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The Shiva Vishnu temple in Livermore, California kicked off the start of the Ayyappa Mandala Puja in a very grand manner on November 15, 2008. The function was very well attended. 250+ devotees participated in the event. Over 200 devotees ate the special dinner (Sambar Rice, Potato Curry, Curd Rice and Chakkara Pongal) that was prepared by the volunteers at the temple. The volunteers from Ayyappa Samaaj (YahooGroups: Ayyappasamaaj -- Click here to join Ayyappasamaaj: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ayyappasamaaj/join) sponsored the Annadhana on November 15th morning and also prepared the food that morning. We had Thalapolli for our Lord Ayyappa to the accompaniment of "Chenda", the traditional music in all Kerala temples. Over 50 women and children participated in the Thalapolli. Thalappoli, a ceremonial procession, is a significant item in most of the festivals in Kerala In this ritual, women or young girls carry thalam, which literally means plate, in their hands. Thalam is filled with rice, flowers and a lighted lamp. Thalappoli is considered a symbol of prosperity The 18 steps for Lord Ayyappa was renovated and there were special decorations around the 18 steps. Many "Ayyappas" commenced their vratam by wearing the Thulasi Mala during the function. Many more "ayyappas" are scheduled to wear the Mala on November 23rd. There were over 30 volunteers from Bay Area Ayyappasamaaj who actively participated in the preparation and smooth conduct of the proceedings of the the puja. Click here to join Ayyappasamaaj: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ayyappasamaaj/join Swami Saranam! Prasad
16 Oct 2009
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