas. The generous prasadam was almost equivalent to a square meal. Kootusaranam was held in the prayer hall with many ayyappas participating in it.
Shastha Preeti was performed on 3rd and 4th March at NKT Hall by Ayyappas.
Holi Festival
Holi Festival – 8th March 2012
Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan were seen holding festive color sprinklers in their hands to mark the occasion of Holi, the festival of colors!
Karadaiyan Nombu
Karadaiyan Nombu – 14th March 2012
Karadaiyan Nombu is observed by married women for longer life for their husbands. Devotees visited the prayer hall to seek the blessings of Amma. Amma distributed yellow threads to devotees which had been kept on Devi’s hands for two days before the Nombu.
Ram Navami
Ram Navami – 31st March 2012
On this auspicious day Lord Rama’s birthday was celebrated. Devotees visited the prayer hall for darshan of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan.
Sthapana Puja Celebrations
Sthapana Puja Celebrations – 3rd April 2012 and 4th April 2012
The Goddess chose 4th April 2008 as the day to enter our existing Prayer Hall. We celebrate Sthapana Day with pujas on this day to mark the special occasion.
Devotees were blessed to attend the ‘Pravachan’ by Srila Sri Kamakshi Swamigal on 3rd April, 2012, who emphasized the importance of a Guru in one’s life.
4th April, 2012 began with chanting of Ganesh Atharva Seersham followed by procession of the Goddess along with her Lord and then Lalita Sahasranamam Archanai. Pushpabhisekam was performed for the deities. Srila Sri Kamakshi Swamigal from Chennai was felicitated by Om Amma Charitable Society. Maha Deeparadhana was performed and Annadanam made to all the devotees who thronged the function in large numbers.
In the evening, Panaka Puja was performed by Brahmashree Gopu Vadhyar for Lord Murugan. This puja was performed in the Prayer Hall for the first time in Thane. This was followed by devotees rendering Bhajans of Guru Mata Brahmanandamayi. Panakam was prepared in a big vessel which was blessed in the Puja and distributed as prasadam to all devotees.
Vishukani – 14th April 2012
Devotees welcomed the New Year (Chitra Varshapirappu) with an elaborate kani (fruits and vegetables) arrangement in front of Lord Narayan and Godess Lakshmi. Amma blessed all devotees with Vishu Kainettam and wished all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Amma’s Birthday Celebrations
Amma’s Birthday Celebrations – 31st July, 2011
Amma’s Birthday was celebrated on a very grand scale on 31st July, 2011 at N.K.T. Hall in Thane. The celebrations started with welcoming Amma with “Poorna Kumbham”, and devotees singing a welcome song for Amma. A prayer song in praise of the Guru was sung and Archana was performed by young girls dressed in traditional outfits and costumes. A beautiful cake in the form of a book signifying Amma’s compilation of 1500 devotional Bhajans was cut by Amma with children surrounding her on stage.
A skit on the life history of Amma was beautifully enacted by little children under the guidance of Kum. Deepika Sriram. The skit brought tears to the eyes of the audience as they watched the entire sequence, from the Goddess’ arrival at Amma’s house to the entry of the Goddess in the Prayer Hall. Blessed were the children who very confidently played their part and blessed were the audience who watched this. After this, there was a flute recital by Anantraman accompanied on tabla by Patwardhan and Sumer.
Devotees humbly felicitated Amma with a trophy congratulating her for completing the composition of 1500 Bhajans. The function was attended by eminent personalities. Padmabhushan Smt. Rajam, Smt. Alamelu Mani and Guruswamy Shri Ramesh Chalam and Smt. Lakshmi Amma were on the stage along with Amma.The souvenir for the year 2010-11 was released on this day by Smt. Rajam.
Many competitions were organized for children, ladies and gentlemen in the weeks preceding the function to mark the occasion of Guru Poornima. It was really a great honor for the winners to receive the prizes from Amma and the guests of honor. Children who had scored above 75% in S.S.C. and H.S.C. examinations were also felicitated on stage in the presence of the huge audience. This small gesture of felicitating merit holders goes a long way in encouraging and boosting other children too to perform well and win prizes.
The children from Aasara orphanage had been invited. Annadhanam was provided at the hands of Amma to the children as well to all who were present at the function.
‘Pushpa vrushti’ was performed by all devotees for Amma. Amma was honored with an additional title of “Saraswati Devi” which was proposed by Smt. Lakshmi Amma.
Bhagavati Sevai
Bhagavati Sevai – 22nd July 2011
Ganapathy Homam was performed in the morning and Bhagavati Sevai was performed on 1st Friday of the Aadi month in the evening with flowers decorated around the lamps kept for the Puja.
Aadipooram 2nd August 2011
On this auspicious occasion Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan were bedecked with Poo Pavadai Alankaram (with flowers).
Gokulashtami 21st August 2011
Lord Krishna’s birthday was celebrated in an evocative manner. The deities were dressed with colorful outfits and decorated with ornaments. Lord Krishna on a flowery Jula was a great attraction. Bhajan by devotees of Amma was held in the evening and Palpayasam and Ghud Poha as prasadams were distributed to all.
Navratri Festival
Navratri Festival – 28th September 2011 to 6th October 2011
The Navaratri festival began from 28th September 2011. The first three days the Devi and the Lord were dressed up as Parvathi and Parameshwar, the next three days as Lakshmi and Narayan and the last three days as Saraswati. The deities were decorated with colorful outfits and ornaments in the morning and evening, which was a great draw for devotees. The deities looked resplendent. This year Pushpabhisekam was performed for the small idols Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati which were placed in front of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayanan. To honor elderly couples, Dampathi Puja was performed on all mornings. Bhagavati Sevai and Durga Puja on Ashtami day were performed on 4th October 2011. Saraswati Puja was celebrated on 5th October 2011. Children and elders offered flowers. Pens, pencils and books were kept at the lotus feet of Goddess Saraswati. In the evening Carnatic music recital program, Garba dance and Maha Arti were arranged for devotees who visited the prayer in large numbers during the festival.
On 6th October 2011, Vijayadasami day, arrangements were made for the second year running, for a unique ritual. Amma applied honey with a peacock feather on the tongues of devotees. Koothanur Saraswathi Temple in Thanjavur district is renowned for this ritual. It is believed that the ritual is done for improvement, achievement in education and good health. Prasadam was distributed in the morning and evening.
Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi – 1st September 2011 to 10th September 2011
Lord Ganesha’s idol was brought to the prayer hall with a grand band procession and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations began on 1st September 2011 in the morning with chanting of Atharva sheersham. 1008 modaks and 1008 coconuts were offered to Lord Ganesha which was the special attraction for devotees. Lord Ganesha’s idol was installed in a special mandap decorated with colorful lights and flowers on all days and Bhajans were held in the evening. Visarjan of the Ganesh Idol was done on 11th September 2011 with procession from Prayer Hall accompanied by a special band to the Visarjan location. Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan were dressed up in colorful outfits on all ten days. Amma Bhajans were held in various devotees’ residences during the festival.
Diwali – 26th October 2011
A large number of devotees were present in the prayer hall in the morning. The prayer hall was beautifully decorated with sparkling lights. Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan were looking divine, adorned with rupee garlands and also looked festive in their outfits. Devotees were blessed with coins given by Amma. Sweets and Savouries were kept before the deities as offerings and same were distributed as prasadams to devotees.
Skandha Shasti
Skandha Shasti – 31st October 2011
Kavadi was placed on either side of Lord Murugan’s idol. In the morning, a procession with Lord Murugan was taken around the temple with devotees singing bhajans and carrying the Kavadi on their shoulders.
Nagarvalam in the month Of Margazhi
Nagarvalam in the month Of Margazhi
During the entire month of Margazhi, devotees rendered Bhajans in the prayer hall early in the morning. There was a steady stream of devotees visiting the prayer hall to have darshan of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan.
Karthigai Deepam
Karthigai Deepam – 10th December 2011
The deities were brilliantly decorated on account of Karthigai and prayer hall was decorated beautifully with lights. In the evening, devotees lit Deepams in the Prayer hall.
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