A religious discourse, special Poojas, Bhajans, and a culture programme will usher in a new era for the Auckland based Shri Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Inc as its Temple is formally opened next month.
Members of the Executive Committee, other organisers and volunteers have been working tirelessly to complete various tasks even as contractors and suppliers give finishing touches to their jobs.
The venue will acquire a festive atmosphere appropriate to the Divinity of Shirdi Saibaba, who has brought together not only Hindus but also Muslims, Christians and people of other faiths into His admiration and worship for more than 100 years.
The Sansthan has commissioned a group of priests led by Pundit Suresha Sattanavalli to conduct the poojas befitting the solemnity of the occasion and in consonance with the piety and devotion of Saibaba devotees.
Thousands of people are expected to visit the $6 million complex during the four-day celebrations scheduled to be held from February 6 to 9, 2014.
Sansthan President Bhaskar Reddy Duvvuru said that ‘Yantra Pratista’ (installation of a Hindu symbol, with nine interlocking triangles) and ‘Vigraha Pratista’ (installation of worshipping Deities) will be performed on the morning of February 6.
“Prana Pratista, a ceremony, which in essence energies the Deities as per Hindu rituals will be held during the early hours of February 9, while ‘Kumbabishekham’ (bathing in several forms) of the Main Deity of Shirdi Saibaba will be performed by Priest Chandra Bhanu Satpathy at 830 am. This is one of the most important and significant events for the Temple. In essence, it marks a unique form of blessing,” Mr Duvvuru said.
Priest Satpathy has had an interesting and impressive career. A native of the State of Odisha (formerly Orissa), he joined the Indian Police Service as a commissioned officer, rising to the rank of Director General of Police, a post he held in Uttar Pradesh.
In 1989, he became a ‘full-time devotee’ of Saibaba and since then has been involved in the consecration of more than 300 Temples in India and other countries. He brings with him distinguished grace and dignity that are associated with men and women of God.
Among the other programmes that would be held as a part of the inaugural festivities is placement of pockets of ‘Nava Ratnas’ at $101 per packet.
“This is a life-time opportunity of offering the Nava Ratnas to the Deities. These packets should be purchased on or before February 5. Funds raised will be used for repayment of the loan raised for the construction of the Temple Complex,” Mr Duvvuru said.
More details about the Shri Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan of New Zealand Inc and Shirdi Saibaba will appear in our next issue.