Rajasthan News

Rajasthani Deities welcomed at Sunnyvale with celebrations

by RajasthanDirect
Sep 04, 2013

Patrons and devotees welcomed three deity shrines to the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple — Salasar Ke Balaji, Khatu Ke Shyam Ji and Jhunjhunu Ki Ranisati Dadi — with joy and enthusiasm at the Pran Pratishtha ceremony here Sept. 1.

The shrines, which were settled in their new home over the course of two-day celebrations Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, are important pilgrimage centers in Rajasthan symbolizing the religious belief and faith of millions of people in and outside the state. This is the first temple of these deities outside India.

“We were thinking that all communities have their representation in all the temples everywhere. Marwaris have never come out. They are never that extroverted,” Ashok K. Gupta, president and secretary of Dadi Parivar USA Foundation, told India-West. “Also, we were thinking of getting something for the generations to come….My grandson’s grandson will be born here, raised and married here so things will be different for him and his attachment for the homeland will not be the same like us.”

The beautiful, pure white marble deities which now adorn the temple have been brought from Jaipur in Rajasthan and each weighs about 600 pounds. The new addition to the temple, besides being a place of worship, is also meant to facilitate the cultural needs of the community in particular and other devotees in general.

“It is a matter of pride for Rajasthanis who travel to India to get their child’s mundan (traditional head shave of babies) done can now do so here in this temple. I have a firm belief that Sunnyvale temple will become the Tirth Sthan (pilgrimage center) for Marwaris in the U.S.,” added Gupta.

An idol of Lord Shani Dev was also installed in the temple premises.

The celebrations began in the morning with an invocation of the Gods after which priests performed a Havan followed by the worship of the idols. Dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire, devotees participated in the “Shobha Yatra,” where the smaller versions of the idols were taken around the temple before the Pran Pratishtha. The ceremony was rounded out with Mangal Arti.

The newly renovated temple aims at addressing the diverse Indian American population as different Hindu deities are favored in different states of India.

“It is a Sanatan Dharma temple in a real sense where people from all areas are represented. You can see idols from all over India here. The number of devotees is constantly increasing here,” Raj Bhanot, co-founder and treasurer of the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, told India-West.

“In December or January we would be getting deity of Sindhi community, Lord Jhulelal Ji, to the temple and also deities from Maharashtra and Kerala,” he added.

The Rajasthani women donned their favorite colorful leheriyas, (a traditional Rajasthani dress) and kept themselves busy with celebrations and prayers.

“It feels amazing because you connect to some deity and when you see them here it’s like they have come to you. You have someone to trust and they are here for you now. You feel closer to home,” Silky, a San Jose resident who was accompanied by her husband for the ceremony, told India-West.

Following two days of religious rituals, a musical evening was held with performances by Bay area dance groups and by Sharad More from Kolkata, which clearly delighted the audience. More sang to ardent devotees who danced in circles, cheered and sang hymns inside the hall of the temple with great fervor. The devotional songs and bhajans included “Haare Ka Tu Hai Sahaara Sanware,” “Har Janam Mein Maiya Tera Saath Chahiye, Sar Par Mere Dadi Tera Haath Chahiye,” “Hanuman Ko Khush Karna Aasan Hota Hai, Sindoor Chadhane Se Har Kaam Hota Hai,” and a Rajasthani touch was given by singing the Hanuman bhajan, “Uttha Toh Bolaa Ram Baithe Toh Bolaa Raam” in Marwari.

Food was served to all devotees on both days of the event.

src: http://www.indiawest.com/news/13345-rajasthani-deities-welcomed-to-sunnyvale-hindu-temple.html

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