SRI MAHA GANAPATHY SANKATAHARA CHATHURTHI POOJAS (6.00PM – 7.30PM*)
As mentioned in the Vedas and Agamas, Sri Ganesha worship is one of the oldest forms of religious practice in Hinduism. Lord Ganesha is a manifestation of the Supreme Reality, for the protection of the pious and destruction of the evil in the forms of many “Asuras.” He represents the Pranava Mantra “OM” and is called “Pranava Swaroopa.” He is also called “Jyeshta Rajan” and Brahmanaspathi.”
Sri Ganesha is worshiped especially before the beginning of all actions including any new ritual and prayer services to remove obstacles and protect devotees in the performance of all their activities. Also, while some Hindus consider Lord Ganesha or Sri Vinayagar simply an embodiment or symbol of philosophic or spiritual truths, others consider Him as real and existing.
Hinduism accepts both streams of thought. It is believed that Sri Ganesha exists in a greater world than ours from where He guides our destinies. There are several days in the month, according to the Phase of the moon or star position, which are important for each of the Deity we worship. The Fourth day after the Full moon day [Krishna paksham] is called Sankatahara Chathurthi day and is auspicious for special pooja for Sri Ganesha.
SRI MEENAKSHI SPECIAL POOJAS
“The Great Goddess, known as Devi (literally “goddess”), has many guises. She is “Ma” the gentle and approachable mother. As Jaganmata, or Mother of the universe, she assumes cosmic proportions, destroying evil and addressing herself to the creation and dissolution of the worlds. She is worshiped by thousands of names that often reflect local customs and legends. She is one and she is many.
As an expansion of this maha Shakthi, Sri Meenakshi-devi, who is the wife of Lord Sundareswara (Lord Shiva), is worshiped for all types of benedictions. She is said to guard over her devotees and protect them from all harm.
Sri Meenakshi was self-born from a sacrificial fire to King Malayadvaja and his queen, Kanchanamala, in Madurai. She is named Meenakshi because her eyes are compared with those of fish—she never blinks and is always watching over her devotees. The worship of Sri Meenakshi-devi is believed to have originated, sometime prior to the sixteenth century. Like the worship of Lord Ayyappa, Sri Meenakshi-devi’s puja has increased in popularity during recent years.
SRI LAKSHMI - NARAYANAR SPECIAL POOJAS
Maha Vishnu is the lord of preservation and is known as the All-Provider. He performs the cosmic function of cohesion. The constructive nature of his cosmic function stands out in contrast against the destructive dispersive power of Shiva. Maha Vishnu’s function is to ensure the sustenance of the universe that Brahma has created. He represents the cosmic cause of existence and the symbolization of eternal life which keeps the universe as one.
The name Vishnu owes its root to the word “Vish”, which indicates “spreading in or pervading all directions”. It is indicated that he is the core in all that exists, as well as the force which keeps everything tied. He is said to pervade everything just as an infinite ocean. It is this ocean from which the universe is said to have emerged. Since water is also known by the word “Nara”, his name Narayana, has a natural linkage with water. Narayana literally means he who moves on the waters.
Vishnu’s wife is Lakshmi or Sri, the goddess of wealth and fortune. She is believed to have emerged from the churning of the great ocean (Samudra Manthan) by the gods and the demons in the quest for the immortality nectar. Lakshmi, when placed alongside Vishnu (or Narayana) came to be the foundation of Hindu religious devotion as Lakshmi-Narayana – the deity pair which not only preserves all of creation (Vishnu’s cosmic function) but also ensured its growth and prosperity (Lakshmi’s cosmic function).