About the Sri Rajarajeswari Temple

All-three-murtis-croppedThe Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam is a Temple dedicated to Divine Mother Rajarajeswari. Sri Chaitanyananda (Aiya), the Temple founder and Peetadhipati, has explained that the Temple is a “Sakti Pradhana Sivalayam,” meaning that the divine energies of both Siva and Sakti are present, but the Sakti, or Mother, principle is the foremost aspect of Divinity here.

Sri Ganapati and Sri Rajarajeswari reside here in the form of granite murtis, and Lord Siva is present as “Sri Nilakantha Prana Lingeswara,” a beautiful and rare lapis lazuli Siva Lingam. Other Sannidhi deities include Nataraja with Sivakama Sundari, the Navagrahas, Bhairava, Dattatreya,  Ardhanariswara, Skanda with Valli and Devayani, Utsava Ganapati and Utsava Devi.

We Are a “Teaching Temple”

Our Temple was founded on Aiya’s unique vision that all sincere devotees have the right to chant the Vedas, to chant Lalita Sahasranama, and to learn and perform the worship of the Divine Mother, even in a traditional Agamic temple. In keeping with this vision, we encourage all visitors and volunteers to participate in the Temple rituals to whatever extent they are capable. It is our mission to help everyone learn about the worship of Sri Rajarajeswari as well as the great and noble Tamil Saiva culture.

Therefore, we are primarily a “Teaching Temple,” as we believe that devotees receive maximum blessings when they are educated and engaged in their cultural and spiritual traditions. During programs, our pujaris often pause to explain what is happening or comment on how the puja or homam is benefiting us. In this way, we come to understand the greatness of Sanatana Dharma firsthand, and we can then pass on these noble traditions to our children.

Empowering the Future Generations

Another unique feature of the Temple is that all visitors, bar none, are welcome to come close to all the murtis, touch their lotus feet, and perform abhishekam directly to the mula murtis during the weekly Saturday Homam and Abhishekam program. This is a tremendous opportunity that is practically unheard-of. Our founder believes that we should all be encouraged to perform worship ourselves, according to our capacity, because this will bring us the maximum blessings and benefit. We have all come from the same Divine Mother, and we all have an equal right to worship Her.

DSC_8323If you come to the Temple at various times, you may notice that the pujaris include men and women, young and old, Brahmins and non-Brahmins, and people of every ethnic and national background. None of our pujaris are paid employees; each and every one is a volunteer who has been initiated into Sri Vidya and has dedicated his or her time to learning the Temple pujas.

This liberal view extends to the youngest of our volunteers, who take part in almost every aspect of Temple functions. Aiya has made it his life’s goal to encourage and empower all the children to get involved and “learn by doing” in our Temple. Not only do our younger volunteers participate in every activity, we also conduct a unique Raja Matangi Homam every year, in which the entire program is run and managed solely by children.

The Harmonious Merging of Two Divine Traditions

nataraja1Siva and Sakti are ever in perfect harmony and oneness, each absorbed in the dance of eternal divine love. Similarly, the flow of spiritual knowledge in our Temple is formed from the merging of two equally profound rivers, the ancient and venerable traditions of Sri Vidya and Tamil Saiva Siddhantam. The influence of the Saiva tradition can be seen in the many beautiful murtis of Ardhanariswara, Siva Nataraja with Sivakami, and the Nayanmar saints, the regular performance of Pradosha Puja, and the celebration of the major Saiva festivals. The Sri Vidya tradition is expressed in the centrality of Sri Rajarajeswari, the use of Lalita Sahasranama and Khadgamala Stotras, the performance of Sri Chakra Puja or Homam on Purnima days, and the celebration of Navaratri Brahmotsavam.

The Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam is a Temple where the liberating knowledge of Divine Mother and Lord Siva flows freely towards all, and all are invited to receive divine blessings, to learn about Sri Vidya and Saiva Siddhantam, and to travel on the path that leads to the ocean of divine consciousness, love and bliss that is our beloved Rajarajeswari Amma.