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Hindu Temple of Atlanta's first Siva Temple Brahmotsavam

By Mahadev Desai
October 2013
Hindu Temple of Atlanta's first Siva Temple Brahmotsavam



Kalasabhishekam: using pots to pour water with cereals, turmeric, milk, etc. (Photo: Dr. B. K. Mohan) 




The Hindu Temple of Atlanta organized majestic and joyous Siva Temple Panchahnika Brahmotsavam celebrations from August 14 to 18, 2013. Pujya Sri Swami Adhyatmanandaji of the Sivananda Ashram, Ahmedabad, presided over the purnahuthi.




Right:  Flag pole. (Photo: Dr. B. K. Mohan)

Brahmotsavam means a grand celebration. Despite inclement weather, thousands thronged to this first ever Shiva Temple Brahmotsavam, a five-day event that began with ankurarpana and dhwaja arohanam. Temple priests chanted vedic mantras as the flag bearing Siva’s vahana Nandi was hoisted on the dhwaja stambha facing the Siva Temple and adjacent to the yagasala, to the accompaniment of drums and nadaswaram. Other elaborate rituals included yagasala pravesam, pradhana kalasa sthapana, nitya homams, dolotsavam, kalasabhishekam, Sri Parvatha Vardhini sameta ramalingeshwara visesha kalyanam, and maha mangala harathi. Also daily prakara utsavam when utsava murtis were taken in a procession around the temple on vahanas like hamsa vahana, gaja vahana, vrushabha vahana, ashwa vahana, and Ravanasura vahana. There was also a spectacular ratha yatra, to accompaniment of musical instruments and chanting and singing by the enthusiastic gathering.

The grand finale on Sunday was marked with ashtottara sata vasanta rudra kalasabhishekam, trisula avabhrutasnanam, dhwaja avarohanam (lowering of the flag), maha sayanotsavam, maha mangala harathi, and offering of teerdha prasada to all.




 (Photo: Dr. B. K. Mohan)

All the deities in the Balaji and Siva Temples wore fineries and colorful garlands. Priests performed archanas throughout the day, blessing devotees. A huge tent (yagasala) on the temple foreground covered homa-kundas and colorful puja accessories. Priests and devotees chanting vedic shlokas before the consecrated fires.





Swami Adhyatmananda at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta with HTA President Narender Reddy. (Photo: Ravi Ponangi)

Genial and modest Swami Adhyatmanandaji, known for his service and unreserved love for all, spoke eloquently on the power of mantras, saying that they are far superior to haikus and are like sparkling diamonds studded in gold. Their sacred vibrations carry spiritual energy. They energize prana and with correct chanting and breathing can help elevate one’s consciousness.




 (Photo: Dr. B. K. Mohan)

Dr. Sujatha Reddy was pleased that over 90 devotees registered as bone marrow donors to help Chirag Patel. HTA President Narender Reddy took an active part in the rituals and thanked all, including Pooja Committee Chairman Subbiah Emani, Food Committee Chair Seshu Sarma, and her team of dedicated volunteers who kept the kitchen open till late hours. The festivities were truly awe-inspiring and will linger in devotees' minds for a long time. Through such spectacular festivities, Atlanta’s iconic Hindu Temple is undoubtedly enriching the religious diversity and promoting the international and multicultural image of Georgia.

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