World’s first Ganesh Chaturthi at Papakura Temple

32 Special Wooden Statues installed

Venkat Raman

Sri Ganesha Temple, incorporating ‘Karpaga Vinayagar,’ in the South Auckland suburb of Papakura became the first in the world to commence ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ Festival with special prayers offered to the Lord and other Deities on September 1, 2019.

The event was exclusive to donor families and hence was not publicised. Thousands of people visited the Temple every day until September 12, 2019 to participate in the Festival.

Among the highlights of the Pre-Chaturthi Festival was the installation of 32 Wooden Statues, donated by as many individuals and families, along the walls in the Main Temple Hall, each carrying 32 different names of Lord Ganesha.

Each of the names depicts the Lord in various ‘Moods,’ ‘Stances’ and stages of life of Lord Ganesha, known to the Tamil-speaking people as ‘Pillayarappa,’ ‘Vinayakar’, among other names including those of places.

Special Prayers

Vinayaka Chaturthi Festival began with Vigneswara Pooja, Puniyaha Vahachanam, Procession of 32 Wooden Ganesha Idols around the Temple by the respective donors, Installation of the Murthis on the Temple Wall, Nithya  Pooja and Anna Dhanam.

Chief Priest Parameswaran Chandru, who is endeared by a cross-section of New Zealanders including by people of other religions and faiths, conducted the proceedings with the support of his other Priests.

He said, “This Temple has not only the blessings of Vinayakar, the Main Deity but also that of the Trustee, Devotees and people of New Zealand. We are extremely proud and privileged to have 32 Wooden Statues donated by our devotees. Vinayaka Chaturthi is the most important Festival for this Temple and activities this year were extensive,” he said.

Chandru said that special prayers were held every day.

Among them were Asta Draviya Sahitha Moola Mantra Homam, Vishesha Ganapathi Homam, Vigneswara Pooja, Puniyaha Vachanam; Sthapana Kumba Pooja; Draviya Homam; Draviya Abhishekam; Morning Special Arathi for Chaturthi; Vigneswara Pooja, Swasthi Punniyaham; Kalasha Pooja and other Sevas.

Pictures for Indian Newslink by Nagesh Nemani

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