Venkat Raman –
It would be realisation of a dream for hundreds of devotees of Lord Murugan, known by various other names including Subramaniyar, as a Temple devoted to the ‘Conqueror of Evil’ opens in Auckland on May 3, 2015.
Three days of religious observances and festivities will commence on May 1, culminating in Maha Kumbabishegam on the final day.
Swaminathan, who bears one of the names of Lord Murugan, is the Priest at the Temple. He is also known as Harish Venkat.
The opening of the Temple would in particular bring pride and satisfaction to Ilango Krishnamoorthy, Director of Mercury Printz and President of the New Zealand Hindu Temple Society which owns the Temple, who has struggled with various challenges over the past four years, not the least of which were those involving compliance and finance.
He and his team have in essence created an environment for worship and learning as the Temple Complex, located at 69 Tidal Road in Mangere is used for educational, cultural, social and religious activities as well.
“As well as providing a more spacious place of worship for our Lord, we hope to make the Temple complex a rendezvous for the elderly to meet, exchange greetings and spend quality time. This will also be a Community Centre teaching Tamil and Telugu, Reading and other useful activities,” Mr Krishnamoorthy said.
Built at an estimated cost of $675,000, comprising a bank loan of $110,000 and the balance raised as interest free private loan, the built-up area comprising 330 square meters, is perched on 2198 Square Meters land.
The total project cost, including all works, is expected to be about $750,000.
Mr Krishnamoorthy acknowledged the support and contributions of a growing number of people from the community, with special reference to A Mahasivam, Gopalan Iyengar, Jeevan Siva Thambiah, Dr Krishnamurthi, Subramani Goundar, Vai Ravindan, Dr Varadarajan, Veerasamy Naidu, the late Venugopalan and Yogesh Raja.
He said that the late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, 162nd Preceptor of the Nandinatha Sampradaya’s Kailasa Parampara initiated the New Zealand Hindu temple Society Inc, which was incorporated in 1996.
“Since then the Society has achieved significant achievements, the first of which occurred in 1999 when Gurudeva presented us with the Idol of Lord Ganesha, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Two years later (2001), we purchased the property located at 41 Stanhope Road in Ellerslie raising a private loan and in 2005, purchased the Tidal Road property. We initiated plans to carve the idols of Deities in granite,” he said.
Mr Krishnamoorthi said that the Shiva Lingam and the Presiding Deities of Subramaniyar, Venkateswarar (Balaji), Bhairavar, Hanuman, Muneeswaran, Madurai Veeran, Bhuvaneswari, Saraswathi, Garudalvaar arrived in 2012.
“We also received the ‘Vahanas’ (Vehicles) of various Deities including Peacock, Mushik (mouse) and Nandi. Construction began during the same year. We believe that Madurai Veeran, the First Grama Devata (Patron Deity) of New Zealand, has been guiding us graciously since construction began in 2012,” Mr Krishnamoorthy said.
A unique opportunity
Among the other officials of the New Zealand Hindu Temple Society are S Subbiah Mahalingam (Vice-President), Charanya Mohanakrishnan (Secretary), Rajaguru Rajamanickam (Treasurer) and Rajkumar Velu (Chairperson, Festival and Events).
“It is a once-in-a-life time opportunity to be involved in the construction of a Temple. Such an opportunity arises only out of Divine Desire and Divine Ordainment. Even in the bygone era of Emperors and Kings, such opportunity was afforded only to the rich and elite. However, our humble effort in New Zealand involves Hindus and anyone in fact who evinces interest in such projects,” Mr Krishnamoorthy said.
He said that the Temple Society was in need of volunteers who are able to devote up to four hours of their time every week to attend to various tasks and new members to participate in the activities of the Society and the Temple.
The Three-Day Programme
Friday, May 1, 2015: 530 am: Commencement of celebrations with Ganapathi Homam; 830 am to 430 pm: Prayers, Homams with Maha Prasad served after Midday. 730 pm: Installation of Murthis with Navarathnas, Gold and Silver with Yantras
Saturday, May 2, 2015: 830 am: Homam and Ashtapanthanam; 1030 am to 5 pm Application of Oil (Sesame Oil only) by Priests and devotees with Maha Prasad served after Midday;
Sunday, May 3, 2015: 8 am: Homam; 10am to 1130 am Maha Kumbabishegam for Moola Murthis; Maha Prasad around Midday; 7 pm: Murugan Thirukalyanam;
48 days of Mandala Poojai and Abishegam done daily