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Ganapati Tunai


Murugan Temple of North America

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6300 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham, MD 20706, USA Phone: 3015524889, FAX: 3015525043 Email: info@murugantemple.org, Internet: www.murugantemple.org

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MTNA Calendar Highlights

(See murugantemple.org to view a free on-line calendar with greater details and up-to-theminute updates)

Were Still In Print!

Thanks to your support and the Trust Boards response, the Newsletter will continue in oldfashioned print. Sunday, February 22nd Maha Sivaratratri 7:30 pm 8:00 pm Ganapati PujaKalasa Puja First Jama PujaSiva Abishekam, Vibuthi Alankaram, Veda Parayanam, Singing Thirumurai 11:00 pm Second Jama PujaSiva Abishekam, Santhana Alankaram, Singing Sivapuranam Monday, February 23 1:00 am Third Jama PujaSiva Abishekam, Pushpa Alankaram, Singing Thiruneetru Pathikam 3:00 am Fourth Jama PujaAbishekam to Siva, Special Alankaram, Singing Kolaru Pathikam, Deeparathanai Monthly First and Third Fridays @ 8 pmBajan Last Sunday @ 1 pm Adhi Parasakthi

Skanda Shasti Just Like Back Home

Please join us for New Years Eve See our website for details ThursdayNew Years Day 2009
11 am Special Abeshekam to Murugan Thursday, January 1, 2009 Sukla ShashtiThiruvempavai Begins From January 1st through the 10th Thiruvempavai recital in front of Nataraja at 8:00 pm Wednesday, Jan 7th: Karthigai ---Special Abishakam to Palani Aandavar (7:00 pm) Thursday, Jan 8th: Pradosham ---Special Abishakam to Siva (6:00 pm) Saturday, Jan 10th: Arudra Darshanam and Nataraja Abishakam (6:00 am) Thiruvempavai Ends Puranai---Special Abishakam to Meenakshi (6:00 pm) Wednesday, Janurary 14th Tamil Month Thai Begins / Thai Pongol Sunday, February 8th Thai Poosam / Thai Poosam Celebration 9:00 am 9:30 am 10:00 am 10:30 am 11:00 am 11:30 am 12:30 pm 1:00 pm 3:00 pm Ganapati Homam Ganapati Abishekam Subramaniya Homam Kavadi and Pal Kudam Murugan Abishekam Bajan Deeparathanai Lunch Murugan Procession

The Significance of Panguni Uttiram

By Kanaga Ranganathan
Editors Note: When we requested this article, we believed that Panguni Uttiram would fall during the first quarter and that the article would provide guidance for worship of a current calendar event. The article speaks so beautifully and universally, we left it in this issue.

Murugan Temple observed the six days of Skanda Shasti between October 29th through November 3rd. On November 8th, the Temple held a grand Skanda Shasti celebration. Several hundred devotees attended, a number of whom for the first time. One devotee said, We came thinking we would see a few abbreviated Abeshekham and were surprised to find they did everything. My parents said It was just like back home. They didnt leave anything out!
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Karthikai Vizha: Powered Murugas Next Generation


From time immemorial Hinduism has tried to convey to the spiritual seekers and to the general public of worshippers that the primary purpose of human life is to work towards the
(Continued on page 3)

Murugan Temple Volunteers Prepare Thanksgiving Meals for Homeless Shelter

By Elyathamby Vignarajah

On November 15th, children and youth ushered in the month of Karthikai with a grand
(Continued on page 2)

The Murugan Temple of North America is a Traditional Saivite Hindu Temple. It has a floor area of 7000 square feet, with main Sannidhi for Murugan (Karttikeya) and four smaller Sannidhis for Vinayaka (Ganesha), Siva, Meenakshi and Palani Aandavar. We also have an auditorium that is available for community use.

Inside This Issue


(Continued on page 3)

Skanda Shasti 2008

Devotees pass 108 conch shells filled with rosewater for the Sangaabishekam

Priests pick up Kumba pot from Homam

The procession begins inside the Temple

(Continued from page 1) Skanda Shasti Plus, he said, they did everything right. The day began with a Ganapati Abisekam at 8:30 followed by Subramaniya Homam, Kavadi and Pal Kudam. At 11 am, about 300 people participated in the Sangaabishekam for Murugan by passing 108 conch shells filled with rose water hand to hand from the spot of the Homam to Lord Murugans Sanathi. Bajan singers held everyone in deep reverie during Alankaram, followed by Deeparathanai. Devotees were then treated to a really delicious sponsored lunch. This was followed around 3 pm by the Murugan-Valli-Thevanai Thiru Kalyanam ceremony. Devotees made generous donations exceeding $800 as marital gift which would be added to the Rajagopuram Project. The day climaxed in a grand Murugan procession around the temple and the breaking of 108 coconuts on the Temple steps. (Continued from page 1) Karthigai Vizha Powered by the Next Generation event. Parents and volunteers cooked scrumptious food, the Murugan Youth Fellowship of Washington DC hosted the event and Murugan Temple Childrens program provided entertainment. The children performed classic and modern bajan and dance choreographed by parents and orchestrated by the Murugan Youth Fellowship. Murugan Temple hosts bi-weekly childrens classes in Bajan, Hindu Religion, Hatha Yoga, and Tamil language Sundays from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. There is no charge for these classes. If you are interested in joining, please call Jana Kesavan at 410-747-0019 The Murugan Youth Fellowship was formed in July 2007 for the teens to build 3Ss --social, spiritual and service. Last year:

Procession continues with Murugan Temples inspiring Gopuram blessing all

Above: Bajan singers perform during Alankaram Below: Devotees singing along in deep reverie

In December of 2007, they made sandwiches

for a homeless shelter in Washington DC.

In January 2008, they participated in Thai

Pongal at the Murugan temple.

In February 2008, they participated in KEEN

(Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) interacting and playing games with children with disabilities.

Above: Priests perform Murugan-Valli-Thevanai Thiru Kalyanam Below: Platters of food for the ceremony and procession

In August 2008, the group together with their

parents helped in cleaning the temple and getting it ready for the Nallur festival.

They also had some social events such as

bowling and summer picnic in Virginia. The Fellowship is looking forward to serving the community for the coming year. If other youth or young professionals are interested to become a

part of this informal organization they can e-mail Piraba Swaminathan for more information at muruganyouthfellowship@gmail.com Page 2

Treasurers Report: Financial Results for the Quarter Ended September 2008
Receipts from religious services, prasatham sales, auditorium rental and merchandize sales reached a record $ 92,948 due to a very high volume of religious services rendered during the Nallur festival celebrated in August 2008. Against these, payments on operations reached $ 53,470, resulting in a surplus of $ 39,478. The surplus was more than adequate to meet mortgage payments and capital expenditures.

Order your copy of the 2009 MTNA Calendar Today!!!

Call the MTNA Manager at 301 552-4889 or order on line at http://www.murugantemple.org
(Continued from page 1) Panguni Uttiram goal of realizing the divinity that lies beneath every aspect of life. With this view in focus, Hinduism stressed a great deal of importance on temple worship, observances of fast, prayer, meditation, repetition of the divine name or a sacred mantra to assist its devotees towards the spiritual path. It is a widely-held Hindu belief that a human life endowed with special mental and intellectual faculties for the express purpose of discerning the ultimate Truth underneath the cover of the deceptive senses should not be frittered away in vain, worldly pursuits alone. Every month of the Hindu year has a significant festival or fast, sometimes more than one, that has been designed to make humanity remember the sacred purpose of life and in particular the reason of the human birth with which each individual has been blessed. One such festival is Panguni Uttiram which gives the Hindus an opportunity to fast and rejoice, to inspire and deepen their religious fervor and ultimately to take a few steps closer to spiritual achievement. Panguni Uttiram which falls in the Tamil month of Pangunimid March to mid Aprilis a festival sacred to Lord Siva. Uttaram is the twelfth natchathiram (constellation) among the twenty seven natchathirams in the Hindu astrological system. The Uttaram natchathiram which falls in the month of Panguni very often with the full moon day is considered as the Panguni Uttiram valipaadu (worshipful) day. The mythological story attached to Panguni Uttiram is given by the Poet Katchiappa Sivaachariyar who lived in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu in the early ninth century in his sacred book Kanthapuranam. He mentions that God Siva married Goddess Parvati on the Panguni Uttiram day in Himalayas and hence the day has become a holy day to the Saivaites and they observe the Kalyanasundarar Viratham (fasting) on this day. Saint Thirugnasambanthar who lived in mid seventh century around the period of Pallava King Mahendravarman (A.D 615A.D 630) makes reference in the holy songs he sang at the Kapaleechvara temple in Mylapore to this festival of Panguni Uttiram and how it was conducted in a grand manner in the temple. In these thevarams which St Sambanthar sang he describes exquisitely the glory and grandeur of this festival and exhorts everyone to participate in the festivities. Panguni Uttiram is also considered a festival celebrating celestial marriagesLord Siva marries Parvati, Lord Subramanya marries Theivanai, Lord Vishnu marries Andal on this special day. This day is considered to be specially favorable for the worship of Lord Siva, Perumal and Lord Murugan. In many south Indian Siva and Murugan temples the annual Thiruvilaa (festivals) is celebrated for ten days ending on the Panguni Uttiram day. This festival draws a big crowd in the south Indian Murugan temples and the simple and unsophisticated people with firm faith in Lord Muruga throng the temples. Each day, the utsava deity of Lord Murugan along with his divine consorts of Valli and Theivanai is taken in procession in the forenoon and again at night. The deity is richly bedecked with jewels in different styles throughout the festival period. This festival is replete with attractions such as bright illumination, religious discourses by eminent scholars, musical concerts by famous artists, shadow play and karakam dance display. The sincere worshippers spend the day in fasting and prayers, breaking the fast only in the nights with a simple meal of milk and fruits. Pondering on the deep significance of this festival of Panguni Uttiram, a spiritual aspirant understands that there is much more than what meets our outward vision of a marriage ceremony between Siva and Parvathy or Murugan and Theivanai. Spiritually this ceremony where Siva weds Parvathy symbolizes the union of the one and only transcendent Absolute Siva and the creative energy of Sakthi with which the whole creation is activated. Lord Siva, the indivisible and inseparable One condescends to unfold Himself into duality for the sake of the Universe and all its creatures and thereby with this mingling He teaches the unity and oneness of life. To speak in mundane terms, Sakthi represents the individual soul and its yearning to merge with the universal soul which is represented by the One and Only Lord Siva. So too in a Hindu marriage, the bride and the groom represent the divine couple and the emphasis laid in the marriage is that the family is just a step towards attaining final liberation. We are all fortunate that the Murugan Temple of North America, true to Saivaite tradition, celebrates Panguni Uttiram in a grand manner with Lord Muruga given all the splendor and glory that is befitting Him on such a holy day. Let us hope and pray that we all utilize this wonderful chance to be in close proximity and in the divine presence of our beloved Lord Muruga and obtain His grace to bless us all. (Continued from page 1) Thanksgiving Volunteers

Several generations of devotees pack homemade vegetarian lunches for the homeless Thanksgiving is a time of thanking the God All Mighty for what we have, and have achieved in life. It is also a time of expressing ourselves in the care of others less privileged. We show our appreciation for all that we have by giving to and caring for the less privileged. In recognition of this, about 20 devotees of Murugan Temple prepared and served Thanksgiving vegetarian meal to the residents of PGHouse in Prince Georges County, Maryland on Saturday 22nd of November, 2008. For future volunteer events, please call the Temple Manager at 301-552-4889.

Murugan Temple of North America 6300 Princess Garden Parkway Lanham, MD 20706, USA



Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID So. MD Permit No. 3958


Order Your Murugan Temple Calendar of Religious Events for 2009

As in last year, the Temple Calendar of Religious Events will be available for purchase at $ 6 per calendar during the early part of January 2009. The calendar will be 12 pages with a page for each month. Each month will carry a picture of one of the deities in the Temple. The Calendar will also have reference to a Panchangam, which will be available on the Temple's web site at http://www.MuruganTemple.Org. Upon request, the calendar can be mailed for an additional charge of $ 4 for postage. A free pocket calendar will also be available. Order on-line at http:// www.murugantemple.org. You may also write 6300 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham, MD 20706; email us at MTNAInfo@yahoo.com; or call 301 552-4889 for copies to be mailed with your payment or for copies to be reserved for pick up at the Temple.
TEMPLE SERVICES: Call the Temple Manager at 301 552-4889 to make prior arrangements for ceremonies at the Temple or in your home. Also, ask for information about local hotels. TEMPLE HOURS: Monday Friday 9 am 12 noon & 5 pm - 9 pm; Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays 9 am 9 pm AUDITORIUM: The Temples auditorium capable of seating about 200 people in the basement is available for rent by Devotees. The Temple has also ample parking space. Call the Temple Manager at 301 552-4889 for reservations. DIRECTIONS TO MURUGAN TEMPLE: From I-95 (also 495, Capital Beltway), take exit 20-A, Lanham (Rte 450 East), then follow the signs to Princess Garden Parkway. Turn right on Princess Garden Parkway. Murugan Temple is on your left within half a mile (6300 Princess Garden Parkway) From Baltimore-Washington Parkway take Exit to Rt. 193 East Greenbelt Road. Turn left on Greenbelt Road. Turn right on Hanover Parkway, which becomes Princess Garden Parkway. Drive about 2.5 miles. The temple is on the right side. Page 4

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