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Dunedin witnesses a special divine celebration

Praneeta Mahajan

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 3 December 2022

Sri Srinivasa Perumal (Photo supplied)

India has many beautiful customs and traditions. They are symbolic of our lives and an extension of our faith and belief in the superior power that guides us and paves the way for our journey through the world.

While some rituals require discipline and dedication, there are others, which convey a significant message with great ease and sometimes, in an exuberant setting.

Among the various festivals celebrated in Tirumala, the Srinivasa Thirukalyanam (divine wedding) is very popular and loved by all. Sri Srinivasa Thirukalyanam is performed in Tirumala quite often, especially during the Tamil Month of Purattasi.

The special prayer that sees the Divine wedding of Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavati is celebrated with great joy and love by the devotees in various parts of the World.

It was hence extremely special for the Bhaktimargam New Zealand Charitable Trust to organise the Thirukalyanam for the first-time in Dunedin, which gave the community a rare cultural memoir to cherish.

Devotees attend the special ceremony (photo supplied)

One of the organisers for the event said “It was a great blessing for us in NZ to perform and be part of this divine wedding for the first time in Dunedin and South Island.”

The holy wedding was performed by an expert priest Shri Kishore Simha Bhattar (Hamilton Balaji Temple). More than 70 devotees in and around Dunedin, including Christchurch participated and derived blessing from the divine couple.

BMNZ is a national body driven by volunteers with an aim to provide avenues for spiritual growth such as education, music and discourses on the many aspects of Sanathan Dharma and the wider philosophies of life.

The aim of the organisation is to provide avenues for spiritual growth (as informed by sanathan dharma as commonly understood by those practicing Hindu Religion) such as education, music and discourses on the many aspects of the Hindu religious philosophy and to provide and promote Hindu religious and cultural enrichment activities.

Priest Kishore Simha Bhattar (left) and Akshath (Right)

Significance of Kalyana Utsavam

Devotees love to perform Kalyana Utsavams for the Lord- the most popular one being Srinivasa Kalyanam. Here, a wedding ritual is performed for Srinivasa and his consort at Tirupati. Similarly, Kalyana utsavams are performed for other deities in various temples and sometimes even at home. Kalyana Utsavam is a special ritual where we derive pleasure in conducting the wedding for the Lord Himself.

As with any ritual, the variety of acts provide a wide canvas for the mind to rest. Our attention is riveted on the Lord and His consort for the entire duration of the Kalyana utsavam. It enables the mind to develop single-pointedness (ekaagrata). A prepared mind becomes the right vehicle to absorb the teaching (gyaana) and attain realisation (moksha).
Every ritual provides an opportunity to fine-tune the mind for later gyaana. The kalyana utsavam provides this benefit- a prepared mind, a key prequisite for gyaana and the resultant fruit of moksha.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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