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Tamil God sends his Devotees to Auckland Temple

Venkat Raman – 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

As the South Auckland based Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam marked the first anniversary of its inauguration from April 21 to April 23, 2016, it also welcomed two full-time priests from Tamil Nadu.

Anniversary Festival

‘Varsha Poorthi’ (Anniversary) festivities commenced on the evening of April 21 and continued with Morning and Evening Prayers on the following days with a large number of devotees visiting the Temple located at 69 Tidal Road in Mangere.

Special prayers, religious rites and Abhishekams were performed for the Presiding Deities of Lords Subramaniyar, Ganesha, Ayyappan, Shiva Lingam, Venkateswarar (Balaji), Bhairavar, Hanuman, Muneeswaran, Madurai Veeran, Goddesses Bhuvaneswari and Saraswathi and Garudalvaar.

“The anniversary festivities were conducted to seek the blessings of the Deities to achieve peace, harmony and betterment in life,” the two newly arrived priests of the New Zealand Hindu Temple Society Inc which owns and manages the Temple, said.

The two priests – Maharajan, aka Manikandan (or Mani) and Ganapathy Subramaniam Karthik are graduates of the Shri Aalala Sundara Veda Sivakama Vidhyalayam located in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) District, one of the foremost Vedic Schools of India.

The New Priests

Mani and Karthik said that the Vedic course is an intense, five-year course during which the students learn not only various aspects of Hindu religion but also the significance and importance of various festivals and religious observances.

“Students must follow strict codes of conduct and discipline and pass the high level test of character and behaviour. Religious knowledge alone is not sufficient for graduation. As alumni, we are grateful to our teachers in general and Principal Selvam Pattar in particular,” they said.

They look forward to conducting various festivals at the Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam, in addition to conducting various Poojas and religious rites at the homes and other venues organised by devotees.

A Temple spokesman said that there are fixed charges for conducting these events outside the Temple and that official receipts are given.

“All monies go the Temple account, although a percentage of such income is given to the priest concerned. The Temple needs at least two priests and the New Zealand Hindu Temple Society takes care of the accommodation and other needs of the priests,” he said.

According to historic records, the Vedic School has a colourful history.

Following the marriage of Lord Murugan to Devayani solemnised in Tiruchendur, Goddess Parvathi, who stayed with her husband Lord Shiva in a grove asked Him for the meaning and purpose of ‘Om Namashivayam.’ Thereafter, the place earned the name, ‘Thirumantra Nagar.’

Shri Aalala Sundara Veda Sivakama Vidhyalayam is located near the Shrine, which was established at the site.

Cheran Mahadevi

Priest Mani hails from Cheran Mahadevi, a village located in Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, known for a number of Temples including the Ammanatha Swamy Temple and Vaidhyanatha Swamy Temple built in the early 14th Century.

The village also adorns Bhaktavatsala Vishnu Temple built between 1012-1044 AD. Devotees are allowed to worship on the day called ‘Vidhivadha.’

During the 10th Century, the village was called ‘Nigaril Sathurvedimangalam.’ Maravallaba King’s second son Paranthakan married the Chera Princess Vanavan Mahadevi. Thereafter, the place was renamed Cheran Mahadevi.

Kazhugumalai

Priest Karthik belongs to Kazhugumalai, a Panchayat Town in Kovilpatti Taluk of Thoothukudi District. It houses an ancient Murugan Temple known for its rock-cut images. Carnatic music composer Muthuswami Dikshitar has sung in praise of this Shrine. The Presiding Deity is Kazhuguchalamurthy (Aarumugaswami or six-faced Lord). The Temple and the picturesque tank are located at the foothills of the 300 feet high hill called Kazhugumalai. The Temple dates back to the 8th century of the early Pandya Kings testified by inscriptions.

However, the Shiva Shrine to Shiva and several other Mandapams belong to the period of the Ettaiyapuram King of the 16th century.

Donations to the New Zealand Hindu Temple Society are exempt from Tax (Number CC46402). Donations may please be credited to the Bank Account of the New Zealand Hindu Temple Society (ASB Bank Account Number 12-3077-0531305-00). Thereafter, please write to Ilango Krishnamoorthy ilango@merc.co.nz for an official receipt.

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