THE SRI Balavinayagar Temple in Bharani Colony, Saligramam, Chennai, was consecrated in 1983 as a small temple to begin with. It has been and is being maintained and expanded by the residents of the Colony through donations from outsiders, and sometimes through their own personal funds.
The temple has grown with time. In 1988, an annual Ekadina Laksharchanai Mahotsavam was started for Sri Balavinayagar, the presiding deity of the temple, and has been performed for the last 15 years. This mahotsavam takes place on January 26 every year, the day on which Sri Balavinayagar was installed in 1983. Many Vedic rituals are carried out and Thirupugazh bhajans sung, as part of this mahotsavam. A samapandhi bhojanam (Annadaanam) takes place following the mahotsavam, for about 400 people. Apart from this, on every Poornima day, about 100 needy people are fed under the Annadhanam scheme. A rare and beautiful ritual an Oonjal Utsavam for Sri Balavinayagar, marks the evening of the grand day.
In 2000, a Rajagopuram was installed for Sri Balavinayagar and a grand Kumbabhishekam was performed. Shrines for Subramaniar, Anjaneyar, Dhakshinamurthy, Lakshmi Narayanar and Durga Parameshwari were added to the temple.
During the month of Margazhi (Dhanur Maasam), grand poojas are conducted at the temple early in the morning, as per norm. During the Navarathri festival (all 10 days including Vijayadasami), beautiful alangaram and aradhana are performed to Goddess Durga apart from the Utsavamurthi. In general, the temple is undertaking all possible efforts to promote Hindu religion by celebrating all festivals and performs Homams for the welfare of all, as required.
At the southwest end of the temple is the Ashwatha Vriksham (Arasa Maram or the Peepul tree). As per tradition, upanayanam and marriage was performed for the Arsa Maram and a Naga prathistai was done at the base of the Peepul tree.
About eight months ago, K. Subramanian, temple trustee, proposed the installation of 16 Ganapathy idols (Shodasa Ganapathy), and people readily came forward to contribute. But God's intentions seem to be different. Roots emerged from the trunks of the Peepul tree, which is a rare phenomenon. In a few weeks' time, the roots took shape as the crown face, tusk and the trunk of "Narthana Ganapathy" (in dancing posture) in the middle of the tree trunk, to the surprise of all devotees.
Also, many other forms of Ganesha, as many as eight forms, are now found emerging from the tree trunk.
Tradition demands that a roof be constructed over the Swayambhu Vinayagars to perform religious ceremonies. So the temple committee has undertaken the construction of a roof on the southern side of the temple.
Funds for the same are being collected from devotees. Contributions may be sent to K. Subramanian, president, Sri Balavinayagar Aastheega Samajam, Bharani Colony, Saligramam, Chennai-600093. (Phone: 2483 2017).
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