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Sri. Amma graces ground-breaking ceremony for Hindu Temple of Atlanta

July 2006
Sri. Amma graces ground-breaking ceremony for Hindu Temple of Atlanta

Sri. Amma graces ground-breaking ceremony for Hindu Temple of Atlanta

New Homa Hall and Office to be built near the Shiva Temple

Sri Karunamayi, affectionately called Amma (mother), graced the Hindu Temple of Atlanta with her august presence from May 11 to May 13. Sri Sri Sri Vijayeswari Devi or beloved Amma is no stranger to Atlanta. This year her three month itinerary around the nation included Atlanta.

On the morning of May 11th, Amma clad in an orange sari with her radiant smile, was given a rousing welcome by the eager devotees, trustees and the priests of the Hindu Temple. The Poorna kumbham ceremony was performed, accompanied by auspicious music, mantra chanting, and garlanding. She was then escorted inside the Shiva Temple, where she offered her prayers to the deities.

After she sat on the raised ornate seat, Puja Committee Chairman, Dr. Manga Raju Vanapalli, welcomed her and the gathering. Priests Phani Kumar, Mallikkarjuna Sharma and Srinivas Sharma chanted Ganesh, Saraswati, Gayatri, Maha Laxmi, and Mahamrityunjaya mantras and also performed Sri Lalita Sahasranama archana pooja along with the devotees in Amma's presence. At the conclusion of this austere puja ceremony, a group of women devotees offered an aarti to Amma. The devotees formed a line to seek Amma's blessings. Later Amma in her gentle voice gave a spiritual discourse emphasizing the power of vibrations generated by the chanting of different mantras and their efficacy in creating a positive force for the individual aspirants as well as the universe. Delicious prasadam prepared by one of the devotees and delectable lunch were served to all.

In the evening, Amma participated in the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Homa Hall and an office complex adjacent to the Shiva Temple. Amma was shown the Architects Plan for the proposed construction. Chanting Om Namah Shivay in unison, Amma and the devotees circumambulated the temple in a peace march. The Temple priests, the devotees including Dr. B. K. Mohan, President of the Hindu Temple, Aruna Prasad and Parvathy Kancherla, Mohan Reddy and Dr. Sujatha Reddy, Dr. Manga Raju Vanapalli and other trustees of the Temple performed the ground-breaking ceremony with Amma breaking a coconut to sanctify the land. Later on, Amma gave an insightful spiritual discourse on Sanatana dharma, advising the gathering to love all living things and to protect the environment. She also sang a few bhajans in her mellifluous voice. Dr.Aruna Prasad Kancherla presented a Proclamation to Amma, on behalf of the trustees of the Hindu Temple, lauding her selfless service to humanity. Amma and her devotees were treated to sacred music and a scintillating Bharatnatyam dance choreographed by Sujata Dikshit and performed by Sreeratna Kancherla, former Miss India-USA and former Miss Teen America.

A one day silent retreat is an innovative feature of Sri Karunamayi's current U.S.A. tour. The retreat offers an opportunity to her devotees to meditate with her and to listen to her in-depth spiritual discourses. Apart from touring, giving discourses, and conducting meditation retreats, Amma runs two praiseworthy projects in India, namely the Sri Karunamayi Free Hospital and Sri Karunamayi Free School. These projects are extremely worthy of wholehearted support in cash or kind.

~ Mahadev Desai

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