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REPORT ON THE TIRUNAKSHATRA MAHOTSAVAM

From: Ram Anbil (Ramanbil_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Oct 01 2001 - 04:32:25 PDT

  
REPORT ON THE TIRUNAKSHATRA MAHOTSAVAM  
OF TIRUVENKATAMUDAIYAN AND SWAMI DESIKAN  
at Buffalo, New York on 29th September 2001.
  
Swami Desika Darsana Satsangam (SDDS), Sri Ramanuja Mission Inc (SRM) and Hindu Cultural Society of West New York (HCS jointly celebrated the Tirunakshatrams of Tiruvenkatamudaiyan and Swami Desikan at Buffalo, New York on 29th September 2001.  
  
5th ANNIVERSARY OF SDDS
This also marked the 5th Anniversary of (SDDS) inaugurated in 1996 at the same venue in the first ever Srivaishnava Conference in the USA.  
  
1st ANNIVERSARY OF “SRIRANGASRI” ELECTRONIC JOURNAL
Additionally, this marked the 1st Anniversary of  “Sri Ranga Sri” electronic journal blessed with the Srimukhams of all the Prakritam Acharyas of Bhagavad Ramanuja - Swami Desika Sasampradayam on the Tirunakshatram day last year. We are glad to inform that the membership of the Journal from all over the world has risen to 750 (more than 733 which we aimed at to coincide with the 733rd Tirunakshatram of Swami Desikan)
  
‘ACHARYA VAIBHAVAM CONFERENCE”
The Conference entitled “Acharya Vaibhavam Conference” was well attended by a large number of Bhagavatas from Coast to Coast by air and road (which involved upto more than 14 hours of drive in some cases). This is in spite of the fear generated by the recent terrorist tragedy.  
  
THANKS TO DR VIJAYARAGHAVAN SRINIVASANAND HIS GROUP
The success of the Conference was entirely due to the untiring efforts of Sri Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan, who as Religious Secretary organized and coordinated the entire project from day 1 when the proposal was mooted for the Celebrations. It was he who organized the first ever Srivaishnava Conference 5 years back in December 1996. The entire Srivaishnava community owe its thanks to him and the dedicated band of his friends in Buffalo (including Dr. Sathyanathan, Smt Kavita & Sri Ramesh Rao,  Smt. Jaya Venkataraman,  Smt..Nirupama d Srikar Chakravarthy, Smt Girija and Sri Hari Subramanian, Smt. Harini and Sri Suresh Padmanabhan, Smt Vaidehi and Sri Vijayaraghavan, Smt Raji and Dr Venkatadri)  who hosted the guests in their residences and arranged for transport and other comforts in a sheer spirit of Bhaagavata Kainkaryam.
  
DECORATIONS:
Sri Anbil Ramaswamy had the walls of the hall decorated with colorful pictures of Perumal arranged thematically to include Param, Vyuham, the Presiding deities of Ashtakshara, Dvaya and Charamaslokas,the famous couplet “Sriranga Mangala Nidhim”, Dasavataram, pictures od deities known by their suffix of  “Nath” like Badrinath, Muktinath, Dwarakanath, Gokulnath, Pandarinath, Srinath etc., .the entire galaxy of Azhwars and Acharyas,  Photos of Prakritam Acharyas of the different Matams and Ashramams together with their Aradhaka Murtis so that we felt that we were in their immediate presence and protection.
  
7.30 am: PADUKA ARADHANAM:  
The day started with Aradhanam of the Divya Padukas of the present and Poorva Acharyas of Periyasramam, Prakritam Andavan of Poundarikapuram Ashramam and those of Tirdandi jeeyar. Sri Poondi Vijayaraghavan Swami, President of Sri Ramanuja Mission Inc and his goshti from New Jeresy  (including Sri Nadadur Mathavan, Shyam and Venkat Srinivasan, K.V.Narayanan, Mural;I Tirumalai and others) performed a wonderful Aradhana with utmost devotion. Sri Poondi also gave a brief talk on the significance of Acharya Paduka Aradhanam.
  
8.30am: SUPRABATHAM:  
The Suprabatham at the temple in front of Lord Tiruvenkatamudaiyan included group recital of Tiruppallandu and Tiruppalli Ezhuchi.
  
9.00am: SUDARSANA HOMAM:
Sri Varada Bhattar who came from Rochester ably assisted by Sri O.V. Ranganatha Bhattar (the local priest) conducted a spectacular Homam for World peace (Viswa Santhi). The Bhagavata Goshti recited Sudarsana Ashtakam and Kamasika Ashtakam of Swami Desikan.
  
10.15am: TIRUMANJANAM AND POOLANGI SEVA
The Tirumanjanams for the Moolavar and the Murthis of Swami Desikan and Manavala Maamunigal was performed in a grand manner accompanied by the group recital of Taittriya Upanishad (Sikshavalli), Pancha Sooktams, Selections from Divya Prabandham including Neerattam, Kovai Vaayaal, Poochoodal), Tirumanjana Kattiyam, Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam, Chatusslokee, Narayaneeyam, Mantra Pushpam, and Archanas. The way the Lord appeared in the Poolangi Seva is most enchanting, to say the least.
  
12.00noon: NAIVEDHYAM:
The Goshti recited the Pasuram ‘ “Naaru narum pozhil maalirum solai”
  
  
  
12.15pm: PROCESSION:  
The Utsava murthis of Perumal, Thayar and Andal and those of Bhagavad Ramanuja, Swami Desika and Manavala Mamunigal came out on a procession when the Goshti recited Siriya Tirumadal.  Smt. Vasumathi Nagarajan,and her group from Toranto, Canada  rendered a song by Annamacharya.
  
12.30pm: SATTRUMURAI AND DESIKA MANGALAM:
Sattrumurai was done in the traditional manner and Smt. Vasumathi Nagarajan and group sang Desika Mangalam in a melodious voice.  
  
PRASADAM
Dr. Venkatadri Swami who was in charge of the kitchen took meticulous care to see that only those who had their Samsrayanam prepared the Prasadams The Bhagavatas were treated to a fabulous lunch.
  
VEDIC MILLIONAIRE QUIZ PROGRAM:
Alongside, Sri Mukundan Pattangi and his group got up a Quiz program entitled “Vedic Millionaire” on the lines of “Who wants to become a millionaire?” This helped to gauge the extent of exposure to and depth of knowledge of our Sampradayam among children (and even some elders!). In fact, many kids acquitted themselves creditably and were awarded suitable prizes.
  
THE CONFERENCE
2.00pm: the Regular Conference started with a welcome address by Sri Mama Srinivasan, Trustee, HCS.
  
2.30pm: TIRUVENKATAMUDAIYAN AND AZHWARS:
Sri Anbil Ramaswamy, President SDDS, spoke on the glory of Tiruvenkadamudaiyan and Tirumalai. He explained that the word “Vem” meant “Sins” and “Kata” meant, “burning”, that the very mountain had the capacity to burn all our sins. He also explained how Tirruvenkatam has been consecrated with the maximum number of verses (202) next only to Srirangam with 247 verses. He brought out the finer points (Svapadesams) of the Pasurams of Azhwars on Triuvenkatam especially those of Nammazhwar, Chief among Azhwars and Chief among Acharyas.. and Kulasekara Azhwar.  
  
3.00pm:CHILDREN’S DRAMA ON BHAGAVAD RAMANUJA:
As an interlude, the local children enacted a short drama depicting Bhagavad Ramanuja’s encounter with the Delhi Badhsa and how he retrieved “Ramapriya” when he called him “Chellapppillaiye Vaarum”. This was thoroughly enjoyable and the kids exhibited their remarkable histrionic talents, which kept the audience spellbound. The credit goes to Smt Rekha Govindarajan who scripted and directed the show with a professional touch.
  
3.30pm: TALK ON SWAMI DESIKA:
Sri K. Devanathan Swami, Secretary (Andhra Pradesh) to Srimad AzhagiyaSingar, and Editor of English-Telugu Sri Nrisimha Priya, Hyderabad, spoke on the greatness of Swami Vedanta Desika. Beginning with an incident in Desika's life reflecting his wit and wisdom, Sri Devanathan Swami touched upon the Acharya's contribution to the Vasihnava Sampradaya in a most significant manner. Not only were his works of devotion and philosophy worthy of emulation, but also Desika's practice in life that serves as a role model for a family to run one’s life smoothly, with a spiritual bent of mind, and detachment from the mundane. Sri Devanathan Swami praised the organizers, especially Sri Anbil Ramaswamy Iyengar, and Sri S. Vijayaraghavan, to whose dedication to the Sampradaya and the Acharyas, in a foreign land was laudable.
  
4.oopm: TALK ON MANAVALA MAMUNIGAL:
As part of the theme of  “Acharya Vaibhavam Conference”, Sri  
Mukund Pattangi gave a spirited talk on the significance of the Tanian “ Srisailesa Dayaapaatram”.
  
4.30pm: CONCLUDING REMARKS:
Sri S. Parthasarathy, Trustee of HCS in his concluding remarks summarized the day’s proceedings and offered a vote of thanks on behalf of the host organization.
  
5.00pm: KALYANA UTSAVAM:  
A grand Kalyana Utasavam for the Lord was performed with professional skill by Sri Varada Bhattar explaining every step of the wedding. The Bhagavata Goshti recited the famous “Varanam Aaayiram” of Naachiyaar.
  
GRAND FINALE
The Celebrations came to a grand finale with another round of delicious Prasadam prepared with love and dedication by Dr. Venkatadri Swami.
  
As most of the Bhagavatas had to traverse long distances, they had to literally tear themselves away from the highly surcharged spiritual atmosphere that they had been savoring the whole day long. And,  took leave of the hosts.
  
Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy
President, Swami Desika Darsana Satsangam (Worldwide) and
Editor & Publisher, “Sri Ranga Sri” Electronic Journal
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