Auckland, September 20, 2018
Hindus traditionally worship Lord Ganesha or Lord Vinayaka before commencing any event (including weddings, engagement ceremonies and religious programmes) as He is considered as the ‘Remover of All Obstacles,’ ensuring success of the venture.
The Birthday of Lord Ganesha, known as ‘Ganesha Chaturthi’ is marked by Hindus all over the world, usually in September.
New Zealand Specialty
New Zealand is known for religious tolerance, interfaith dialogue and promotion of multicultural values. These qualities were evident at the ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi,’ organised by the Telangana Association of New Zealand on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall, located at 13, May Road in Mt Roskill in Auckland.
Association President Kalyan Rao Kasuganti said that the Annual Celebration of Lord Ganesha is widely observed by the Hindu community across the world.
“The ten-day festival commences with special Poojas, recitation of slokas, rendition of Kirtans, cultural programmes including music and dance and concludes with the immersion of the Idol of Lord Ganesha at sea,” he said.
Mr Kalyan said that families welcome Lord Ganesha to their homes and chant hymns, perform Pooja and Aarti to celebrate the auspicious day.
Sandeep Acharya, Narendra Reddy Patlola and Vijay Reddy Kosna preparing for the Pooja
“The Pooja at the Telangana Association this year was performed by Sandeep Acharya, with the assistance of Narender and Varsha Reddy Patlola and Vijay and Sunitha Reddy Kosna. The arrival of the Idol of Lord Ganesha, carried by devotees, marked the beginning of the celebrations. The prayer included, ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavantu,’ meaning, ‘May everyone be happy.’ We felt blessed by the Lord,” Mr Kalyan said.
Women offering prayers to Lord Ganesha
More than 200 members of the community were present at the event. They included Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Priyanca Radhakrishnan (respectively National and Labour List MPs) and New Zealand Indian Central Association General Secretary Prakash Biradar.
Telangana Association President Kalyan Rao Kasuganti with Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Priyanca Radhakrishnan
Among the highlights of the festivity was rendition of Kirtans and songs by men and women and the auction of a ‘large Laddu.’
Mr Kalyan said that the Laddu, made by Muralidhar and Vijayalakshmi Rangu, was purchased in auction for $1616 by Srihari Rao Banda, a member of the community.
Celebrations in Hyderabad
“The Festival in Telangana witnesses tens of thousands of people praying in front of huge Idols of Lord Ganesha and Extra Large Laddus being auctioned, with the proceeds spent on community welfare. The Khairtabad Ganesh Pooja, held in Hyderabad, the Capital of Telangana, accounts for one of the biggest and most popular Ganesha festivals in India. The idol made this year was 57 feet in height,” he said.