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Welcome to SriRanganatha Temple, Pomona, NY
Major Festivals celebrated at Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona, New York
 

The Temple follows the Visishtadvaita Philosophy as given by Bhagavad Sri Ramanujacharya, as elaborated by Sri NigamAntha Maha Desika and as currently followed by the Jeers of Sri Ahobila Mutt, India. ALL devotees, irrespective of their birth or current status have an equal opportunity to reach the Lotus Feet of the Lord in Sri Vaikuntham (Moksham) by following the path of SaraNagathi, or Absolute Surrender to Lord Sriman Narayana.

 

All festivals conducted by the Temple are in strict accordance with the Temple philosophy and traditions. These elaborate festivals are conducted in a very grand manner (some have likened these events to events conducted at the DivyaDesams in India) and there is active and loving participation by thousands of devotees who are constantly drawn to the Divine Beauty and Splendor of the Divya Dampathi who beckon the devotees to surrender at their Lotus Feet.

 

To navigate to individual festivals click on the links below:

Sri Vaikunta Ekadesi Annual Grand Brahmotsavam Sri Rama Navami Sri Nammazhwar Moksham Adhyana Utsavam
Sri Panguni Uthiram Acharaya Thirunakshatrams Sri Jayanthi Sri LakshmiNarasimha Jayanthi Deepavali
 

Sri Vaikunta Ekadesi

 

Sri Vaikunta Ekadasi

This important festival is celebrated late December or early-January and is attended by large numbers of devotees.  Early in the morning, the melodious and soul stirring  Thirupavvai is sung by the devotees assembled in front of Sri Andal Sannidhi. Every year, on this day the Sri Vaikunta Dwaram of the Temple is opened and the Most Beautiful Lord Ranganatha, decked in MuthuAlankaram (Pearl Coat) and other finery is carried on a decorated pallaki through the Sri Vainkunta Dwaram to bless His devotees. Devotees chant with great fervor, the Sri Vaikunta Gadyam of Bhagavad Ramanuja followed by various other holy prayers including VishnuSahasranamam.  A special day, indeed, for all Shri Vaishnavas!


Sri Nammazhwar Moksham

 

Sri NammAzhwAr Moksham

This special event in Shri Vaishnavism is celebrated in last 2 weeks of December. Sri Nammazhar is the leading acharya of Shri Vaishnavism. This event includes a rich and colorful enactment of Sri Nammazhar’s ascent to Sri Vaikuntam; the Divya Dampathi’s joy in seeing him and the devotees’ prayers to the Lord to return Nammazhwar to Bhulokam. A very large goshti (devotees in traditional attire reciting sacred prayers) takes part in the enactment and hundreds of devotees attend to witness and be blessed by this great event.  The decorations, religious ambience and special alankarams are a joy to behold.


Sri Rama Navami

 

Sri Ramanavami

Sri SeethaSametha Ramachandra’s birthday is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur in March/April. Sriman Narayana incarnated as Sri Rama on this day, to bless mankind, to eradicate evil, and to show how human beings should ideally live their lives based on the highest Dharmic principles. Srimad Ramayana is a timeless epic and has been a source of inspiration to mankind for ages.  Sri Rama, the Most Mericiful, was generous in offering His Protection to all who would surrender at His Lotus Feet. The Vibhishana Saranagathi is one of the most moving examples of Saranagathi in the vishishtadvaita philosophy.  


Sri Panguni Uthiram

 

Panguni Uthram

Sri Mahalakshmi (Sri Ranganayaki Thayar)’s birthday is celebrated on this day. This event draws huge crowds of devotees who come to get the Divine Mother’s Loving  Blessings and to witness an enthralling reenactment of the interaction between Lord Sri Ranganatha, Sri Ranganayaki Thayar and Sri Nammazhar (as mediator).  It is the only day each year that Sri Ranganayaki Thayar and Lord Sri Ranganatha are seen together. It is also that day on which Bhagavad Ramanuja performed Saranagathi to Sri Ranganayaki and Sri Ranganatha and composed the 3 gadyams – Saranagathi gadyam, SriRanga gadyam and SriVaikunta gadyam for the benefit of the Lord’s devotees.


Sri LakshmiNarasimha Jayanthi

 

Nrishima Jayanti

Sri LakshmiNarasimha’s birthday is celebrated in May in a very grand manner and is a special event at the Temple which follows Sri Ahobila Mutt traditions. The presiding diety of Sri Ahobila Mutt is Sri LakshmiNarasimha (also called Malolan). There are 9 Narasimha temples in Sri Ahobilam and the presiding Jeeyar (Azhagiya Singar) of the Sri Ahobila Mutt is considered to be the 10th Narasimha. The Supreme Lord took the avatar of Sri LakshmiNarasimha to protect the child Prahalada and his unshakeable faith in Sriman Narayana, and to destroy evil. The Lord in this Form is an instant grantor of the devotee’s prayers. The Moolavar and Utsavar Moorthies at the Temple are a divine sight to behold. 


Janmashtami (Sri Jayanthi)

 

Sri Krishna Jayanti

The Beloved and Adorable Sri Krishna’s birthday is celebrated today with an amazing array of delicious prasadam dishes, sweets and of course, butter. The Supreme Lord and Jagadguru steals the hearts of devotees in the most dazzling alankaram. Devotees enjoy the elaborate Thirumanjanam (abhisekam), alankaram, melodious bhajans, and rocking the jhoola in which Baby Krishna is sleeping. This is a very well attended event.


Deepavali

 

Deepavali

The Festival of Lights in honor of Sri Mahalakshmi is a major event at the Temple. Women devotees participate in the evening Mahalakshmi Puja which is done with lamps, kumkum and a picture of Mahalakshmi which is all supplied by the Temple. Once again, the alankarams (decorations) are a feast to the eyes. Devotees enjoy the Divine ambience and a feast of prasadam that follows.


 Acharaya Thirunakshatrams (birthdays)

 

Acharya Nakshatram

The Acharyas’ Grace is all important to the devotees and to the Temple. All of the Acharyas’ birthdays are celebrated with pomp and grandeur. These acharyas include:

  • Swami Vedanta Desikan

  • Bhagavad Ramanuja

  • Nammazhwar

  • All other Azhwars

  • AdiVann Satagopan [Founder Jeeyer of Sri Ahobila Mutt]

  • Srimate SriVann Satagopa Sri VedantaDesikaYatindra Mahadesikan [Founder Acharya of the Temple and 44th Jeeyar (Mukkur Azhagiya Singar) of Sri Ahobila Mutt]

  • Srimate Sri LakshmiNarasimha DivyaPaduka Sevaka SriVann Satagopa Sri NarayanaYateendra Mahadesikan [Present Acharya of the Temple and 45th Jeeyar (Azhagiya Singar) of Sri Ahobila Mutt]


Annual Grand Brahmotsavam (multi day event)

 

KalpaVriksha Vahanam
Above: Brahmotsavam - KalpaVriksha Vahanam

Seshavahanam
Above: Brahmotsavam - Seshavahanam

Garuda Vahanam
Above: Brahmotsavam - Garuda Vahanam

Hanumantha Vahanam
Above: Brahmotsavam - Hanumantha Vahanam

Kalayana utsavam
Above: Brahmotsavam - Kalyana utsavam

Rathosavam
Above: Brahmotsavam - Rathotsavam

The Temple has been celebrating Annual multi day Brahmotsavams since 2007. The event generally takes place in July and is spread over several days. The Supreme Lord, Sriman Narayana, instructed Lord Brahma to celebrate Brahotsavam in a very grand manner for the benefit of mankind. Brahmotsavam is among the most important festivals to be celebrated in all of the major Divyadesams in India, example, Tirupati, Srirangam, Kanchipuram, etc. The Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona Brahmotsavam festival is now being recognized as one of the largest Brahmotsvam festivals in the USA.

 

During the various Brahmotsavam days, the Supreme Ruler of the Three Worlds, Lord Sri Ranganatha, is carried around the Temple in various majestic Vahanams (Mounts or Vehicles) and in various delightful Alankarams. It is a sight to be seen, for words can hardly describe the Beauty and Splendor and Divine Experience of the Brahmotsavam. The Temple currently has 4 silver clad enchanting Vahanams – KalpaVriksha, Sesha, Garuda and Hanumantha. Each of these Vahanams (and accompanying poles) is around 800 pounds. Typically, 2 priests stand on top of the vahanam carrying an umbrella each to provide shade to the Supreme Lord. The total weight can be in excess of 1,000 pounds. The Temple has over 100 dedicated blessed Vahanam volunteers who delight in carrying, on their shoulders, the Majestic Lord seated on the Vahanam, around the Temple.  All of these volunteers are dressed in traditional attire (dhothis, no shirts) and the sight of them carrying the Most Beautiful and All Powerful Shriyapathi, in all His Splendor and Majesty, to the musical accompaniment of nadaswaram, thavil, divyaprabhandam and Vedam, is a feast to behold and creates a feeling of Bhuloka Vaikuntam in Pomona, New York.  Starting in 2009, the Temple will also have a 24 feet high silver and teak multi-ton Chariot (Thiruther) donated by a devotee couple.   

 

The important events include:

Dwaja Aroham: This is the traditional hoisting of The Lord’s Flag with the picture of Sri Garuda on it, which marks the start of the festivities.

 
Kalpavriksha Vahanam: The Lord’s vahanam on this day is the KalpaVriksha Tree, or the Celestial Wish Granting Tree. The Sweet Adorable Lord gives darshan as The Sweet Adorable Sri Venugopala playing his flute underneath the tree and mesmerizing all His devotees.
   

 

Sesha Vahanam: The Lord gives darshan on this day as Sri Paramapadanatha, majestically seated on the Sesha Vahanam, as the Supreme Lord of Vaikuntam, the Universe and beyond the Universe. The alankarams (decorations) are breath taking and the Lord beckons His devotees to worship His Lotus Feet.

 

Garuda Vahanam: This is an enthralling event with exquisite and elaborate decorations. The Delightful and All Powerful Lord is seated on the Garuda Vahanam and blesses all His devotees. In 2008, after the devotees recited VishnuSaharanam, they witnessed a lone Garuda in the clear sky doing pradakshnam above the Sri Garuda Vahanam. This was witnessed by over 100 devotees. Everyone was so mesmerized by that event that they did not even think of taking pictures. Please click on Divine SriGaruda Sighting to read some of their testimonials.   

 

Hanumantha Vahanam: Sri Hanumantha, the Lord’s Supreme Devotee, carries Sri SeethasamethaRamachandra on this day. Sriman Narayana’s avatar as the Supremely Merciful SriRamachandra is remembered by one and all on this day. All of the Acharya’s Srimukhams are read out in front of the Lord and melodious bhajans fill the air.

 

Kalyana Utsavam: An elaborate event celebrating the wedding of the Divya Dampathis – Lord Sri Ranganatha and Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. Garlands are exchanged by the Bridegroom and Brides’ parties, there are dances and games, feasts and floral decorations, and melodious nadaswaram and thavil music to mark the Divine Wedding.

  

Rathotsavam: During Rathotsavam or Chariot (ThiruTher) festival, the Supreme Lord and His Consorts are taken around the Temple in a 24 feet high silver and teak multi-ton Chariot pulled by hundreds of devotees, amid chanting of divyaprabhandham and vedam, singing of bhajans, and the melodious nadaswaram and thavil.  Rathotsavam Commenced in year 2009.

 

Pushpayagam:  On this day, the Supreme Lord and His Consorts are worshipped with thousands of beautiful and colorful flowers of various kinds.

 

ChakaraSanam: After Thirumanjanam (Abhisekam) to the Divya Dampathi (Lord Sri Ranganatha and SriDevi and BhuDevi), the Holy Chakram (Discus) of the Supreme Lord is immersed (and taken out) of a body of water on the Temple grounds. Simultaneously, devotees enter the Holy water are sprinkled with the Holy water so that they may receive the Blessings of the Divya Dampathi

 

Gaja (Elephant) Vahanam: Starting in 2011 - The majestic Airavatha, the Celestial Emperor Elephant, carries the Divine Emperor of the Three Worlds, Lord Ranganatha along with His Consort, around the Temple. A priest, sits as a servant, behind the Lord carrying an umbrella. The Temple’s magnificent and enormous GajaVahanam is made of teak, silver and gold and weighs a few tons. The divine sight of the Lord on the GajaVahanam reminds His devotees of His Supremacy over the Universe and beyond the Universe and inspires all to surrender at His Lotus Feet.

 

Ashwa (Horse) Vahanam: Starting in 2011 - Lord Ranganatha, gives darshan as RajaMannar riding on a Celestial Horse. The Lord, in His role as the King of the Universe, is in a sportive mood and races on the AshwaVahanam, on a royal hunting expedition.
 

Pushpayagam
Above: Brahmotsavam - Pushpayagam
ChakraSnanam
Above: Brahmotsavam - ChakraSnanam



Note: Starting from 2012 - Special Vahanas are available exclusively for Children.

 Sesha Vahana for kids  Gaja Vahana for kids  Garuda Vahana for Kids  Hanumantha Vahana for kids
       
 Kalpavrikshana Vahana for kids  Kalyana Utsavam  Ashwa Vahana for Kids  Thiru Ther (Chariot) for Kids


Adhyana Utsavam

 

Adhyana Utsavam

The Temple hosts an elaborate multi day Adhyayana Utsavam in December/January The 4,000 pasurams (verses) of the Divya Prabandham is recited during the event days in the mornings and the evenings. This is similar to the custom followed in SriRangam Temple in India. The goshti (devotees in traditional attire who recite the divyaprabandham) is quite large and comes to Pomona, New York from various parts of the country and the events are very well attended.