Auckland, September 30, 2023
The welfare of humanity, the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The World is One Family) and the progress and prosperity of the ensuing generations were all part of a Special Pooja held this afternoon at the proposed site of a new Temple for Lord Venkateshwara in the South Auckland suburb of Ramarama.
The Special Pooja, commemorating the Second Saturday of the auspicious month of Purattasi (or Puratasi) was organised by Indra and Manasa Sirigiri who are promoting the new Temple Project under the Lord Venkateshwara Devasthanam in the service of people.
A cross-section of the Indian community attended the Special Pooja.
Ragavan Rengachariar, a professional Cost Accountant and Indian Newslink Religious Columnist conducted the Special Pooja, later joined by Sandeep Kumar Pyaraka, a Site Reliability Engineer.
The religious rites began with Ganesha Pooja, Puniyaha Vachanam, Venkateswara Pooja, Srinivasa Gadyam, public recitation of Vishu Sahasranamam, Varaha Narayaneeyam and hymns in praise of the Lord of the Seven Hills.
About the Temple Project
Since the purchase of the property on February 27, 2021 in an auction, Mr Sirigiri has been working vigorously to comply with the pre-qualifications for applying for Resource Consent at the Auckland City Council. Hundreds of hours have been spent with planners, engineers, geologists, ecologists, transport experts, consultants and various other officials and stakeholders to ensure that the Temple Project is fully compliant with the rules and regulations in force and accordance with the expectations of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
“The Project is now at a stage where Public Notification is expected to be issued, following which the Resource Consent process will commence. The Special Pooja was held to invoke the Blessings of Lord Venkateshwara on the Second Saturday of the Hindu Month of Purattasi, which has special significance to the Deity and Hindus all over the world. We are grateful to our people who participated in the event,” he said.
Mr Sirigiri said that the Temple Project will be for the benefit of all communities and that it will account for various services and facilities.
“We propose to conduct regular Poojas (perhaps from early next year) that will bring together people to recite Vishnu Sahasranamam and other religious activities. The success of a Project of this magnitude will be dependent on the patronage and financial contributions of our people. All of us will leave a legacy for the future generations. The formation of an entity Sri Venkateswara Devasthanam (SVD) was the first step in the ambitious journey to build a new home for the Lord in Auckland,” he said.
About Purattasi Saturday
Purattasi is the sixth month in the Hindu calendar (mid-September to mid-October). Saturdays in this month are considered auspicious to propitiate Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Venkateshwara to receive His Blessings.
According to a legend, Lord Vishnu descended on the earth plane at the Tirupati Hills in the form of Venkateshwara during Purattasi. It is also believed that Saturn (Shani) loses His powers during this month. Hence, worshipping Lord Vishnu (or Lord Venkateswara) on Saturdays accrues blessings and minimises the negative effects of Saturn.
About Lord Venkateswara
Lord Venkateswara is believed to have appeared in Tirumala to save humankind from the trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. Hence the place is also known as ‘Kaliyuga Vaikuntha’ and the Lord is worshipped as ‘Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Deivam.’
This place of worship is also known as Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple and Tirupati Balaji Temple, to name a few, while Lord Venkateswara is also revered as Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.
While the actual date of appearance of the Lord is unknown, according to Indian history, later construction, conforming to Dravidian Architecture belonged to 300 AD.
The Garbagruha (Sanctum Sanctorum) is called Ananda Nilayam. The Presiding Deity (Lord Venkateswara) is in a standing posture and faces east in Garbagruha.
Lord Venkateswara is the world’s ‘richest God’ with an estimated annual income of more than $US 400 million. The Temple has more than 2000 kgs of gold and more than $US 500 million worth of other forms of jewels and jewellery. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu in this Avatar owes money to Kubera in connection with His marriage to ‘Alarmel Manga,’ ‘Alamelu Manga’ or ‘Padmavathi’ and hence is seeking ‘donations’ from his devotees.
The Temple was constructed in 300 AD conforming to the Dravidian Architecture.