Diwali celebrated in Parramatta

By : Surinder Jain. (Photographs by Vijay Maharaj and Dharmendra Modi)

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated its 20th Diwali at Parramatta Park on 3rd and 4th November 2018. Saturday the 3rd was marked by Sri Sitarama Kalyanam and Ram Lila while Sunday the 4th was Sri Sitarama Pattabhishekam, Ram Lila, Ravan Dehan and fire works.

Sri Sitarama being welcomed back on the temple stage

The event attended by about 30-40,000 people was inaugurated by Mayor of Parramatta Lord Andrew Wilson. Prime Minister of Commonwealth of Australia Scott Morrison, Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian and many Ministers, shadow Ministers and MPs from both sides of political spectrum were present.

The crowds have just started to arrive

The show like earlier years had rides for children, food from all corners of India, A large Rangoli, many businesses and sponsors. A recipe and cooking competition with vegetarian ingredients was held.

Culture from all parts of India was on display with dance and music performances.

The temple for Sri Sitarama Kalyanam and coronation was very popular with devotees who participated in rituals being conducted with Utsav Murtis by the priests who had come from Bhadrachalam, telangana, India.

Rama Pattabhishekam or Coronation of Lord Rama

One of the other popular draw cards was the sankeertan by Australian Society of Meditation and Yoga. The young western and non-Indian devotees  enchanted the crowds with their melodious voices and guitars, singing the praise of Lord Krishna and Rama.

Sanjeev Bhakri, Prakash Mehta and Scot Morrison

A Diwali Art exhibition with paintings by local artists was held showing Ram, Madhubani and other genre of paintings.

Bottom row : Bharathi R, family of Prime Minister. Upper row: Minister David Coleman, PM Scot Morrison, Julian Leeser MP, Renga Rajan Director, Prakash Mehta President

Children’s rides were very popular. The Prime Minister visiting with his wife and two young daughters visited the area. His children spend lot of time on the rides having a good time.

Ravan Effigy 2018

An 8 meter tall Ravan was erected. A Ram Lila was performed at the stage and Ram Laxman Sita procession moved to the Ravan effigy area. An arrow from Ram started the burning of Ravan and of the fireworks. Thousands of people enjoyed the fireworks. After the show was over and he event concluded, many visitors did not want to leave and are looking forward to next Diwali.

From Left to Right : Manju Nath HSS, Geoff Lee MP, Nihal Agar Director, Surinder Jain National Vice President, Ashwani Jain NSW Secretary, Sai Pravastu Director

 

More photos are available at

The Victory of Truth Over EvilFestival celebration full of live music, cultural performances, food, kids activities -…

Posted by Hindu Council Australia on Monday, 5 November 2018

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.
 
 
 

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Sri Sitarama Kalyanam

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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.

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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.

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