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Celestial wedding of Balaji at Hindu Temple of Atlanta a feast for eyes and ears

BY RAVI R. PONANGI
Photos by Krish Photography

Atlanta, GA, July 21, 2022: A large congregation of devotees despite gloomy weather lined up early in the morning at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta (HTA), Riverdale on Saturday, July 9 where the spectacular Srivari Kalyanam (celestial wedding of Balaji) by TTD was held from morning to late afternoon. Lord Srinivasa is the lord of lords. The ritual of Srivari Kalyanam is of great significance. The celestial wedding of Srinivasa Kalyanam was held with religious fervor at the Hindu temple of Atlanta, Riverdale.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) in association with HTA organized the spectacular Srinivasa Kalyanam. The Archaka Swami Sridhar Acharya who perform pujas at Tirumala Temple conducted wedding rituals of Srivari Kalyanam as per Vaikhanasa Agama accompanied by live Nadaswaram.

The kalyanam was celebrated along the lines of the Kalyanotsavam performed at Tirumala. It was a rare occasion for the devotees to witness the celestial wedding of the Lord and His consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi.

About 3000 devotees witnessed the wedding rituals conducted by TTD’s Archaka Sridhar Acharya on the specially decorated marriage platform.

Another TTD Veda Pandit Sri Prahlada Acharya explained the significance of every step of the marriage ritual conducted during Srivari Kalyanam. Priests of Hindu temple of Atlanta assisted TTD priests in performing Srivari Kalyanam.

Ms. Prashanti Asireddy, HTA president, her team of executive members, trustees and volunteers of the temple meticulously planned the wedding events and neatly executed.

Events of the day started with Suprabhatham; a collection of Sanskrit prayers recited early morning in front of Balaji to awaken. Then 200 devotees recited Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotra. More than 100 music teachers, their students and enthusiastic devotees rendered Annamacharya Kirtans connected with wedding rituals at appropriate intervals during the celestial wedding.

At 10AM the much awaited celestial wedding of Lord Venkateswara began on a grand note with a series of interesting steps of typical traditional Hindu wedding including Bhagavata Prarthana, viswaksena Prarthana, Sabha Prarthana, Guru Parampara Prarthana, Daiva Prarthana, viswaksena Aradhana, Vasudeva Punyahavachanam, Rakshabandan, Yagnopaveethadharana, Vastra Samarpana, Mahasnakalpam, Kanyadanam, Mangalastakam, MangalyaPooja, Mala Parivarthana, Akshataropanamd, Veda vinnapam and Mahaseervadam. After the Kalyanam, HTA served sumptuous wedding lunch with Tirupati laddu to all devotees who turned in large numbers to witness the religious event.

At the request of Indians in America, TTD hosted about 9 Srivari Kalyanams since June18, 2022 and successfully performed with grandeur in different cities across America for NRIs who are unable to travel to Tirupati. The TTD temple priests brought vigrahas of Lord Balaji, Goddess Sridevi and Bhudevi and other material from Tirumala Tirupati, India for the celestial wedding ritual, Srivari Kalyanam utsavam. Srivari kalyanams were already held in San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, St Louis, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC and Atlanta. TTD’s Celestial wedding ceremonies of Lord Balaji in America were concluded with Srivari Kalyanam in Birmingham, Alabama on July 10.

Devotees believe that Srinivasa Kalyanam wherever it is performed, the land and the people are blessed with peace and prosperity. With this Srinivasa Kalyanam, the devotees of Georgia and neighboring states got a rare opportunity to witness the Divine Wedding of the Lord and His consorts. Srinivasa Kalyanam ensures prosperity of the entire country. The rituals followed are exactly same to the one carried out during Hindu marriages.

Sri Prahlada Acharya of TTD in his remarks said, today Atlanta community are blessed to witness the grandeur of Lord in the Celestial Srinivasa Kalyanam. TTD has planned unique marriage of Lord – “SRINIVASA KALYANAM” in USA with an aim to propagate, preserve and protect Hindu Sanatana Dharma.

Much elated, Ms. Prashanti Asireddy, President of HTA said with this Srinivasa Kalyanam, devotees of Georgia blessed with a rare opportunity to witness the Divine Wedding of the Lord and His consorts. The festival was conducted as per the Hindu custom of marriage with Homam, Samprokshana and Pravara (recitation of the line of ancestors of the Lord and Goddesses). The marvels of Lord are omnipresent which is witnessed today as devotees has turned out in large numbers for the celestial event. Srinivasa Kalyanam ensures prosperity of the entire country”, she added.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has been organizing the celestial marriage of Lord outside Tirumala in various parts of India and abroad to spread Bhakti and promote spiritual values in the society. The Srinivasa Kalyanams became so popular among the public and TTD commenced the performance of celestial marriages in USA. As Devotion knows no boundaries and the significance of ‘Srinivasa Kalyanam’ today, has spread too overseas. Devout Hindus are always eager to witness celestial Marriage of Lord Venkateswara. The primary motto of Srinivasa Kalyanam is wherever it is performed, the land and the people are blessed with peace and prosperity.

Kindly click the links below to see more photos of the event:

  1. https://ravivaddamanu.smugmug.com/Hindu-Temple-of-Atlanta-TTD-Srivari-Kalyanam-2022/
  2. https://photos.app.goo.gl/dKpwdZBosLACEj196
  3. https://photos.app.goo.gl/f8dZiLWQ3ThjCNAh6

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