Sri Sitarama Kalyanam takes place in Sydney

Long awaited Sri Sitarama Kalyanam, i.e. celestial wedding of Lord Rama and Devi Sita was celebrated in Sydney today. The tradition of the marriage it is aid was established by Shiva Ji when he visited Bhadrachalam temple during his life which was spent defending Hindus from forced conversion.

Marriage Procession through the streets of Parramatta

About 200 devotees with utsav murtis of the lord from Bhadrachalam temple assembled in Parramatta Centenary square facing one of the oldest church in Parramatta. Before the procession was started, puja of the dieties and breaking of coconut ceremony were performed by Hindu Council of Australia President Mr Prakash mehta and then by Vice President  Surinder Jain.

Praying and breaking a coconut

A group of dancers dancing to the drum beats of Garjana group preceded the procession. Various Australian onlookers were amused and enthralled by the beat of the drums, by the dancers and by the procession of Lord rama and Devi Sita in their separate Palakis.

Shivgarjana Drums preceding the procession

The procession passed through the streets of Parramatta and reassembeled at the mouth of fresh water part of Parramatta (Param atma) River. In the heat of the day, devotees were undeterred by the long walk and many of them completed the three kilometer walk to Parramatta Park.

The procession at historic heritage building Town Hall

The procession entered Diwali celebrations area of the Parramatta Park and the marriage was performed on the main stage with all the rituals usually performed in Bhadrachalam. After the marriage devotees present their were blessed by the Lord. After the marriage ceremony was over, the dieties were lead in a procession to their stage for two days.

Lord Mayor of Parramatta and Councillor Sameer Pandey

Lord Mayor of Parramatta Andrew Wilson and Councillor Sameer Pandey came to the Lords temple to receive HIS blessings. Lord Mayor is his speech welcomed Sri Sitarama to Australia and congratulated the devotees on performing and taking part in the celstial Kalyanam. The Lord Mayor inaugurated Diwali festivities and declared the festival open.

Various cultural programs representing different states of India were performed on Diwali stage followed by Ram Leela.

Kalyanam ceremonies being held in Sydney

By : Neelima Pravastu.

The Priests and Deities arrived on 26th October 2018 at night 9 PM from Bhadrachalam along with the celebrity Kuchipudi dancer Dr Padmaja Reddy and her group.

The Deities and priests were taken to host at Rohin Ji’s house on their first stay in Sydney.

Pre-wedding ceremonies started next day with making of Laddus for Prasadam and Husking the rice for Akshatas with over 65 volunteers. Ganesh and Sri Rama puja started the round of ceremonies.

Soft turmeric powder to mixed with the husked rice for akshatas at Ram Vel Ji’s house

The Deities are going to be taken in a procession from Parramatta Town hall to Parramatta park on 3rd November. The group tried and tested the Pallaki walk to check the distance, stops for the performances and the Grand entrance of the Deities.

Seva of over 60 women devotees, laid out on table

On 30th, the team met Parramatta Westfield at 7 pm and finished at 9:30 pm to explain the route options, entertainment and food options of the overseas guests and other details of the Kalyanam process and needed things.

 

Preparations for the main Puja

Following day, the team met again at Sushmita Ji’s house at 8 pm finished at 11 pm with Kalayanam team and Padmaja Ji to clarify doubts about the route and to plan the nitty gritty of the walk and the Kalyanam.

Walking the procession route as advanced planning

1st Pre-wedding ceremonies continued with Pounding Turmeric pods to get soft turmeric powder to mix with the husked rice for akshatas at Ram Vel Ji’s house. Around 50+ women, kids and men have participated in the ceremony.  Got the trays ready for the fruits, flowers and other things to offer the Deities. We made Kankanams (thread bracelet with Mango leave tied on it) to wear on Kalyanam and Coronation day to do Sankalpam by smearing the turmeric powder on it from earlier pounded turmeric. Had Mehndi ceremony along with it and delicious food for all the participants.

Vibrant devotees participating in Rituals

Received the show bags for the Kalayanam and Coronation. Showbag will contain Rama Koti book to write Sri Rama as many times as we can, Rama Mada a special coin with Sri Rama and Sita Devi printed on them and Akshatas sent by Bhadrachalam temple. Kalyanam and Coronation tickets will get a Silver coil with Sri Rama along with Sita Devi, Laxmana and Hanuman imprinted on them. Big sponsors will get a gold coin. Along with 4/6 entry tickets.

Publicizing the Kalyanam event in Sydney

Arranging garlands for Kalyanam and Coronation, starting for the Mandapam decorations on the stage, finalising the music for the cultural programs. Arranging necessary things for the walk including the Pallakis, Pallaki bearers, women to hold offer trays, bands, Kolatam performances. Walk teams, Receptions teams and logistics team are working round the clock to see that things go smoothly without much disruption.

Show bag for devotees participating in Seva

 

 

 

 

 

Lord from Bhadrachalam arrived in Sydney for Kalyanam and Coronation

By : Sai Pravastu.

A historic moment for Australia –  Bhagwan Sri Rama along with Sita  Devi, Lakshmana and Anjaneya Swamy from Bhadrachalam Temple, have left from Bharat and are arriving today evening in Sydney. There will be a warm welcome by our local priests and Andal group with Purna Kumbam at the host’s residence. 

On this festive occasion, we have two big events planned to mark the 20th anniversary of HCA Deepavali celebration. ABC Bullion in partnership with HCA has minted a special limited edition Sri Rama Parivar coins in Silver and Gold.

 

Lord boarding from Hyderabad bound for Sydney

 

On Saturday the 3rd November 2018  Sri Sita  Rama Kalyana Mahotsavam (celestial wedding) of Lord Sri Rama and Goddess Sita from Bhadrachalam will take place in Parramatta Park, there will be a palki procession for Sri Rama and Sita Devi from Parramatta Townhall, alongside Parramatta river (Phillip street), wedding will be performed by priests from Bhadrachalam. I will stop here and let you all come and enjoy the full schedule of the day.

 Look at the coincidence – Bhadrachalam temple is on the ghats of Godavari river and we are performing the wedding on the ghats of Parramatta River. We are blessed to see this occasion on Vilambi-Samvatsara (Lord Sri Rama’s incarnation year). Traditional dances from various states of India (kollatam) will be performed along the way to the wedding mandap.

On Sudnay 4th November 2018 Coronation of Sri Rama, Pattabhishekam (Coronation) is generally performed the day following Sri Rama Navami (Celestial wedding). This is also known as Sri Rama Samrajya Pattabhisheka Mahotsavam starting with a procession from the Queen’s road entrance into the parramatta park.

There is be Maha aarathi on both days and an evening palki procession to burn the effigy of 40 Feet Ravana followed by fireworks.

Loads of traditional and cultural performances, rides for children, competitions such as rangoli, ethnic wear, various stalls to list a few, it’s a fully packed day weekend celebrations to Deepavali.

These events are part of the Deepavali celebrations, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity along with your family and your friends, praise, pray, sing and dance in the name of Sri Sita Rama and get filled with joy and happiness.

Spread the word around the town and be part of this historic event.

 

 

Diwali coins by ABC Bullion to be sold at Parramatta and Martin Place Diwalis

ABC Bullion is Australia’s leading precious metals and bullion specialist, trading continuously since 1972.
For over 40 years, they have assisted clients of every level, to buy and sell gold bullion, silverplatinum and palladium. They have also been a supporter of Diwali festivals celebrated by Hindu Council of Australia for last twenty years.

 

This year, to commemorate 20 years of Deepavali celebrations and to commemorate Sri Sitarama Kalyanam being celebrated by Hindu Council of Australia, ABC Bullion has minted special coins depicting Limited edition 2018 Diwali coins of Sri Sita Rama Parivar. These coin sales will debut at our Diwali festivals of Martin Place and Parramatta.

Martin Place Diwali is being held in Sydney CBD at Martin Place on 31st October, 2018 and Parramatta Diwali and Sri Sitarama Kalyanam is being held at Parramatta Park on 3rd and 4th November 2018. These special coins can be purchased directly from ABC Bullion at these festivals.

Bhadrachalam deities arriving in Sydney soon

By: Sai Pravastu.
It is of great joy and delight to let everyone know that the utsava moortis Lord Sri Rama along with Sita Devi, Lakshamana and Anjeyanaya swamy are for the first time coming to Sydney from the ancient and famous Sri SitaRama temple of Bhadrachalam which is on the banks of mighty Godavari river. 
 
On this festive occasion two significant events are planned – SitaRama Kalyanam and SriRama Pattabhishekam. 
 
While Sri SitaRama Kalyanam is a blessing for every household, Sri Rama Pattatbhishekam is a blessing for entire world. Please do participate in large numbers along with your family and your friends, praise, pray, sing and dance in the name of Sri SitaRama and get filled with joy and happiness.

Significance of Sri Sitarama Bhadrachalam

रामो रामो राम इति प्रजनामभवन् कथााः | रामभूिं जिभूद्रमे राज्यं प्रशासति ।
तनत्यपश्ु पा तनत्यफलास्िरवस्र तनर्व्नर ााः | कामवशी च पजन्र याः सखु स्पशश्र च मारुिाः ।
Sri Vaalmeeki Ramayana – Yuddha Kanda – CXXVIII. 103, 104

Under Sri Rama’s rule, people rejoiced everywhere hailing Rama ! Rama! Rama! in jubilation
and recounting his deeds; it looked as if the entire universe was infused with Sri Rama naama;
nature was always in full blossom; rains were plenty and timely; weather was pleasant with
soothing wind breeze .
***
It is of great joy and delight to let everyone know that the utsava moortis Lord Sri Rama along
with Sita Devi, and Lakshamana are, for the first time, coming to Sydney from the ancient and
famous Sri SitaRama temple of Sri Bhadrachalam which is on the banks of mighty Godavari
river. On this festive occasion two significant events are planned – SitaRama Kalyanam and
SriRama Pattabhishekam. While Sri SitaRama Kalyanam is a blessing for every household, Sri
Rama Pattatbhishekam is a blessing for entire world. Please do participate in large numbers
along with your family and your friends, praise, pray, sing and dance in the name of Sri
SitaRama and get filled with joy and happiness.

To better appreciate the significance of the event we bring you a brief blurb on the temple
town of Bhadrachalam,rom where the moortis are coming, and the significance of utsava
moortis.

About Bhadrachalam

Bhadrachalam has a unique history. The mountain Bhadra-Adri or Bhadra-achalam, from
which the place derives its name, is part of India’s gigantic mountain range popularly eastern
ghats. In treta yuga Sri Sita Rama along with Lakshmana stayed in the jungles of Dandakranya
( part of eastern ghats) as part of their eleven year vanavaasa. The mighty Godavari river and
the beautiful and bountiful dandakaranya served as his abode during the period. The
parnashala where Sita was abducted is also on the same hills. The mountains were also home
of Rishi Bhadra who worshipped Lord Rama and conducted an intense penance. Rama pleased
with Bhadra promised he would visit on the way back to Ayodhya. However this visit was not
materialized in Rama avatara’s time. However, Rishi Bhadra continued his tapas and his prayers
reminded Lord Vishnu of his promise to Rishi Bhadra. True to his nature, Lord Vishnu rushed
to his devotee in the form of Vaikuntha Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana and blessed Rishi
Bhadra and manifested themselves as moortis on the mountain. The mountain got to be known
as Bhadraachalam after the Rishi Bhadra since.

These moortis, per legend, were revealed themselves to a tribal woman named Pokala
Dammakka who was an ardent devotee of Rama. She preserved the idols and waited for the
blessed one to construct a proper temple.

That blessed was Kancharla Gopanna(1621-1680) popularly known as Bhakta Ramadasu. When
Ramadasu, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, found out about the Sri Rama moortis in the
remote tribal lands he moved heaven and earth to build temple at the Bhadrachalam temple
in 1674 AD. His devotion on Lord Rama was outpoured in 300 odd exquisite devotional songs
set in Carnatic style. Later in the century these compositions inspired in Sri Thyagaraja and
improvised on the krithi form introduced by Ramadasu.

Thus the Bhadrachalam was home to three spiritual gaints – Rishi Bhadra, Pokala Dammakka,
and Bhakta Ramadaasu. It is from this sacred site that the utsava moortis are coming to Sydney.
Significance of Utsava Moortis

According to the Shilpa Shastra ( the engineering principles of sculptures ) the moorthis in
temples are broadly classified into two – achala ( immoveable) and chala (movable). The moorti
of the principal diety is usually acahala (immovable) and is called Dhruva bera. Dhruva bera
resides in the sanctum ( garbha gruha) and is the recipient of the main worship. The chala –
bera ( movable moorthis) are of five types hence the name pancha bera. These five chala-beras
moortis are used in various ceremonial forms of worship in and around the temple.

These are:
• Kautuka (कौिकु ) bera is a miniature replica of the dhruva bera and is used in nitya (
daily) pooja
• Snapana (स्नपन) bera receives the naimittika (special occasion) poojas and
adbhishekams
• Shayana (शायन) bera receives the resting upacharas
• Utsava (उत्सव) bera receives the pooja when taken out in procession
• Bali (बतल) bera is taken out when offerings are made to gods and to the pancha bhoota
( elements)

All the above pancha bera are considered as an integral part of the main moorti – dhruva bera
and are deemed as emanating from it. These chala bera moortis in the temple that are
worshipped each day during the ritual sequences are but the variations of the adi murti. As
per shashtras each of the pancha bera map to five types of sacred vedic agnis and also
correspond to the five primordial elements – aakasha, vaayu, agni, aapah, pruthivi.

Therefore these different moortis represent unique aspects of the dhruva moorti, in various forms. The tejas of the main moorti steps into each of the chala moorti during various stages of worship. Though When worship sequences are conducted the tejas moves into kautuka and snapana and so on. The tejas takes a symbolic stride into utsava moorti and reaches us all when they are taken out in procession. On a lighter note it is said, because we are so mired in our daily vocations and have no time to time to go the temple, Lord himself comes out in procession and enquires about our well being.

All of us may not be fortune enough visit Lord Rama at Bhardrachalam, therefore make use of this splendid opportunity to pray, rejoice and submit ourselves at the feet of Sri Bhadrachala Rama who is coming for us all the way from Bharata Varsha. His mere presence is ‘jagadananda karaka’.

JAI SREE RAM

Be a Yajmann for Sri Sitarama Kalyanam

By:Sai Pravastu.

This year during Deepavali celebrations at Parramatta on 3rd & 4th November, we are blessed by Sri SitaRama, Lakshmana and Anjaneya Swamy from Bhadrachalam (India), As you may know this year is Vilambi nama samvatsara i.e  the year Lord Sri Rama was born and and it comes every 60 years. we will be celebrating  Kalyanam (celistial wedding) and Pattabhishekam (coronation) with the vigrahas and priests from Bhadrachalam. We have a very special coin of Sri Ram Darbar minted to mark this special occassion by ABC Bullion for this Deepavali.
 
We are limiting to 1000 families to participate in donating towards the expenses for this events.  The donation includes a special limited edition silver coin minted by ABC Bullion. 4 entry tickets and a bag with Akshitas , Rama koti book , Shawl and prasadam.  Above all the blessings of Sri Rama Pariwaram and watch the traditions followed for centuries in Dakshin Bharath right in our backyard. A truly mesmerising experience not to be missed.
 
 
 

Sri Sitarama Kalyanam taking shape

A team of 40 volunteers has got together to plan Sri Bhadrachalam Sitaram Kalyanam Utsav being planned for 3rd and 4th of November to be celebrated as a part of Hindu Council of Australia’s annual Diwali festival. This year is a special occasion. It is the 20th year for celebrating Diwali in Australia.

Sri SItarama Kalyanam will have extensive decoration, cultural program and possibly a running commentary on the marriage of Rama and Sita being performed on the stage, as well. Temples want to have Rath-Yatra as a part of the marriage procession and it all depends on various permissions needed from the Police and road authorities.

After the procession comes into the Ground it is being proposed to have a huge “Kolla-attam” i.e. Dandiya style dance and to get a huge number of people of all ages to participate in it. During the 3 hours allocated to wedding there will be some performances with the dance schools and teachers if feasible. During the evening cultural time there will be a mix of other performers.

There is still a lot of detail to be worked out. so give the team some time to get back to you with more details. Rest assured it will be a packed program and evenly balanced program.
 
Would you like to help with decoration of this grand community event. If yes, then please express your interest by filling out the volunteer form here.
 
You can also express your interest to receive further information about the event by signing up here.

Ram Sita Kalyanam Vivah in Parramatta 3rd November 2018

Hindu Council of Australia is celebrating Deepavali festival on 3rd and 4th of November 2018 in Parramatta Park this year also.

A special attraction of this year is likely to be an elaborate performance of Rama Sita Kalyanam or Ram Sita Vivah (marriage of Ram and Sita) being planned for 3rd November in Parramatta park location.

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

This is going to be a huge event and the planning has already started. Our Sai Ji is leading the initiative. A team of volunteers has already started preparations for this grand occasion. Some of the suggestions circulating among the team is to 

  • perform Rama Pattabishekam
  • procession/kolatam to carry idols to the mandapam in a palaki
  • Kalyanam or Vivhah before sunset.

We welcome your suggestions about this event and encourage you to come and join the volunteers team and shape this event.

To participate in making the event happen, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. You can also visit Hindu Council web site and sign up as a volunteer specifying your interest in Ram Sita Kalyanam event.