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Devotees shower Lord Shanbukha

Posted by admin On November - 4 - 2009  Print  Email  

“Om Gam Ganapatayae Namaha.”

With this prayer, may all your works be attended with victory and success.

Moushika, the big mouse, sits on a shrine outside the temple doors facing Lord Ganesh. His is the first face it sees when the doors open and the last when it closes.

PRO Ganapathy Padamanadhan explains about Moushika

PRO Ganapathy Padamanabhan explains about Moushika

Behind is a beautiful walkway with the 16 different forms of Lord Ganesh mounted on pillars, eight on each side, separated by potted palms. Donation trays are mounted near the deities.   The walkway leads from the pavement into the Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam, the Ganesh Temple, at 45-57 Bowne Street, Flushing. It is the headquarters of The Hindu Temple Society of North America. When I visited yesterday many devotees came and performed pooja and left. The gift shop was open and so too, the canteen.

Lord Ganesh’s vahana, his conveyance or vehicle, is Moushika, the big mouse, public relations officer Ganapathy Padmanabhan, explains, pointing to the sculpture with a colourful fresh flower mala (garland) around its neck.

Moushika was once an asura, a demon, in the form of a huge mouse. In spite of his strength he was defeated by Lord Ganesh in battle and was reduced in size and made his vahana. His position, that is, being seated on top of the mouse represents agility and grace.

Moushika, Lord Ganesh's vahana.

Moushika, Lord Ganesh's vahana.

Inside the temple, three Hindu priests are performing individual pooja at different shrines. It’s Tuesday, Padmanabhan continues, the day we give holy shower to Lord Shanbukha. “It’s when we use all the nice things, like milk, sugar, yogurt, honey, fruit juice, which we offer one after the other and cleanse with water. All this while chanting holy hymns.”

Each day of the week is dedicated to a different kind of pooja, he explains. Seven days, seven different poojas for different deities. During the week devotees trickle into the temple and many of them perform archana, the shortest Hindu ritual which includes the chanting of the 108 names of God and which takes between five and ten minutes to complete. This is so because many devotees are working and busy, but they still take time to visit the temple and worship, he says.

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Hi. My name is Susan Gosine-Herrera. I live in Queens, New York. This news blog is my way of highlighting all the interesting things, people and events I come across in this part of New York. If you have an interesting immigrant story or know of one or of an interesting immigrant, I will be happy to feature that story in these pages. Just send an email and I will be in touch. Meanwhile, live like a tourist, enjoy all you can, before you move on.

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