By Bala Menon
A 14 day festival of religious and cultural activities is heralding the opening of a grand new place of worship – the Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Located at Countryside and Torbram, the temple has been built according to the ancient Agama Shastra principles of temple construction and Kerala Vastu philosophy, following authentic and rigorous religious protocols.
The stunning architecture of the sanctum sanctorum and three other structures within are based on the specifications and dimensions of the ancient Guruvayoor Temple in Thrissur district of Kerala. Elements of the Brampton temple are not be found in any Hindu place of worship outside India.
Legend says the sanctum at Guruvayoor in Kerala and the idol within are around 5000 years old – with the idol brought from Dwarka in modern day Gujarat by the legendary sage and guru Brihaspati and Vayu the God of Wind. (Hence the name Guru+Vayu).
The pooja routines – all according to Vedic traditions at the temple are the same as set by Adi Shankaracharya and codified in Tantric form around the year 1420. The chief priest at the Brampton Temple Brahmashree Kariyanoor Divakaran Namboodiri was earlier Chief Priest at the Kerala Guruvayoor Temple and is a well-known scholar, poet, story-writer and well-versed in Kerala art forms.
He is also the Thantri – ritual priest – in the Guruvayurappan temples in Dallas and Houston in Texas.
He is assisted by Manoj Nambudiri who is experienced and trained by several noted teachers in Kerala of temple rituals and practices.
The divine idol installed here represents the enchanting form of Krishna (in the form of Lord Vishnu) endowed with four arms carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the Lotus and is similar to the one in Guruvayoor (Ref: Wiki).
The celebrations in connection with the consecration of the temple’s four idols – of Krishna, Ganesha, Ayappan and Devi (Durga) began on July 3. Several priests from Kerala, accompanied by temple percussionists and musicians are conducting daily rituals which will last until July 16.
Cultural programs by local artists – songs, Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyaatam dances and enactments of epic tales through the Kathakali art form are being presented every day in a tented stage on the grounds of the temple.
The president of the Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton, Dr. P. Karunakaran Kutty, told the Voice: “Our temple will be place of worship and prayer. We are not here to spread or promote Hindu religion or any other religion. This temple will be a shining model for all places of worship and serve as an umbrella and asylum for all those in need, welcoming them, irrespective of their country of origin, colour or faith.
“It will be a place to meet and greet, learn and interact as well as support each other in need.”
Several Members of Parliament, MPPs and other elected officials from various levels of government have already visited the temple, as did priests and office bearers of other places of worship in the GTA.