Hosted by: Seattle GOD Satsang members and the ‘Hare Krsna’ temple, Sammamish, WA
Date: December 5, 2009
The Bala Gurukulam annual day celebrations turned out to be a big hit with children, parents, devotees and others alike. The session started off with the children welcoming Ramanujamji with a speech summarizing the various activities they had done through the year at Bala Gurukulam every Sunday. This was followed by a Shloka Contest that included Dhyana Shlokams from Srimad Bhagavatham for various age groups. Ramanujamji interaction with the children was so lovely to watch, as always and he engaged them later with a quiz competition by splitting them into 3 groups – Hare, Rama and Krishna. A child-friendly lunch was catered for all and what followed became the highlight of the session – a Puppet show titled ‘Krishna Provides’. The children and audience were spell-bound at the end of the show when all the puppets landed up in ‘Premika Bhavanam’ before ‘Madhuri Sakhi sametha Premika Varadhan’ and sang and danced in joy singing the Mahamantra. It was wonderful to watch the children dancing, swaying, singing and clapping to the tune of the Mahamantra and other songs like ‘chella kiliye’, ‘navaneetha chora’, ‘shringara krishna’ etc that were played between scene changes.
Following the puppet show was the prize distribution ceremony where all the children who participated in the sloka contest were awarded Certificates of Achievements and Trophies. This followed a Q&A with their beloved Ramanujamji where the children has some really “deep” questions like “If God is around everywhere, why is He invisible”? and “When we do neivedhyam for Bhagavan, does he really partake in the food” etc.
The children were all then given goody bags containing Amar Chitra Kathas, Rubiks cube, Mahamantra stickers, Bhoopadeva story book etc to carry home with them. From an organizer standpoint, our biggest reward was when Ramanujamji mentioned that it is these children who can be mentioned as true ‘Bharatiyas’.