Devotees of Lord Venkateswara in Hamilton celebrated the first Anniversary of the Lord’s Temple bringing the Blessings of the Lord of the Seven Hills to the people of the Waikato region in particular and to that of New Zealand in general.
The four-day event, held at the Temple Complex (located at 2 Kent Street, Frankton, Hamilton) from March 10 to March 13, 2016, gratified those involved with the Temple Project. They were a handful of devotees who stood the test of patience, perseverance and determination posed by human and not divine forces. That they were able to overcome the challenges is a tribute to their competence.
As Malathi Vasudevan, a Chartered Accountant by profession and a Trustee and Treasurer of the Sri Balaji Temple Trust Hamilton said, “Patronage and support of organisations and individuals helped us to overcome a series of issues. We are grateful to them and we are also confident that the Temple will continue to be the ideal destination for community gatherings to pray and celebrate festivals and social occasions.”
The Presiding Deities at the Temple are Lord Venkateswara, Goddess Sri Devi, Goddess Bhu Devi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Hanuman, Sri Garuda and the Navagrahas.
The Grand Anniversary
The First Anniversary Programme began at 1130 am on Thursday, March 10, 2016 with Abhishekam and Alankarana (Decoration) of the Deities of Lord Ganapathi and Lord Murugan. The evening’s programme (which began at 630 pm) comprised Sri Ganapathi Homam, Shanthi Homam and Arathi.
The second day of the celebrations on Friday, March 11, 2016 began at 1130 am with Abhishekam of the Deities of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, followed in the evening (630 pm) with Rudra Homam, Lakshmi Homan, Shanthi Homam and Arathi.
Saturday, March 12, 2016 formed the core of the Anniversary with Abhishekam for the Main Deity Lord Venkateswara (Balaji) at 10 am, with a similar honour to Lord Hanuman, Navagrahas Archana and Visheha (Special) Alankarana. The programme in the evening (6 pm) witnessed devotees reciting Vishnu Sahasranamam, Lalitha Sahasranamam, Balaji Sahasra Namarchana and Special Arathi.
The Lord’s Wedding
The four-day festivities concluded on Sunday, March 13, 2016 with ‘Srinivasa Kalyanam,’ one of the most important and significant events in the worship of Lord Venkateswara. His marriage with Padmavathi of Goddess Lakshmi is the prime reason for the appearance of Lord Vishnu in this Divine form. The event began at 530 pm and about three hours later to Maha Prasadam, the culmination of all events at a Temple.
The Prayer to the Lord began at 11 am with Sri Balaji Abhishekam, Sri Sudarshana Abhishekam (Obeisance to Sun God) and Special Arathi.
The prime days
The origin of the Balaji Temple in Hamilton dates back a few years when a group of devotees expressed a desire to construct an abode for the Lord of the Seven Hills to serve the growing number of devotees in the Waikato and Auckland regions and in due course all New Zealanders and visitors.
The Trustees were able to meet a number of challenges successfully with the financial, material and other support of commercial organisations and individuals.
These included finding a location suitable to promote activities related to the Temple and the community with facilities for cultural events, music concerts and other events of public interest and participation; raising a bank loan of about $450,000; festivities relating to the installation of the Deities and inauguration of the Temple (a five-day festival held from March 5 to March 9, 2015, as reported in a number of Indian Newslink editions).
A detailed report of the First Anniversary celebrations with pictures will appear in our next issue.
|Sri Balaji Temple Trust Hamilton Facts SheetLocation: 2 Kent Street, Frankton, Hamilton 3204
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11 am to 1 pm; 6 pm to 8 pm
Friday: 11 am to 1 pm; 6 pm to 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 1 pm; 6 pm to 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 1 pm; 6 pm to 8 pm
Closed on Wednesdays except on pre-announced special occasions
Total Land Area: 417 Square Metres
Total Built Area: About 300 Sq Mts
Facilities: Prayer Hall, Office, Kitchen, Dining and Wash Rooms
Total Cost: $450,000 (Estimated)
Bank Loan: $110,000
Ways to help: Life Membership $2000; Annual Membership: $50
Donations: No limit; all donations are tax deductible
Direct Credit: Westpac 03-1568-0478167-00 (Loan Repayment and Pooja).
ASB Bank Account 12-3171-0169613-000 (Building Development & Maintenance)
Credit Card Payment: www.sribalaji.co.nz
Facebook: Hamilton Balaji
Contact: Malathi Vasudevan, Treasurer on (07) 8562652 or 021-942699