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Music And Dance For Mahalakshmi

Ranjani Saigal

“When Thai is born, it paves the way for hope” says an old Tamil adage.  The month of Thai in the Thamizh calendar is considered to be the most auspicious of all months. Starting with Pongal, the harvest festival on January 14th, the month of Thai extends up to mid February.

The Fridays in Thai are considered very special for Goddess Mahalakshmi and each year on the third Friday in the month of Thai musicians and dancers make artistic presentations as part of a special prayer offered to the Goddess at the Sri Lakshmi temple in Ashaland, MA.

The presentation this year was held on Friday , Feb 3. The musical offering began with the rhythm section. Ulhas Rao and Arun Saigal played a lovely Jugalbandi on the Mridangam. This was followed by a presentation on the Veena by Smt. Durga Krishnan.  Vocal presentation by Amrita Mangalat and a violin presentation by Suhas Rao completed the musical section of the offerings. Smt. Soumya Ramanathan presented a couple of dances bringing the program to a lovely conclusion. It is always a delight to hear Smt Durga Krishnan's Veena.  Soumya Ramanathan always succeedes in creating an impact with her grace and talent. Youngsters Amrita, Suhas, Ulhas and Arun clearly proved that children born in the New England soil can also make Indian classical musical presentation that would please critical ears.

Hindus accept that God comes in many forms and is worshipped by people in different ways, all of which is acceptable to the Almighty.  This truth was brought home to the devotees at the temple on Thai Vellikazamai  where while Lakshmi devotees were enjoying special prayers offered to Lakshmi,  Murugan devotees were performing Shashti Poojai and heralding their Lord with shouts of “Murganukku Haraharohara”.  Special prayers were being offered by Priest Bhairavasundaram to Lord Shiva as well. Unity in Diversity was shining brightly at the Lakshmi temple.

As we move towards the end of Thai and beginning of Masi, we look forward to the festival of Shivarathri. In a first of its kind attempt at the temple,  there will be a participatory Abhishekam for Shivalingam where devotees themselves will perform the Abhishekam for the Lingam under the direction of the priest.

Nrithyanajali – A prayer through dance is planned for February 26 .

For more information please look up the temple's website at





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