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Temple plans Festival on Diwali eve

Lord Muruga, revered as the ‘God of Tamils’ (although worshipped as Kartikeyan by some people in other parts of India) and other Hindu Deities will grace the Deepavali Festival at an Auckland venue on November 2, 2013.

Thiru Subramaniam Aalayam is organising the programme on the eve of Deepavali at Freeman’s Bay Community Hall located at 52 Hepburn Road.

The programme, which will include prayers and a cultural show, will begin at 6 pm.

Special Poojas

Established by the New Zealand Hindu Society in 1996 by founding members Jeevan Siva and Ilango Krishnamoorthy (now Secretary), the Temple, currently at 41 Stanhope Road in Mt Wellington, has been serving hundreds of devotees with daily Poojas for a number of Deities including Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Lord Ayyappan, Shiva Lingam, Goddess Shakti and the Navagrahas.

Society President Vai Ravindran said that Special Poojas and Abhishekam are also conducted to commemorate Hindu observances such as Sankatahara Chathurthi, Sashti, Prathosam, Pongal, Vinayaka Chathurthi and Deepavali.


Other activities

Mr Krishnamoorthy said that as well prayers at the Temple, the Society is involved in a number of other activities.

“These include spiritual discourses and devotional songs in the name of ‘Aalayam Broadcasting,’ on Planet FM 104.6 every Saturday at 830 am, weekly cricket matches for the youth under the ‘ACS Sports Club’ banner, Indoor and Outdoor Cricket respectively during winter and summer,” he said.

Mr Ravindran said that the ‘Aalayam Cultural & Languages School,’ teaches children devotional songs and Tamil on Saturdays from 3 pm to 430 pm.

“We also organise blood donation camps and ‘Environment Seva Day’ every year. Other organisations such as the Vedanta Study Circle, Shirdi Saibaba Temple of NZ Inc (different from Shri Shirdi Saibaba Sanstan New Zealand Inc, a story on which appears elsewhere in this Diwali Special) and Ramayan Mandali use our Temple for their Bhajans and spiritual discourses every week,” he said.

New Temple

Mr Krishnamoorthy said the long-cherished ambition of the Society is being realised with the construction of a new, larger place of worship.

“We have purchased a plot measuring 2200 square metres at 69 Tidal Road, Mangere to build a South Indian Temple, the Bhoomi Pooja for which was held last year. The Presiding Deities, made in India have arrived for installation upon completion of the Temple. They include Subramaniam, Balaji (Venkatachalapathy), Shiva Lingam, Bhuvaneswari, Saraswathi, Garudalvaar, Hanuman, Bhairavar, Muneeswaran and Madurai Veeran (First ‘Gramadevata’ in New Zealand) along with ‘Vaganas’ Peacock, Mushik and Nandi. The hand-carved Presiding Deities standing at 5½ feet are wonders of ancient art,” he said.

Guardian Deity

‘Gramadevata’ is a Sanskrit term for the Presiding Deity or Guardian Deity in villages, towns and cities which have a large Hindu population.

Madurai Veeran is a Tamil folk Deity popular in the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. His name was derived as a result of his association with Madurai (second largest City in the State) as its Protector. His worship is popular among Tamilians.

There is a Temple for Madurai Veeran at the South Gate of Meenakshi Amman Temple (built more than 2500 years ago).

The Ballads of Madurai Veeran form a part of a folk tale kept alive over the centuries through ‘Gramiya Padalgal’ (Village Songs) and traditional ‘Theru Koothu’ (Street Theatre) in Tamil Nadu.

Further details regarding the forthcoming Deepavali Festival and the new Temple Project can be obtained from Ilango Krishnamoorthy on (09) 2638854 or 021-739879. Email: secretary@aalayam.co.nz;

Website: www.aalayam.co.nz

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