Hindu gods will reportedly be getting married in the coming weeks in grand ceremonies in Arizona, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington states of USA.
Marriage between Lord Sri Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavathi, referred to as “Srinivasa Kalyanam”, will be conducted by team of priests from India’s ancient and sacred Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, said to be the most-visited holy place in the world; in collaboration with Sri Venkata Krishna Kshetra of Tempe (Arizona) on May 19, Hindu Temple of Wisconsin of Pewaukee on May 26, Portland Balaji Temple of Hillsboro (Oregon) on May 27, and Vedic Cultural Center of Sammamish (Washington) on June two.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of India’s Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and temple communities in USA to organize this ancient ceremony.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
Reports suggest that like priests, idols of Hindu deities involved in these wedding ceremonies, and laddu prasadam (blessed food) to be distributed to the attendees, are also flying from Tirumala. Wedding will be held amidst recitation of the Vedic mantras. The sponsorship levels for this ceremony, lasting around 2-3 hours, go up to $1,116. Participation spaces are said to be limited.
Arizona celebration, claimed to first such event in the state, invites the devotees to "witness this celestial marriage here on earth". Washington ceremony is also said to be first such ceremony in Seattle area.
According to Wisconsin temple website: "it is believed that, the region, where these celestial Kalyanams are performed, would be bestowed with peace and prosperity.” Dress code for participants: “Dhoti & Uthareeyam for men. Saree for women. Kurta/Pajama and Salwaars are also permitted.”
Oregon event, claimed to be first time in Portland and described as “divine opportunity”, will be performed in a special mandap ordered from India. It is said that during the ceremony, the idols of the bridegroom and bride face each other with a screen in between and are "allowed to see each other only at the appropriate auspicious moment when the screen is removed."
TTD, headquartered in Tirupati, maintains 12 temples and their sub-shrines, including Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala. According to TTD website: "The Sastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yuga, one can attain mukti (salvation), only by worshiping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara." Kanumuri Bapi Raju and L.V. Subramanyam are Chairman and Executive Officer respectively of the TTD Trust Board.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents.