Tulsidadji in his Ramayana mentions that Saints are moving pilgrimages. We must meet them and take a dip in the holy waters of satsang whenever possible. This last week , Chinmaya Gurukul hosted this kind of pilgrimage in the company of Swami Ishwarananda Ji. Swami Ishawarananda Ji is an accomplished master of Vedanta philosophy and explains complex teachings in an easy to understand way with examples and his trade mark sense of humor.
The lectures were scheduled from Aug9th -Aug13th . Lectures were scheduled for both mornings and evenings. The topic for the morning session was Mahavakya Viveka (Panchadasi Chapter5) . For the evening lectures, the topic was Goal of Life (various verses from the Bhagavad Gita). The preparation started a month in advance , once the topics were finalized, flyers had to be created. Social Media team started the job of publicizing the lectures, so maximum people could benefit from it.The Yagna team headed by Vandna Pandya , started the preparation for Swamiji’s stay, selecting a host family, understanding the dietary preferences of Swamiji , sending out signups for Bhiksha , and a million other things big and small. As the day drew closer , teams assembled to get the ashram cleaned and ready , get the podium ready for Swamiji and the altar beautified, all in the presence of Sundar Krishna. The microphone setup and recording had to be tested , to make sure there were no glitches at the last minute.
Swamiji arrived on the 8th evening and was hosted lovingly by Bhavana and KS. On the morning of 9th , the altar and podium were beautifully decorated. All the idols had beautiful malas of fresh flowers. As Swamiji entered, after a tour of the ashram , the Vaidika Arati ritual was followed with Purna Kumbham being offered to Swamiji and chanting of the Vedika Arati. Promptly Swamiji started at 7:30 and spiritually challenged the seekers . After the lecture , Bhiksha families had prepared breakfast for swamiji and this was offered at the ashram. We were blessed to have our Sushma Ji ,Siva Ji, Raghu Ji, Geeta Ji and Jyoti ji also joining in for the Bhiksha.This was followed by a satsang . There was also Lunch Bhiksha at devotees homes .
The evening programme followed a similar schedule starting at 7 and ending at 8:30. The verses selected by Swamiji were patterned in a way to follow a logical order of thinking, What is the problem? What is the highest goal of life ? and How can we implement changes in our life keeping this highest goal as our purpose.There was arati at the end of the session by Bhiksha families .This was followed by Dinner Bhiksha and satsang. Swamiji’s very busy day ended around 10:00 when he left from the ashram .
On all the days volunteers gathered to organize dinner boxes which were distributed to all the attendees. There would be cleanup after the satsang , so we could be ready for the next day.
The most special part of this yagna came on Aug13th when our regular Bala Vihar session was scheduled to start . Swamiji addressed all the Bala Vihar parents in 2 separate sessions, followed by a session with kids where he regaled them with stories. He also took time from his busy schedule to attend Bhiksha offered by Marietta center.
Finally the festivities ended on Aug13th with the last lecture followed by a brief satsang. The generosity that Swamiji showed us with his time , knowledge, humor and love will inspire all of us to be better teachers in this Bala Vihar session . He also gave us so many points to meditate upon and contemplate as we continue with our spiritual journey with our study groups or classes with Sushma Ji and Siva Ji .
To undertake anything of this magnitude is not possible without the love and tireless hard work of a wonderful group of dedicated sevaks. They would be there first in the morning to unlock the doors and the last to leave . The yagna team wishes to thank each and everyone of them .
We are going to start showing the recordings on our Youtube channel and we encourage each and everyone of you to view them and continue to revel in the teachings from our saints and our Scriptures.
Finally, In BG 3.14 it says that every yagna brings with it rain which nourishes all beings . This was proved on all days of the yagna with torrential rains
अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः ।
यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः ॥ 14 ॥