Madurai, May 4 : The famous “Thirukkalyanam” (celestial wedding) of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareswarar was performed on Monday in ‘low profile’ without the congregation of devotees at renowned Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here, due to the countrywide coronavirus lockdown. The divine wedding was solemnized between the auspicious hours of 0905 AM and 0929 AM, at “Sethi Mandapam” inside the temple premises by four ‘bhattacharyas’ (priests) amid chanting of Vedic hymns.
The celestial wedding event was held as part of the 12-day annual “Chithirai Brahmotsavam” festival. Thousands of devotees from various parts of the State throng the temple in general to witness the event that was held in a grand manner, but this year the congregation of devotees was banned by Tamil Nadu government owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chithirai Brahmotsavam festival of Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple was cancelled this year. But, however the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department gave permission to perform the celestial wedding in low profile, as per the “Agama Shastra” of the temple. The HR and CE department also granted permission for a meager 42 people, including the four bhattacharyas to perform the celestial wedding event as per tradition.
Usually, about 20 priests perform the Thirukkalyanam ritual, as the priests from Lord Subramaniya Swamy Temple at Tirupparankundram, who bring the idols of Lord Subramaniya Swamy, his consort goddess Deivanai and Lord Pavalakanivai Perumal to accompany the “divine couple” (goddess Meenakshi and lord Sundareswarar) during the celestial wedding rituals, too take part. But, this year the number of priests has been restricted to only four. The event was live streamed on the temple website, HR and CE department website and social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube channel etc for the convenience of devotees. Lakhs of people watched the Thirukkalyanam event online from their houses. (UNI)