Edison’s Sai Datta Peetham Temple holds prayers, invites devotees and public on eve of 8th anniversary

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Priest conducting prayers at the Sai Datta Peetham Temple in Edison, New Jersey, Feb. 26, 2022. Photo: ITV Gold

Scores of devotees attended the special event held at the Sai Datta Peetham Temple in Edison, New Jersey, Saturday Feb. 26, 2022, two days before its 8th anniversary which falls on Mahashivratri Tuesday March 1.

Datta in Sanskrit means “The One that is donated” to help the being to find the Path back to Truth,” the Temple says on its website saidattanj.org. Lord Dattatreya, who is seen as one of the 24 Vishnu incarnations, and is “considered a guru of environmental education, gained enlightenment by observing his surrounding, which provided him 24 gurus. These gurus explain the problems of mundane attachments, and teach the path towards the spiritual self-realization of the Supreme,” the website says.

From left, Raghu Sharma Sankaramanchi, founder and chairman of Sai Datta Peetham Temple in Edison, NJ, Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, Temple Executive Committee member Upendra Chivukula, former NJ Assemblyman and current Commissioner of NJ Board of Public Utilities, and Ashok Ojha, president of Yuva Hindi Sansthan, at the Feb. 26, 2022 event in the Temple. Photo: ITV Gold

The temple is unique because it houses multiple deities rarely found anywhere, according to former New Jersey State Assemblyman and Executive Committee member of the Temple Upendra Chivukula, who gave a detailed account of the history of Sai Datta Peetham Temple in an ITV Gold interview in the Temple premises. The 11,000 sq. ft. temple has a parking lot with 11,000 spaces was built during the difficult Covid pandemic, Chivukula said, and has a 7-foot marble statue of Sai Baba. Mandals were brought all the way from India, and Indian priests conduct different kinds of pujas, with programs every day. Chivukula also noted how, in the tradition established by Sai Baba, food is cooked on the premises and given to people.

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The event was also attended by among others, Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold.

Ashok Ojha, president of Yuva Hindi Sansthan, thanked dignitaries for being there, and praised how the community has gathered and was collectively united by its commitment to protect Indian culture and tradition. The temple plan to conduct online Hindi language education and other programs throughout the year, Ojha said.

Raghu Sharma Sankaramanchi, founder and chairman of Sai Datta Peetham Temple in Edison, NJ, speaking about the programs and the Temple at Feb. 26, 2022 event. Photo: ITV Gold

Raghu Sharma Sankarmanchi, founder and chairman of Sai Datta Peetham dwelt on the programs and the installation of numerous deities in the temple, and how donations from the community had helped. “Please come to the temple and take darshan,” Sankarmanchi said.

Prayers rang out and blessing were offered by priests to those gathered at the Temple which is located at 1665 Oak Tree Road, the heart of Little India in Edison.

Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, being felicitated with a shawl by founder and president of Sai Datta Peetham Temple Raghu Sharma Sankaramanchi Feb. 26, 2022. Photo: ITV Gold

All Peetham sponsored pujas such as Archanas, daily Abhishekams, Samoohika Vrataas, events during festivals, are free and open to the public. The Temple offers special puja services at peetham for various religious activities like Archana, Vahana puja, Namakarana (Naming ceremony), Anna Prasana (first feeding), Abhishekam, Rudra Abhishekam, Sri Sathyanarayana puja/vratam, Baba vratam, Sri Lakhmi puja, Sri Ganesha puja, Sahasranama Archana to any deity, Marriage Ceremony (wedding), Upanayanam (Thread ceremony).

 

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