Ganesh Temple in New York celebrates Madhavacharya Navami

Mahavallabh Ganpati Sthanam, Flushing, NYC. Photo: By Benniken – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Shri Mahavallabh Ganapati Sthanam, well-known as the Ganesh Temple, in Flushing, New York City, celebrated Madhav Navami Saturday, February 17, 2024 with a full day of music, chanting, lectures and pooja in honor of the great propounder of the Dvaita theory in Hindu Philosophy.

The day’s celebrations began with a ‘Pancha Sukta Homa’ at 8:00 am, followed by Abishekam Šri Rãghavendra Swãmy & Šri Prahlada (disciples of Madhavacharya), Upachãram and Arati at 9:30 am which went well into late afternoon. Šri Madhvãcharya Sahasranãma Pooja was held at 6:00 pm, with the celebration concluding with Aãrati.

Madhav Navami is celebrated on the 9th day in the ‘Shukla Paksha’ of the Hindu lunar calendar. It is said that 79-year old Madhavacharya began his journey to Badrinath alone on that day, and never returned.

Madhavacharya had traveled extensively in India before that from Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari in the South to Uttar Badri in the North between 1238 a.d. and 1317 a.d. when he disappeared. Madhav Navami, the day of his disappearance, is celebrated in India and other countries since 1317 a.d.

Madhav Navami is mainly celebrated in Southern India and few other places although Madhavacharya presented Hindu  Philosophy with a novel theory of Dvaita Vada. Madhavacharya’s immense contribution to the Vedanta theory has not been acknowledged the way Shankaracharya’s Advaita theory has been.

However, most Indian spiritual, mystic, and religious literature  reflects the Dvaita theory, with the Bhakti movement and the Vaishnav sect being greatly influenced by it. Simply put, the Dvaita theory identifies the Brahman as separate from human souls, and strive for ‘moksha’ through spiritual endeavors.

It is Dvaita theory which illustrates the Gita and the eternal yearnings for a meeting with Krishna, quite unlike Shankaracharya’s Advaita chantings of ‘Shivoham’. God, or Godhead, is the supreme being, according to Madhvacharya who had established the Krishna Mutt at Udupi with an image from Dwarka in Gujarat in CE 1285, according to history.

More than 40 philosophical treatises have been written by Madhavacharya, and his commentary on ‘Brahma Sutra’ is the most notable among them. Madhavacharya’s theories did not gain much appeal among his contemporaries and scholars till due recognition by given to them by the great Indian philosopher, Sri Aurobindo in the last century.  In the West, his Dvaita theory has become widely known through the ISKCON. In India, his theories continue through the 24 ‘Matth’s established by him, the chief among which are the Kashi Math and the Bengal Madhva Matth. Prayer songs, ‘Stotras’ set to music by him are part of the regular prayers at these matths.

The Ganesh Temple has been bringing homas, prayers, abhishekams, and aaratis in the authentic Vedic style for many years to all New Yorkers, not to speak of the ‘Prasadam’ which lures many to the temple canteen.



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