By the immense blessings of Sri Swamiji and the divine couple Sri Madhuri Sakhi Sametha Sri Premika Varadhan, GOD Chapter of Atlanta had a wonderful and memorable Bhagavatha Saptaham for 7 days from October 29th 2014 to November 4th 2014 led by Sri. Ramanujamji at Ivy League Academy in Cumming, GA. Sessions were conducted in morning and evening with wonderful events, which brought in more involvement of the devotees and a divine experience of Krishna. The lecture series was delivered by Sri Ramanujamji and was followed by distribution of prasadam to an average of 110 people who took back home, the priceless and inexplicable amount of knowledge, happiness, and above all, Sri Krishna Smaranam.
Bhagawada katha in itself is nectar, and with Sri Ramanujamji’s discourses on Krishna leela, the devotees goto experience the ultimate sweetness of the nectar. The simple yet strong, casual and yet comprehensive rendering of various Krishna leelas was indeed an experience to be relished. Sri Ramanujamji delivered lectures on Krishna jananam, Damodara leela, Navaneetha leela, Govardhana leela and Rasa leela, not just as words, but as one’s own visual drama running in everyone’s minds. The devotees had an elevated experience of being in Mathura, Gokulam and Brindavanam, watching Krishna performing all his leela. The whole audience could taste the essence of Bhagawata katha and appreciate and praise the paratatvam – “Sri Krishna”.
The Bhagavatha Sapthaham started with Dasama skandham (10th Canto)paryanam of first few chapters where in King Parikshit requested Sri Suka Muni to expound on the nectarine pastimes of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Sri Ramanujamji gave a great start expounding Sri Krishna’s parathvam and kalyana gunas and ended the first day session perfectly with a Mass prayer to Sri Krishna with the most powerful Mahamantra prayer – “Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare”. He explained the four main elements needed for a prayer and the effect of doing a congregational prayer. 100+ people participated sincerely in the prayer session in rapt attention and in a prayerful mood.
The morning sessions on all the seven days commenced with Prabhodanam, Krishna and Lakshmi Astothram , two hours of Dasama Skanda parayanam followed by Srimad Bhagavat Gita discourseon 12th Chapter “Bhakthi Yoga” by Sri Ramanujamji. He beautifully explained the greatness of Bhakti and Jaana giving references from various scriptures and commentaries. Following the discourse, wonderful madhurageetham kirtans were rendered for the pleasure of the divine couple Sri Madhuri Sakhi sametha Premika Varadhan. This was followed by the serving of prasadam to all the devotees who attended the morning session.
Altanta devotees were indeed very fortunate to witness the Rukmani kalyanam on one of the morning sessions. The occasion was celebrated with rendering of Ashtapadi, Kirthans and bhajans by the bhakthas. Women folks from GOD Satsang got together in the praise of Krishna and performed “Kolaattam” for “Rasa Kreedai” song from Naaraayaneeyam. The Thirukalyanam was followed by Nalangu. The divine prasad was served to all the devotees at the end.
Madhuragitam event was a gathering of about 170 people, which was a tribute to Sri Swamiji’s composition, Madhuragitam. More than 7 Atlanta local dance schools performed for Sri Swamiji’s kirtans with various forms of dance, namely, Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, folk and kolaattam.
One session of Madhuragitam songs was performed by GOD Satsang members, which encouraged the audience to participate in singing Naamaavali. The whole event set the ambience of Krishna’s presence, which was followed by the enlightening discourse by Sri Ramanujamji. All the participants of Madhuragitam were presented a token of appreciation in the form of a Certificate from GOD, by Sri. Ramanujamji.
Radha kalyanam was celebrated in Hanuman temple, Alpharetta, on the 2 November 2014 with about 120 devotees attending the event. The divine couple was dressed in best of their attire and jewelry, enjoying oonjalaattam (swinging) with a rendition of melodious Bhajans, Keerthans, Ashtapadi and Abangs. Radha kalyanam was followed by serving of kalyana prasadam to all the devotees.
It was “Halloween”, but Sri Ramanujamji came up with a mind blowing suggestion of an “Indian-Halloween” called “All-U-Win” celebration with all Atlanta satsang kids dressed up in various roles. Some dressed themselves as Gopas and Gopis to transport everyone to world of Rasa leela, some dressed as Meera Bai, Garuda, Narada, showing the devotees the way to bhakti and a few kids dressed as little Krishna Himself. The kids were to collect candies from the audience by chanting “Radhe Radhe”. The dress, dance and the sweet nama of “Radhe” by these kids couldn’t have resisted a smile of joy in divinity for all the devotees. As the event says “All-U-Win”, yes, all the devotees won the happiness of Brindavanam, Mathura and Gokulam.
Fortunately, Gopashtami, which is celebrated on 8th day of Karthik month in remembrance of Go, Gopa, Gopi and Sri Govardhana, fell during the Bhagawada Sapthaham on Oct 31st 2014. All the devotees gathered for the discourse on Govardhana leela, where in Sri Ramanujamji beautifully explained the unflinching faith and love of Gopas, Gopis and all residents of Gokulam towards Sri Krishna. Satsang devotees decorated all Neivedhyam preparations in the form of Govardhana and offered to Sri Krishna.
The devotees also performed kolattam circumambulating Giri Govardhana chanting the divine names of Sri Krishna “Govinda, Govinda” !! This was followed by neivedyam which were offered to Sri Govardhanagiridhaari, and prasadam was distributed to all the devotees.
On Karthika Ekadasi, a special Abang Divyanamam was conducted. Adults and kids actively participated in divyanamam. Abhangs on Sri Vitalan were performed with immense bhakti, which initiated memories of great saints, Tukaram, Namdevar to mention a few.
Every evening, the pravachan was followed by a traditional dolotsavam for the divine couple. The GOD Satsang devotees sang the dolothsava krithis composed by Sri Swamiji, thus thanking the lord for the wonderful day and finally, as the lights dimmed down and the curtains covered up, the devotees ended the day with a peaceful lullaby for the divine couple -“Vaiyyam alandone Thaalelo, Muralidhara Thaalelo!!!”
On the last day of the Sapthaham, Ramanujamji offered everyone with Kumkum prasadam and akshadha which were received as blessings of Sri Swamiji and the divine couple. Throughout the Sapthaham, a CD and Books stall was on display which had Sri Swamiji’s and Sri Ramanujamji’s beautiful discourses , and Madhuragitam volumes.
Atlanta devotees eagerly look forward to Sri Ramanujamji’s next visit as they bid farewell to him as he departed to Florida for a two-day satsang program.