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Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi Celebrations at USA - 2001

mthirumalai_at_hotmail.com
Date: Sat May 05 2001 - 12:15:14 PDT

Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi Celebrations at USA - 2001

North America became a blessed land and is slowly progressing towards 
attaining a punya bhoomi status by organizing and witnessing a 
spectacular celebration of Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi this year. The land 
of the eagle had been preparing to host the event for the past three 
months. 

Udayavar's Jayanthi was celebrated this year in New Jersey and New 
York in a traditional grand manner. The celebration was organized by 
Sri Ramanuja Mission of Srirangam Srimadh Andavan Ashramam along with 
Jeeyar Educational Trust of Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar 
and Sri Ahobila Muth, USA. Other Srivaishnava organizations like 
NAMA, VEDICS, Sri Vedantha Desika Sabha and Sri Desika Darasana Sabha 
participated in the celebrations.

The actual celebrations started a week before on April 22nd when 
Udayavar started His sanchaaram.  From Poondi Vijayaraghavan's home, 
Udayavar arrived at Murali Thirumalai's griham.  A special `tholukku 
iniyan pallakku' was prepared here for Udayavar and decorated for the 
celebrations.  A special Thiruvaaradhanam to Udayavar and Perumal was 
performed by Sriman U. Ve. Velukkudi Krishnan on April 27th morning.  
About 30 bhagavathaas participated in this event.  Thadhiyaaradhanam 
was offered to all the bhagavathaas attending the function.

On the morning of April 28th, Udayavar left for the Srinivasar temple 
at Bridgewater, New Jersey from Murali Thirumalai's home.  He was 
majestically adorning the pallakku prepared for His purposes.  
Udayavar was received by all the bhagavathaas with Nadhaswaram, 
Thirukkudai and mangalams outside the temple auditorium at 7:30 AM. A 
traditional Thirukkudai was prepared for Udayavar and imported from 
Tamil Nadu.    Padhukaa and salagraama aradhanam started promptly at 
8 AM performed by Sri Venkatanathan Sreenivasan and concluded at 9:00 
AM at the auditorium.

Bhagavathaas goshti left for the temple for Seva kaalam.  Soon after 
Seva kaalam, the Uthsavar with Ubhaya Nacchiyaars left the temple to 
visit Udayavar at the auditorium. He was on a `Thiruther' assembled 
for this purpose with Prabhandha goshti leading Perumal and Veda 
paaraayanam 
following Him.  Sri Ramanuja came out of the auditorium in His 
pallakku to receive His disciple. Thirumalaiyappan offered parivattam 
to Yathirajar.  This was indeed a very rare sight to engulf and 
immerse oneself in.  Bhasyakaarar offered Pattu Peethambaram and 
Pattu Vasthrams as sambhavanai to the Moolavar and to the Thaayars 
Sri Devi and Sri Bhoo Devi and performed mangalaasaasanam including 
chatur pradakshinam of Ezumalaiyaan and His Consorts. The bhagavathas 
assembled there enjoyed this rare sight as an anubhavam filled with 
divine emotions.  A melodious Siriya Thirumadal was recited during 
this union. After a few minutes of this divine visual exchange 
between the divya dhampathis and udayavar, Thiruvenkadamudiyaan left 
for His temple abode.  The Perumal Thirumanjanam was performed on 
behalf of Udayavar. Perumal,  Sri Devi and Boodhevi were adorned with 
the Peethaambaram and Pattu sent by Perumboodoor Maamuni.  These 
vasthrams were procured by Eyetex Sri Rajagopalan swamy at Madras and 
sent to USA.

Udayavar Thirumanjanam was performed by the temple priest, Sri 
Narasimhachari. Iramusa Nootrandhaathi, Sookthams and Sikshaavalli 
were recited. Saatruppadi and Sattrumarai followed.  The religious 
part of the celebrations concluded at 3:00 PM, followed by 
Thadhiyaaradhanam to all the participants.  Food was prepared by a 
host of volunteers and served at the hall. The food arrangements were 
excellently coordinated by Smt. Shyamala Murali. A large gathering of 
more than 300 bhagavathas enjoyed the anubhavam of Perumal, Udayvaar 
Thirumajanams and Padhuka Aradhanam and received  padhuka theertha 
prasaadam.

A special recognition award was presented to Sri Narayanan 
Veeraraghavan for his participation in Sri Ramanuja Mission 
activities like Goshti coordination and participation, his 
contribution to Tele-sthorthram classes and organizing all the 
religious activities for Udayavar Jayanthi celebrations.  Sri  
Srikanth Raghavan received a special recognition award for his 
wonderful contribution in web-enabling Sri Ramanuja Mission through 
his tireless, enthusiastic and dedicated contributions.

The social and cultural programs began  with a scintillating 
upanyasam by Sriman U. Ve. Velukkudi swami on Ramanuja vaibhavam. 
Swamy talked about Artha panchagam, Acharya evolution from 
Paravasudevan to Alwars.  All bhagavathas enjoyed Sri Velukkudi's 2 
hour  upanyasam and felt still wanting for more of it. Some 
bhagavathas also asked him questions to which Sri Krishnan swami 
replied in detail. He also took the opportunity to update the 
gathering about the Yathi Sammelanam recently held in Madras.

This was followed by an interesting discussion involving all the 
audience.  The chosen topic of discussion was to justify Krishna's 
role in Mahabharatham and make a case to interpret them as confining 
to Dharma or Adharma.  As in any discussion, there was interesting 
arguments categorizing Krishna's role as Dharma versus Adharma. Sri 
U. Ve. Velukkudi Swamy was the moderator.  He listened to both sides 
interestingly and patiently.  Sri Velukkudi swamy actively 
participated as the moderator of this interactive discussions 
participated by bhagavathas.

Next was a  philosophy-laden presentation by Sow Bhagayalakshmi 
Murali on a topic `Role of Acharya in modern times'. Dr. MG Prasad 
spoke briefly on Yathirajar, sang a Ramanuja Bhajan and conducted a 
quiz program on Vishistadvaitham.  Smt. Ramya Ramnarayan's 
Nrityanjali dance program followed that offered a feast to every ones 
eyes.  Her students performed wonderfully for Perumal songs. Ramya 
herself gave a touching performance on Varanamaayiram that had tears 
on everyone's eyes.

Sri Ramanuja Mission presented Naalayira Divya Prabhandam book 
published by Sri Santhana Reddiyar (SANCO) as goshti sambaavanai. JET 
USA presented a gold plated coin with the image of Sri Ramanuja and 
Sudharshana embossed on it, to all the sthrees who attended the 
function.  All the children who participated in the first day of the 
celebration received an Animated/Cartoon movie of Sri Ramayanam. The 
first day's celebration ended with dinner at 9:30 PM. Smt. Chitra 
Madhavan, on behalf of JET USA, offered vote of thanks to all the 
participants who joined the celebrations.

Through the day, Sri Ramanuja Mission had set up posters depicting 
their activities in the USA, Srimadh Andavan Ashramam's Acharya 
parampara details, Alwar posters., etc. These were compiled by Sri 
Shreyas Sarangan, Sow Bhagyalakshmi Murali and Poondi Vijayaraghavan. 
Smt. Padmaja Parthasarathy had set up posters on various Srivaishnava 
subjects.

The second and final set of Desika Sthothra mala CDs (volumes 4,5 and 
6) was released during the celebrations and are available for sale.  
Now we have all Desika Sthothramala in CD form, thanks to Sri 
Ramanuja Mission members for their massive efforts to complete the 
project.

The second day celebrations began at Sri Ranganatha Temple auditorium 
on April 29th at 8 AM.  Salagraama and Padhukaa Thiruvaaradhanam were 
performed by Sri Venkatanathan Sreenivasan and Udayavar Thirumanjanam 
by Sri Narayanan Veeraraghavan. Following this, on behalf of 
Udayavar, the Thirumanjanam for Uthsava Ranganathar was performed in 
the temple.  Sookthams, Sikshaavalli and Neeraattam were recited.  
108 cups of akkara Vadisil was offered to Sri Ranganatha on this 
occasion.

During Saatruppadi, Sri U.Ve. Velukkudi swami offered an upanyasam on 
Acharya Vaibhavam.  Smt YG Parthasarathy gave a short introduction to 
Sri Velukkudi Swamy and every one enjoyed the upanyasam. The function 
completed by 2 PM followed by lunch.  After the `sevikku unavu' 
followed the `vayitrukkum sirithu'. The delicious lunch was prepared 
by Sri Rajagopalan Bhatter of Pomona Temple with help from 
volunteers, in the temple madapalli for all the participants. About 
250 bhagavathaas attended the second day celebrations and received 
Perumal, Udayavar and Padhuka anugraahams.

For this two-day celebrations, we had bhagavathaas from Chicago, 
Boston, Atlanta, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Buffalo, New 
York, Pittsburgh, Allentown (Pennsylvania), New Jersey, Cleveland and 
India.  Sri Ramanuja Mission thanks all the co-sponsors and 
participating organizations for their magnificent contribution in 
making the function a grand success.

Sri Poondi Vijayaraghavan, President of Sri Ramanuja Mission of 
Srirangam Srimadh Andavan Ashramam spoke on both the days and 
welcomed all the bhagavathas who came for the function from various 
corners of USA. He spoke on the importance of this function being 
celebrated on the first day at Sri Venkateshwara temple and on the 
second day at Sri Ranganatha temple, both perumal being so close to 
Sri Ramanuja.

Sri Ramanuja Mission thanks every one who has been instrumental in 
making this mega event a grand success. Sri Ramanuja Mission offers 
its special thanks to Sri Murali Parthasarathy for his Video coverage 
and all round help; Sri Narayanan Veeraraghavan for his excellent 
contribution in compiling the recitation material and coordinating 
them with member groups, his help in painting the pallakku; Sri T. R. 
Govindarajan for his efforts in organizing the Perumal `ula' in 
the `Thiruther'; Smt Shyamala Murali for her wonderful coordination 
for food arrangements with member groups, participants and volunteers 
for the two days, her efforts in planning & organizing the menu for 
two days; Smt. Charu Parthasarathy for her tireless help in the food 
committee during the two days; Smt. Sumithra Govindarajan and Pankaja 
Poondi for their help in the kitchen area for catering requirements; 
Smt. Gita Prasad and Sri. Balaji Ramanujam  for setting up the audio 
equipments in the Bridgewater temple hall; Sri Jaikrishna 
Vijayaraghavan for his `Thiruthuzai' kainkaryams; Sri Muralidhar 
Rangaswamy for bringing the Perumal Vasthrams from Madras; Sri 
Shyamsundar Sreenivasan for getting all the Prabhandha books and 
Thirukkudai from Madras; Sri Srinivas Rangarajan, Sri Ajai Krishna 
Murali and Sri Panchajanyam Sridharan for their timely contributions 
on function premises; NAMA members for their food contributions; last 
but not least - everyone else who contributed in various other areas.


Sri Ramanuja Mission also thanks all the participants from all parts 
of USA who came and attended this function and prays for the 
anugraham of Srimadh Andavan and the anugraham of all the acharya 
Padukas.

After the celebrations, Udayavar continued on his sanchaaram. He left 
for Washington DC with Sri. Nadathur Madhavan.  He will be blessing 
the capital area in the next couple of months.


Adiyen

Dasan Murali Thirumalai



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