By Bala Menon
BRAMPTON: The new Lord Krishna (Guruvayurappan) temple in Brampton – at Countryside and Torbram – organized a celebration on Sunday to allow devotees to get a glimpse of the idols which have arrived from Kerala.
Carved in stone by traditional temple artisans, the idols were welcomed with ‘chenda melam’, a joyful rendition by drummers and circumambulation of the temple by devotees.
(Circumambulation of temples or deity images is an integral part of Hindu and Buddhist devotional practice – known in Sanskrit as pradakshina).
The day’s event included chanting of 10 chapters from the Narayaneeyam and one chapter from Bhagavatam – the story of Lord Krishna. A recital of ‘Gopika Geetham’ followed. This is a set of slokas (verses) from the Srimad Bhagavatham, and is a celestial song sung by maidens in praise of Lord Krishna.
Among the guests at the celebrations was Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown who said his visit to Kerala and cruising its backwaters were one of the most delightful memories from his 19 trips to India. He wished the temple well and said the City of Brampton would always be available to assist the organizers in any way.
Dr. P.K. Kutty, President of the temple committee, described how the construction of the temple was a dream come true and one that was 20 years in the making.
The temple architecture and the sculptures within were all based on shastras and temple architectural principles of ancient Kerala. Dr. Kutty said the temple is expected to emerge as the spiritual epicenter for Hindus of North America.
The chief priest of the temple is Divakaran Namboothiri. He was the chief priest at the main Guruvayoor temple in Kerala for several years, before becoming the priest at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Maryland, USA and later at the Sri Lakshmi temple in Boston.
The idols will be consecrated in a grand celebration lasting a fortnight, beginning on Thursday, July 3, 2019 with rituals and special ceremonies, followed by the actual installation on July 8. This will be followed by cultural and religious programs from July 11 to July 16, by several local talent and noted artists from Kerala.
– Pics By Balu Menon Photography