KANAKANJALIH UTSAVA IN NEW JERSEY-NOVEMBER 20141 November 2014
What started as an initiative to teach Guru Pujan to the children and perform it on ParamapujyaSwamiji’s Birthday, grew by the day into a big celebration, attended by almost 100 people on 1 November 2014. The whole program was mobilized in a very short time, just around 13 days of planning and coordinating. Everybody volunteered to do their bit of “Seva”, be it decoration, photography, food planning and Bhajan and Stotra Seva.
The Satsang and Prarthana varga group came together to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are indeed blessed to have a great Guru like HH SadyojatShankarashramSwamiji , and are privileged to be able to celebrate this birthday.Here’s a brief summary of events that day.The stage was beautifully decorated with life-sized photographs of ParamapujyaSwamiji. Shevanti flowers adorned the stage, with a colorful rangoli, a samai, kandeels and tea lights. There was a tray of pretty cupcakes and another with tealights, in the shape of the numeral “50”.
A create fabric patchwork back drop of our Math, handmade by Shanta pacchi Bijur, was hung against the wall. SmitaBijur, Anjali Bijur Shah, Sucheta Trasi and Devyani Shenoy organized the decorations. Swamiji’s holy Padukas were brought in with much gaiety, and placed with great respect on the stage.
Bina and GurduttTrasy’s residence, Princeton, NJ
1. We sought the blessings of ParamapujyaSwamiji before starting the celebrations. We recited with Sabha Prarambh Prarthana, after a welcome speech by Sarita pacchi Ragade. She then requested US Sabha President, Arun mam Heble to give a speech on the occasion. Arun mam gave a brief introduction on ParamapujyaSwamiji, and how the birthday is being celebrated across the world. He also thanked Bina and GuruduttTrasy for hosting so many people at such short notice. Arun mam also distributed the Parijnan Series story books, “ Raju and the Bee Dance” and “Chintu’s Nose” to the children on this joyous occasion. The children were very happy to receive the “return gift” on Swamiji’s Birthday Celebration!
2. As the children got ready to perform Guru Pujan, under the guidance of Shashank mam Udyaver and Padma pacchi Betrabet, Siya Ragade sang a bhajan “Guru Mata Pita”, to begin the evening.
3. Shashank mam had taken the time and effort to teach the children Guru Pujan over the past few months. Five children ( Advaith and NiyatiBantval, Pranav Olety, Divya Mudur and Atharv Trasi) performed Guru Pujan. Padma pacchi recited the stotras, and all the children who had learnt the DhyanaShloka recited it together. It was a beautiful sight to see the children perform Guru Pujan with such devotion and concentration. Shruti pacchi Balwally too guided the children, along with the parents, Sucheta and Padmanabh Olety, Kanchan Mudur and Sucheta Trasi. The audience also recited the stotras in tandem.
4. The next program was Bhajan and Stotra Seva by all generations present! The youngest was 5 year old Aditi Olety who recited 3 stotras “Gurur Brahma, SaraswatiNamastubhyam and Sarva Mangalamangalye”, and sang 3 bhajans “ RadhikaManohara, AnanadaSaagara and Hey MuralidharaShreedhara”. The eldest, Kamalini pacchi Naimpally sang a beautiful bhajan. All the bhajans were accompanied by Prabhakar mam Betrabet on the harmonium, and he guided his tabla disciples, Pranav Olety, AdvaithBantval, Atharv Trasi, Atharva Kalyanpur, Arnav Bitla and Hrishikesh Karnad to accompany all the singers. Padma pacchi began the bhajanseva with “AnandachoDivasahochi, Guru JanamaDivasa – Happy Birthday song” in Konkani. It had beautiful lyrics and was a melodious rendition. Sonal Shah, Ananya Bijur, NiyatiBantval and Aditi Olety sang” Swami DaiyyaYo re Yo”, with gusto. Aahana and Arnav Bitla sang a beautiful “Sai Mata pita” and “ anasaBhajoreGurucharanam” respectively.
5. The much awaited Cake Ceremony was next. The children sang ”Happy Birthday Song” in unison, as the lights were lit. 6 year old Ananya Bijur recited “ShubhamKaroti “, after which Deep Namaskar was recited by all.
6. The aarati was done, along with the singing of Mangalarathi song. Delicious eggless cupcakes were baked and decorated by Akshata Dhareshwar (Arohi’s mother). They were arranged in the shape of “50”, and so were the tealights. It was a beautiful sight!
7. Sandeep Dhareshwar spoke about Vantiga, and how it is used to perform viniyogas at the Math, and how the funds are used for social and community projects for the upliftment of the underprivileged. He urged all present to do their duty as a Bhanap to contribute to the annual Vantiga collection by the Sabha.
8. We all recited the Sabha Samapti Prarthana.
9. The laity then proceeded to Prasad bhojan, which was a sumptuous spread of home-cooked Amchi food, lovingly made by the volunteers.
10. We returned home, refreshed and rejuvenated after a wonderful evening of Pujan, bhajans and camaraderie.
The children, parents and laity of New Jersey and Pennsylvania seek ParamapujyaSwamiji’s Blessings on the joyous occasion of Swamiji’sSuvarnaJanma Divas.