At Connecticut…

On Friday, 1st Nov, Swami Vimokshananda left New Jersey for Connecticut. Ranjitda of Moorestown arranged transport. Ms Vellachi Arunachalam accompanied the Swami during the 3-hour travel. The Swami expressed that he was overwhelmed at the charitable nature of Chettinad people who came abroad from India and their contributions in building temples in foreign lands should be etched in golden letters. He told her that he was happy to meet her who belonged to that wonderful community.
The Swami reached the home of his hosts Debashis-Nibedita at Connecticut by late evening. The next day, the Swami was taken to Wilton Hindu Temple where the Skanda Sashti Festival was on.
Swami Balgopal Maharaj, a Vaishnavite sadhu and Incharge of the Temple duly welcomed him. The Swami witnessed the orderly puja done to Lord Muruga in the big size image and also at the utsava vigrahas. The Festival saw surging devotees visiting the temple throughout the puja time. The puja included abhishekams (pouring milk, honey, vibhuti, and sanctified water etc), carrying kavadis on the shoulders, taking the pal kudams (milk pitchers), chanting of powerful bija mantras of Lord Shanmukha through Shatru-samhara trisati archana (floral offerings) using “sha-ra-va-na-bha-va“ in a unique rotational method.
After the noon prasad, Swami Vimokshananda was taken to Hicksville of Long Island to witness the Mata-ki-Chowki function held at Sai Durbar Temple. Thereafter, both the Swamis with accompanying devotees reached the home of Kamal Raj where Swami Balgopal Maharaj performed an hour long puja and hawan.
It was indeed a hectic program-filled travel on that day.
On 3rd and 4th Nov, the Swami was the guest of his sister-disciple Rakhidi at Shelton. The members and others met the Swami at her home and held a Satsang.

The Swami conducted a discussion where he outlined the importance of experience in religious life. The Swami returned to Moorestown in New Jersey on 5th Nov with Debashis-Nibedita, visiting on the way the Vedanta Society of New York. On 6th Nov, Soumen-Sushmita saw off the Swami at the Philadelphia airport for his return journey to Dublin.

For more photos on this event please click here.

Swamiji Jayanti at Dublin

Pencil sketch of SwamijiThe 157th Jayanti day of Swami Vivekananda was observed recently in a grand scale in India and elsewhere. While perusing the ‘global medley’ of photos that were constantly pouring in at my WhatsApp on that day, I was thrilled to notice the surging enthusiasm of the people all over the world irrespective of caste or creed, race or religion. Here is a personality that can be truly called Universal.

On Sunday the 27th of January, the Éire Vedanta Society (EVS) celebrated Swami Vivekananda’s Jayanti at its Dublin Centre. The programme included a ritualistic puja by Swami Vimokshananda, talks by Swami Purnananda, melodious bhajan singing by a group of adult devotees, hymnal chanting and singing of short songs by the children of Sanatana Ireland and readings of poems and reflections by several devotees and finally bhogarati followed by prasad distribution!

The multi-faceted qualities that Swamiji possessed included his deep interest in classical music like dhrupad, khyal etc is well known to everyone. He was also good at playing musical instruments like pakhawaj, tabla, violin, tambura etc. One music artiste Ashish Dha, specializing in Nada yoga in Dublin paid homage to Swamiji by singing the morning raaga Miyan ki Todi. He also played dhrupad and a little khyal to the delight of devotees in an Irish instrument Hammered Dulcimer somewhat likened to the Indian santoor. He charmed the assembled children by singing an English funny song playing with his guitar! A grand birthday cake was also offered lovingly by the children while singing the beautiful song “janmadinamidam…” in a chorus. About 50 people attended the function.

For EVS, this fledgling centre, this is the very first tithi-puja celebration. There was all around joy among the visitors. The reason was obvious: That Swamiji was the Guru of Ireland’s daughter Margaret Noble! It was Swamiji who gave the delectable name of ‘Nivedita‘ to this dedicated lady from the West. Even after a distance of a hundred years of Sister’s writings and speeches, when one goes through them afresh today, one is unmistakably inspired by Swamiji‘s broadness and inclusiveness of all faiths and beliefs. In her representation of Swamiji, He shone as broad as the sky and as deep as the ocean.

His was a mission tirelessly telling everyone that Divinity is within and to manifest in everyday life must be set as the goal. And he inspires men, women and children everywhere with his clarion call to stop not till one reaches the goal.

A few snaps of the Dublin Centre celebrating Swamiji‘s birthday:

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SingaSpeaks – Roar 61

Roar 61 describes the two important Jayanti functions – one of Buddhism and the other of Hinduism held in the month of April and May 2017…