This year, as a part of the 4th Patotsavam (anniversary festival), Sri Sadgurudeva Ji Maharaja had invited His Holiness Acharya Swami Shri Govindadeva Giri Ji, of Dharma Shree, Puna (www.dharmashree.org) to bless us all with a day recounting of the Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam which was broadcast live on Aastha TV worldwide.
(Shri Sadgurudeva Ji Maharaja with Swami Shri Govindadeva Giri Ji Maharaja on 9th March 2008)
Swami Govindadeva Giri Ji Maharaja is an exceptional Saint who truly is devoted to the Guru, Shastra and Bhagavan. His eloquence, intelligence, style devotion and dedication to Vaidika Sanatana Dharma is exceptional amongst Saints in India. It was truly God and Guru’s choicest blessings that we were afforded the chance to wallow in the river of purifying bliss that is the discourses of Swami Ji on the Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam.
The festival began with Phulera Dooja – the anniversary of the appearance day of Sri Sri Radha Golokavihari Ji Maharaj in New Delhi. The day commenced with Abhishekam of the deities in the sanctum sanctorum, followed by Aarati and Prarthana. Then the Lord was taken joyously out on Procession throughout the grounds of the Ashram.
Shri Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Maharaja begins His sojourn through the Ashram’s extensive grounds
The Ratha headed around the perimeter of the Ashram in a Parikrama fashion until it reached the Gaushalla, where the Lord enjoyed watching the Gau Puja performed on a few new-born calves. All the devotees enjoyed being blessed by Gau Mata!
Gau Pujanam – offering our respects to the origin of our Sustenance – the Cow.
After the Ratha Yatra left the Gaushala back towards the Mandir, the fervour and joy of the devotees increased with lovely kirtan and dancing along the route. Once the Lord had been escorted back inside the Mandir, the great occasion of the Anniversary Mahapuja began.
Shri Sadgurudeva Ji Maharaja and Swami Shri Govindadeva Giri Ji Maharaja offeredTulasi Manjaris and Lotus Flowers to the Lotus feet of Thakur Shri Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Maharaja for their pleasure. The names of the Lord from the Shri Gopala Sahasranamam were read out by the accompanying Pandits of Swamiji, from his Ashram in Pune.
After that, the special Raj Bhoga aarati was performed by Shri Sadgurudeva Ji Maharaja and Swami Ji Maharaja, much to the delight of the devout followers present.
Shrita-kamala-kucha-mandala Dhrita-kundala e!
Kalita-lalita-vana-mala Jaya Jayadeva Hare!! –
Aarati Sung daily for the Lord; written by the 12th Century Nimbarki from Orissa, the famous, Sri Jayadeva Kavi.
The evening programme started with the beginning of the Katha which would continue the following day and every day after that in the morning from 10AM to 1PM, broadcast live from the Ashram around the world on Astha TV.
Shri Swami Ji Maharaja on the final day of the Katha handing out Prasadam to all the devotees.
Everyday we were treated to the wondrous pastimes of the illusory potency of the Lord. Yogamaya, Durga Devi, Vaishnavi Mata – all names for the Bahiranga Shakti we know as Maya. In this Purana, which accepts Shri Krsna as the Supreme God Almighty, the accounts are given about the Devi and her activities in a former Kalpa; previous to the age described by the Shrimad Bhagavatam. It was nice to see what went on in the former ages, and how the most beneavolent Devi saved those who saught her shelter, and also how she served the Lord. Shri Krsna Janma also was celebrated as the topic came up in the Shrimad Devi Bhagavatam. Shiva Paarvati Vivaha – the wedding of Shri Uma Maheshvara was also celebrated, as was Shri Durga Puja. The Katha was and remains an unforgettable experience, and we are deeply grateful to Swami Ji Maharaja.
Please click on the following thumbnails to get the ‘bigger picture’!