Re: Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is celebrated today in my city Madurai !
Thank you for giving us the background of Goddess Meenakshi and Her wedding to Lord Shiva. I never cease to marvel at the exquisite sculpture of Menakshi Tirukalyanam, a picture of which adorns almost every Kalyana Mantapam across Tamilnadu.
Worship of Shakthi is quite unique to Hinduism. The Divine Shakthi is worshipped as a Mother, Spouse, Friend and in almost all conceivable forms. the celestial event of Meenakshi Kalyanam has special significance. My own efforts to understand the significance of celestial weddings as a form of worship led me to this meanigful text-
' Throughout the Hindu world, elaborate, extensive temple rituals and festivals celebrate the goddess's wedding to her divine spouse (examples include Meenakshi Kalyanam, Rama-Sita Kalyanam, Parvati-Siva Swayamvaram, etc.). The extraordinary dedication of time, resources, and priestly knowledge to the periodic reenactment of these divine weddings underscores the profound spiritual significance of the marital bond. In fact marriage is considered the most important samskara, or rite of passage, in the human lifespan. In the marriage ritual the bride is identified with the goddess Lakshmi, adorned and worshipped as the bringer of supreme auspiciousness into her new family. As she undertakes her new responsibilities as wife and mother, a woman joins the daily round of domestic worship conducted by women of the family, centering around the kitchen shrine. Upon rising in the morning she will bathe and draw a kolam or rangoli on the doorstep, to welcome the goddess Lakshmi into the home. In all her activities the wife and mother embodies the divine feminine force of life, auspiciousness, and joy. It is she who is believed to keep the husband and children alive and happy through her careful attention to their welfare and satisfaction, through cooking, fasting, prayer, teaching, and self-care and beautification. The auspiciousness of goddess Lakshmi, so necessary to life in the world, is also celebrated lavishly at Diwali, the festivals of light and life in dark times.'
I am older, but not necessarily wiser!