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Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA  

Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, Rush, NY
Sri Vidya Temple Society


Sri Vidya Temple Society
6980 East River Rd
Rush, NY 14543

Our Mission

The Temple functions as a "Teaching Temple," as our goal is to preserve and pass on the auspicious knowledge of Sri Vidya as well as the pure devotion of our ancient and noble Tamil Saiva culture.

About the Sri Rajarajeswari Temple

The 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.

If 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

Siva 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.

Temple Hours

The Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our regular and extended hours are as follows.

Regular Temple Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30AM – 2:30PM
6:00PM – 8:30PM

8:00AM – 9:00PM

8:00AM – 8:30PM

Holidays for Extended Hours

On Canadian national holidays and major US holidays, the Temple will remain open all day from 8:30AM to 9:00PM, regardless of the day of the week.

Daily Puja Schedule

Puja is performed three times each day. Our daily puja schedule is as follows.
Monday – Friday
9:30AM (Sri Sukta Shodasopachara and Sannidhi Puja)
12:30PM (Lalita Sahasranama and Sannidhi Puja)
7:00PM (Raudri Karana and Sannidhi Puja)

9:30AM (Saturday Abhishekam and Homam Program)
6:00PM (Raudri Karana and Sannidhi Puja)

10:00AM (Sri Sukta Shodasopachara and Sannidhi Puja)
12:30PM (Lalita Sahasranama and Sannidhi Puja)
6:00PM (Raudri Karana and Sannidhi Puja)

Other Regular Pujas

We also perform a special Pradosha Puja twice each month, on Pradosham (Trayodasi). Every full moon, either Sri Chakra Navavarana Puja or Navavarana Homam is performed. Our Temple Calendar contains details for all Pradosha, Paurnami and Festival Puja Programs.

Saturday Homam & Abhishekam

Our main abhishekam program is held every Saturday. The program starts at 9:30 AM with Kamadhenu Puja and ends with lunch, which is usually between 2 and 3 PM. Everyone who comes will have the opportunity to offer milk to Ganapati, Devi and Siva with their own hands. Whenever possible, newcomers will also have the chance to perform abhishekam to Devi with the energized sanka tirtham from the Kalasa Puja.
Please be advised that we have a dress code in our Temple. The sequence of events for our Saturday program is as follows.
  • Kamadhenu Puja
  • Puja to Outside Ganapati (Weather Permitting)
  • Kalasa Puja and Sankha Sthapanam
  • Ganapati, Navagraha and Sri Sukta Homam
  • Milk Abhishekam with Pancha Sukta Parayanam to Ganapati, Devi and Siva
  • Kalasam Procession with Siva Puranam
  • Lalita Sahasranama Parayanam, Alankaram and Mangalarati to Devi
  • Maha Prasadam Served to All

Participation is Welcome and Encouraged

As we are a “Teaching Temple,” we always encourage visitors to participate, either by chanting with us, or doing seva, or performing abhishekam with your own hands. We welcome you to join in the chanting, to whatever extent you are capable. Even if you are not familiar with Vedic suktas, Lalita Sahasranama or Siva Puranam, you can still chant “Aim Hrim Srim” when you hear everyone else chanting. You might wonder, “What use is there in chanting three small sounds?” Though the sounds are small, there is tremendous spiritual power packed inside them, just as the powerful nuclear energy is packed inside the tiny atom.
As mentioned above, we encourage everyone to perform milk abhishekam with their own hands during the program. It’s hard to predict when the abhishekam will be done, but it usually takes place some time between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Many may  wonder, What actually happens when we pour the milk? How can it help me? According to the divine sages of ancient India, pouring milk on an energized murti has the power to remove the impurities from the physical, mental/emotional and subtle bodies.
As you wash the deities, you are also being washed of any planetary doshas, limitations, and karmic hindrances. In our Temple, Lord Siva exists in the form of “Sri Nilakantha Prana Lingeswara,” and he is made of lapis lazuli, a beautiful blue stone associated with Saturn; thus, performing milk abhishekam on a Saturday to such a Siva Lingam will be tremendously powerful in removing any ill effects from Lord Sanaiswara. The more we wash away these karmic impurities, the more we will experience inner peace, radiant health, and true spiritual joy. So it is a tremendous blessing to have this chance, which is rarely given in any traditional Hindu temple.

Helpful Information

For more information, you can view our FAQs, get directions to our location, or learn more about our dress code. Lunch is usually served between 2 and 3 PM, and like every meal, it is served for free to all who come. If you are interested in sponsoring the program by participating in the Kalasa Puja and Homam, please call the Temple to learn more and schedule your participation.

Pradosha Puja

Every Pradosham, a special Pradosha Puja is performed in the Temple. To find out when the next Pradosha Puja will be performed, please check the Temple Calendar.  Everyone who attends is invited to perform milk Lingabhishekam with their own hands, and also to join in the chanting if familiar with the mantras. Please be advised that there is a dress code for entering the Temple.

The Significance of Pradosham

“Pradosham” refers to the sacred time of sunset on the thirteenth lunar day, or “trayodasi tithi.” Trayodasi occurs twice each lunar month, once in the waxing phase and once in the waning phase of the moon, so Pradosha Puja is performed twice each month in the Temple.
The word “pradosham” itself means the removal of any kind of subtle or energetic impurity. India’s ancient rishis have discovered that these impurities, which are formed due to our actions and attitudes in previous births, are the cause of our suffering and turmoil. By performing certain pujas on Trayodasi, these impurities can be washed away.
The more we wash away these karmic impurities, the more we will experience inner peace, radiant health, and spiritual joy. As the subtle impurities are washed away, our true divine qualities will begin to emerge–qualities like kindness, compassion, honesty, and the desire to give selfless service to others.

Significance of Worshipping a Lapis Siva Lingam

The pujas prescribed by the ancient rishis all focus on Lord Siva, who is the one who removes every kind of negative or impure patterns. In our Temple, Lord Siva exists in the form of a beautiful Lingam formed of the semiprecious stone “lapis lazuli.” This beautiful blue stone is strongly associated with Lord Siva, who is known as the “Blue-Throated One.”
In addition, lapis lazuli has a special connection with the planet Saturn. When we see, touch or worship a lapis Siva Lingam, we will be blessed to overcome any problems related to Saturn. It is incredibly rare just to see such a Lingam, but to have the chance to touch and perform abhishekam is practically unheard-of.
For the sake of universal peace and welfare, the following pujas are performed during each Pradosha Puja, in addition to the regular Ganapati, Devi and Sannidhi Pujas.
  • Milk Rudrabhishekam to Sri Nilakantha Prana Lingeswara
  • Archana with Siva Ashtottaram
  • Procession of Siva, Parvati and Ganapati with Siva Puranam
In addition, everyone performs a unique form of pradakshina on Pradosham, which brings special blessings on this day.

Special Darshan of Sphatika Lingam

The Temple has been gifted with a highly auspicious Sphatika Lingam by Sri Mathioli Saraswati, who is considered to be an incarnation of Devi Herself. This Lingam is only brought out on Pradosham days and is worshipped for universal peace. If you come on Pradosham, you will have the darshan of this Lingam, which is shown to the left in its gold kavacham.
We invite you to join us for Pradosha Puja, and enjoy this rare opportunity to worship Sri Nilakantha Prana Lingeswara and receive Lord Siva’s most auspicious blessings.

Purnima Sri Chakra Puja and Homam

Every Purnima, or Full Moon, a special Navavarana Puja or Homam is performed in the Temple. To find out when the next Purnima Puja will be performed, please check the Temple Calendar. Everyone who attends is offered the sacred “visesharghyam,” a mix of auspicious items that is charged and energized with the divine energy of Sri Lalitambika Devi. Please be advised that there is a dress code for entering the Temple.

The Significance of Purnima

Most people can appreciate the special beauty of the full moon. According to Sri Vidya, there is a uniquely auspicious energy available to us on the full moon day, and so this day is especially good for worshipping Sri Lalita Maha Tripurasundari Devi. In particular, it is highly auspicious to perform Sri Chakra Puja.
In our Temple, we perform either Navavarana Sri Chakra Puja or Navavarana Homam on the full moon day. “Navavarana” comes from the Sanskrit “Nava” plus “avarana.” This is referring to nine enclosures, veils, or layers that are contained within the sacred Sri Chakra design.
Each avarana contains a certain number of triangles, petals or lines that correspond to specific aspects of Divine Mother’s powers of love, wisdom and pure consciousness. As we proceed through each avarana, we come closer to the central bindu, the source of bliss and divine consciousness.
In the puja, we worship a physical Sri Chakra, the Meru Chakra that has been installed in the main sanctum. For Navavarana Homam, the nine levels of Divinity with their respective goddesses are invoked into the sacred homa fire, and appropriate offerings are made.
When Navavarana Puja or Homam is performed on Purnima, the powerful energy of the full moon magnifies the energy of the mantras and yantras, generating the divine vibrations of Sri Lalita Devi. This is a uniquely nectar-like blessing from Divine Mother that can only be experienced, not described.

Significance of Worshipping a Sri Chakra

The Sri Chakra, or Sri Yantra, is a specific pattern of  triangles, circles and petals that is described as the King of All Yantras. Sri Chakra worship is considered the highest worship of Devi, and because it contains all deities and all divine potencies within it, it brings every kind of blessing for physical and emotional health, wealth, harmony in one’s relationships, and true spiritual progress.
Though some may feel that physical puja is not helpful in advancing spirituality, Aiya has expressly said that “The exquisitely beautiful form of the Sri Devi in the form of Lalita can be experienced as appearing in the daharakasa of the Sadhaka during this [Sri Chakra] puja.”
Aiya has also explained that “The significance of Navavarana Puja is the removal of the nine avaranas (veils) and attainment of the ecstatic experience of the inner consciousness.” This highest consciousness, which can be experienced within, is signified by the central dot, or bindu, within the Sri Chakra, where Divine Mother and Lord Siva exist in an eternally undifferentiated state of absolute oneness and pure bliss.
In truth, the worship of the Sri Chakra is both an art and a science designed by divinely inspired sages; its regular performance clears all obstacles, bestows all blessings, and carries us inexorably towards the highest goal of oneness with the supreme Goddess Sri Rajarajeswari Devi.
We invite you to join us for the Purnima Sri Chakra Puja or Homam. Whether one performs the puja, witnesses it, or just takes the sacred visesharghyam, one is sure to receive the most loving and compassionate blessings of Sri Rajarajeswari Devi.

Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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