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February 4, 2014 > Installation of life force

Installation of life force

Submitted By Arathi Satish

Human societies have been practicing diverse rituals throughout the ages; divine rites including symbolic actions prescribed by religious traditions. Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Temple and Shirdi Sai Krupa (SVCC) are holding a major Pratishtapana Mahotsava and Kumbhabhisheka event in which idols of Hindu gods are installed with life force. It is only after this rite is performed that the idol is worshipped.

In Hinduism, three main techniques of worship include: the mantra of Jnanamarg that represents the path of Knowledge; the tantra of Bakthimarg, the path of devotion; and the yantra of karmasanyasmarg, the path of detached action. Images of deities in human form are used as symbolic representations of eternal truth. Emblems which stand for certain deities and symbolic diagrams, drawn or engraved on a surface, are used as instruments of worship.

Pandit R. Uma Shankar Dixit, who has already founded two temples in India and one in Sacramento, California, is will celebrate the opening of the fourth temple in Fremont. Aspiring to spread Hindu culture among the present and future generations, Dixit hopes that the local temple will become a place where universal peace is attained and all religions are respected. Dixit said, ÒMy aim is to encourage maximum community participation in the forthcoming event. We hope this temple helps everyone in the community to come together and participate in making this, their temple, a beacon of light and hope.Ó

Pratishtapana Mahotsava and Kumbhabhisheka rituals will be performed for the deities of Sri Siddhi Vinayaka, Thrayambakeshwara, Vishnu Durga, Subramanya, Ayyappa Swami, and Navagrahas. These rituals give shape to abstract spiritual ideals behind the idol. According to comparative religion scholar Gavin Flood, ÒA ritual of consecration in which the consciousness of power of the deity is brought into the image awakens the icon in a temple.Ó

According to ancient Indian scriptures, the Prana Pratistapana ceremony conducted on an auspicious day and time installs the deity with divine energy. The Kumbhabhisheka is a procedure followed to recharge the spiritual energy of the deity. This is done by performing an abhisheka or bathing of the kumbha that denotes the crown of the temple tower, which is also supposed to possess the divine power of the deity; waters of the seven oceans and seven holy rivers of India are used for this ceremony.

Several rites will be performed at the SVCC temple from Thursday, February 6, 2014 through Sunday, February 9, 2014 to install the deities. Preparatory rituals such as purification rites are followed by assignment of duties special garments to priests. Kalasa stapana, in which the power of the divinities is invoked in the holy waters, are kept in pots. Agni pratishta or fire oblations are conducted. Vastu pooja is then offered to the land on which the temple exists and ankuraarpanam, seeding of the soil. For the purification process the images go through stages. They are kept in grains of paddy and water and an offering of flowers, milk, gold and silver is performed. Finally, the resting place of the images in new clothes and ornaments are determined. Oblations are done by reciting the Vedic chants for each divinity. The ritual of Netronmeelanam opens the eyes of the deities.

Cultural programs will take place on Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9. All are welcome. Park at Mission Valley ROP or nearby; no onsite parking is available. For more information, visit http://Fremont.svcctemple.org, facebook.com/SVCCTemple, or call (510) 403-4256 or (510) 661-0224.

Pratishtapana Mahotsava and Kumbhabhisheka
Thursday, Feb 6 Ð Sunday, Feb 9
Thursday, Feb 6: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday, Feb 7: 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday, Feb 8: 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, Feb 9: 6:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Temple
40155 Blacow Rd., Fremont
(510) 403-4256
http://Fremont.svcctemple.org

Cultural Program Schedule:

Saturday, Feb 8:
2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Jaishree and Haripriya - Bharatanatyam Dance
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Indumathy Ganesh & Students of Nrithyollasa Dance Academy
3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Sangeetha Ramalingam - Classical Vocal Music
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Anu Suresh & Shruthi Swara Laya Students - Classical Vocal Music

Sunday, Feb 9:
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Asha Ramesh and students - Classical Vocal Music
3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Sindhu Natarajan - Classical Vocal Music
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: Madhuvanti Bhide - Hindustani Classical Vocal Music
4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Sundar Malikayil & Sarada Bhajan Mandali- Classical Vocal Music

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