Sri Guruji Jayanthi and Deepavali were celebrated in a grand manner in Houston from November 6-11 2018.
Tuesday Nov 6
Deepavali was celebrated at Houston Namadwaar in the presence of Sri Madhuri Sakhi sameta Premika Varadan. Deepams (that had been painted earlier by Gopa Kuteeram kids) were lit and arranged all around Bhagavan. Kirtans were sung to glorify Him with prayers to bring the Light of His Grace into our lives.
Following this, everyone played with sparklers and special family Deepavali pictures were taken. Despite it being a weekday, lots of families came together to celebrate Deepavali joyfully, just like it is celebrated in India. Sweets and snacks were also shared with everyone.
Wednesday, Nov 7
Sri Guruji’s jayanthi was celebrated joyfully with all-day Akhanda Mahamantra kirtan at the residence of Smt. Brahan and Sri Hari Sudhan in Pearland. With an aim to offer 57 flower garlands to Sri Swamiji’s Holy Padukas on this auspicious Swati day, many devotees made flower garlands and also brought flowers and spent hours making these garlands with love in the presence of Sri Swamiji’s Padukas while chanting the Mahamantra.
In the evening, abhishekam was performed to the Holy Padukas while kirtans on the Guru were rendered. Following this, to the resonating sound of the Mahamantra, all devotees, young and old, took turns to offer a garland each to the Holy Padukas. It was indeed a joyful time for everyone.
Once again, despite it being a weekday, numerous devotees came together to celebrate the special occasion of Sri Swamiji’s descent on to this world.
Saturday, Nov 10
Sri Guruji’s jayanthi celebrations continued over the weekend. On Saturday, celebrations were held at the residence of Smt. Sumitra and Sri Dwarakanath. First, Mahamantra was chanted and kirtans on Sri Guruji were sung. A highlight at this point was the entrance of a life-size model of Sri Guruji that looked truly life-like.
Sri Ramaswamyji then shared his sweet memories and experiences with Sri Guruji, touching everyone with reminiscences of Sri Guruji’s compassion.
Following this, children from the Gopa Kuteeram Drama Club performed a short play depicting scenes from the early life of Sri Swamiji. It was very interesting to see specific incidents from Sri Swamiji’s life that showed his spiritual inclination and inherent love towards Bhagavan, right from his childhood. After the play, a fun quiz was conducted on Sri Swamiji’s establishments around the world, including Namadwaars, Temples and Patasalas. It was a fun time and everyone present also learned a lot about the various establishments.
The special offerings on that day were 57+ cards made by Gopa Kuteeram children from around Houston, wishing Sri Guruji for his birthday, and the special neivedyam that was comprised entirely of dishes that are Sri Guruji’s favorites.
Sunday Nov 11
Sri Guruji’s Jayanthi and Deepavali were continued to be celebrated the next day also in another devotees’ home, the residence of Smt. Lakshmi and Sri Prabhakar in Cypress, TX. Sri Swamiji’s favorite Akhanda Mahamantra Kirtan was performed all day. Children also rendered kirtans glorifying Bhagavan and the Guru. The Mahamantra was then chanted enthusiastically for the rest of the day by everyone present, including children. The life-size model of Sri Swamiji was placed in the center of the room and everyone walked around him while chanting the Mahamantra.
It was a blissful conclusion to the week-long celebrations of Sri Swamiji’s jayanthi and Deepavali.