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Shri Krishna Vrundavana hosts Shrinivasa Kalyana ceremony in traditional Udupi style

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Atlanta, GA, May 17, 2024: Celestial stars aligned to the resplendent Shrinivasa Kalyana ceremony with well over thousand devotees partaking in the traditional Udupi style celebrations, hosted by Shri Krishna Vrundavana on March 30, 2024, at Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul in Duluth. The occasion also marked the inaugural fundraising efforts towards the upcoming construction of their new temple located in Cumming off of Peachtree Parkway.

The divine festivities celebrating the union of Shrinivasa and his divine consorts air resonated with the melodious strains of Sangeeta Seva (music offering), by talented artists from Atlanta community and graceful movements of Nritya Seva (dance offering) performers, along with other cultural presentations that added an extra layer of splendor to the occasion.

” We were immensely blessed to receive the divine guidance and blessings of Paryaya Shri Puthige (Shri Sugunendra Theertha) Swamiji,” Ajay Madwesh, organizer/volunteer said. While he was not present at the venue, he sent out a video message that “added a sacred touch to the proceedings, enriching our spiritual experience,” volunteers expressed.

Graced by several prominent personalities of Atlanta, the celebrations kicked off a day earlier with Tarkari Shastra, a unique ritual (specifically Udipi and surrounding areas) performed the prior day to a major function to seek the blessings of gods who preside over the items, ingredients and process of cooking. One specific outcome is to estimate the number of people who are expected to partake in food the next day. This is performed through a unique South Indian process where the raw banana is cut in a specific way and immersed into water. The number of white side (inside part) facing up with a multiplication factor provides an estimate of expected number of people.

The hall, bedecked in red and vibrant deco of flowers and silk reflective of a wedding welcomed the devotees. Guided by main priest, Shri Jayaprasad Achar (JP Achar), traditional rituals of pounding grains and pulses, welcoming the groom – Lord Venkateshwara and his divine consorts, culminating with the grand finale of garland exchange and Mangalya Dharane evoked a divine experience for the devotees.  Post the ceremony, a lavish spread of traditional Udupi food, well known for its impeccable flavor awaited the audience. The menu, including over 5 desserts with well over 10 different saatwik servings kept up the Udupi promise of blessing its devotees with food.

“This is an establishment directly managed by Shri Shri Sugunendra Teertha Swamiji, the 29th pontiff of Shri Puthige Matha Samsthanam, established by Shri Shri Madhwacharya himself.  It is the only dedicated Shri Krishna Temple and Sri Raghavendra Swamy Brundavana in greater Atlanta area operated under strict accordance with the Udupi Parampara including daily twice Annadaana and Tri-Kaala (3 times) Pooja,” priest JP Achar said.

Announcing the grand kickoff of temple construction, JP Achar appealed for donations from devotees and well-wishers in different formats.  Donors, he said, can sponsor a Gita Ishtika(Bhagavad Gita Shloka inscribed Brick) that will be permanently part of the temple’s foundation, or offer Bhoodaana (Land Donation) by contributing $25/sq.ft, or donate towards general construction activities.

Forsyth County commissioners approved plans for a 29,632-square-foot temple on a 6 acre plot last year. Plans include 197 parking spaces, green space for outdoor activities and two bridges across the drainage creek on the parcel that connects the 3-story temple to the larger parking lot.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each devotee, volunteer, artist, patron, and guest who contributed to the success of the Srinivasa Kalyana Ceremony. Your unwavering devotion and support inspire us to continue our sacred journey with renewed zeal and dedication,” organizers said in a statement.

Shri Krishna Vrundavana, Atlanta serving the South East US region is one among the 12 branches of Puthige Matha in USA. Pooja is offered thrice daily to Udupi Shri Krishna , Shri Mukhyapraana devaru and Shri Gurusarvabauma Raghavendra Swamy. Shri Puttige mutt is one among the ashta mutts, it derives its name from the place where its main branch is located in a village called Puttige, Hiriyadka taluk,Udupi, Karnataka.

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