2024 Year End Utsavam and Sri Radha Madhava Vivah, Namadwaar Atlanta

By the immense grace of Sri Swamiji, devotees offered their gratitude with a grand Year End Utsavam at Atlanta Namadwaar and welcomed the New Year by celebrating Sri Radha Madhava Vivah. A special mirror Alankaram was done for the Utsavam. The Divine couple were dressed in bright yellow dress and looked ethereal.

The year end Utsavam began on the 29th of December. The celebrations began with devotees making a melodious offering of Sri Astapadi at Namadwaar. The celebrations continued with Harikatha in the evening by Sri Raghu Sridhar ji. Raghu ji’s Harikatha rendition on the glories of Vamana Avatar, the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu kept everyone engaged.

In the 45 mins long Harikatha, Raghuji described the greatness of the lord as Vamana and of Bali Maharaj who was the great grandson of Hiranyakshipu, the grandson of Sri Prahlada Maharaj. Raghu ji spoke in length detailing all the events that led to the Lord taking the form of Vamana. From the Samudra Mantanam where the Devas were blessed with nectar, followed by the war between the Devas and Daithyas which led to the downfall of the Daithyas, the rise of the Dhaityas by the powers of their Guru Sri Shukracharya, Bali Maharaj performing the Vishwajeet and Ashwamedha Yagas to conquer all the 3 worlds. To restore balance in the 3 worlds and to restore Indra’s authority on the heavens, the ever-benevolent Lord took human form as Upendra / Vamana born to Mother Adithi under the powerful janma nakshatra Abhijeet and sought 3 steps in alms from Bali Maharaj. Raghu ji further drew attention to the compassion that the lord has towards all beings. By taking the form of Vamana, the Lord not only restored balance in the 3 worlds, but also showed his compassion towards Bali Maharaj by awarding him the authority over Sutala Loka. Bali Maharaj attained the Lord by doing atma-nivedhanam (self-surrender). Bali Maharaj and the Daithyas moved to Sutha Loka, Indra was reinstated his place in the heavens. The Lord thus fulfilled all the promises that he made to his mother Adithi. In conclusion, Raghu ji quoted Sri Sukhdev Goswamiji who said that anyone who listens to the Vamana avatara is blessed with the path to Vaikunta and the place where the Harikatha on Vamana Avatar is conducted is purified and blessed.
The evening program concluded with Harathi and Dolotsavam.

30th December, day 2 of the celebration, 6 hours Akanda Nama was organized at Namadwaar. Over 110 devotees gathered at Namadwaar and enthusiastically offered their gratitude to Sri Swamiji and Sri Takurji.

31st December. Devotees offered Sri Astapadi in the morning for the pleasure of Sri Swamiji and Sri Premikavaradha Takurji. The evening program commenced at 8pm with Smt Soumya Narayan ji’s Harikatha on “Bhagavan Namame Gathi”. As the title suggests, Soumya ji’s Harikatha dwelt on the various aspects and benefits that Bhagavan Nama brings to one’s life. Her Harikatha was entwined with various beautiful and relatable analogies on how Nama chanting washes away sins and leads Bhaktas towards Moksham. In the Harikatha, Soumya ji also drew attention to the fact that Mahamantra is never influenced by Kali and quoted various mahans like Sri Sri Maha Periva and Sri Narayana Teertha Swamiji. Nama chanting, though simple, gives back multitude of blessings to the person who chants the divine name – “Alpa Prayasaihi, Analpa Phalam”. For those who seek Moksham, the one and only path that leads devotees to the lotus feet of the Kripa Samudra is Nama. Nama is powered with Chaitanya and has Jeeva as Sri Swamiji says in the beautiful Madhurageetham “jIvan uLLadu bhagavan nAmam”. Soumya ji’s Harikatha concluded with a soulful rendition of the Madhurageetham jIvan uLLadu bhagavan nAmam for the pleasure of Sri Madhurisakhi Sametha Sri Premikavaradha Takurji and Sri Swamiji by Chi. Anirudh.

As a prelude to the grand Radha Madhava Vivah on the 1st of January, devotees celebrated Janvasam for the divine couple. Devotees made 2 groups, one group glorified our divine mother Radharani, the other group glorified the divine father. Devotees with a deep feeling of love, gratitude, and reverence for the divine couple sang praises of the divine couple’s leelas on earth from infancy to Radha Madhava Vivah. Around 10pm, devotees continued the festivities with an offering of Hanuman Chalisa followed by Mahanmantra chanting to welcome to New year. At 12 am amidst the enthusiastic chanting of Nama, Harathi was offered to the Lord. Devotees welcomed the new year with Nama on their lips, mind, and heart.

Jan 1st. The 1st day of the year 2024, devotees gathered at Namadwaar in the evening for a grand Sri Radha Madhava Vivah celebration. The 3 hours long celebrations started at 4pm was a grand success. Over 190 devotees gathered to witness the divine wedding. Sampradhaya Bhajans, Kalyana Astapadi were offered for the pleasure of Sri Madhurisakhi Sametha Sri Premika Varadha Takurji. Various snacks / Kalyana Bhakshanam lovingly prepared by the devotees were offered to the lord. The game of Poopanthu was enjoyed by everyone. Smt Jeya Kishore ji spoke about the importance of being under the guidance of an Uthama Guru. She quoted various examples and stories that kept everyone engaged. The grand celebration was concluded with Harathi, Dolotsavam, and grand dinner prasadam for all devotees.

Click on the links below to watch on YouTube :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njoRL0Z09B8 – Highlights of the Year End Utsavam 2023
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc5EUOrwP9Q – Sri Vamana Avatara Harikatha by Sri Raghu Sridhar ji
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPxHfEGuV58 – Bhagavan nAmamE gathi – Harikatha by Soumya Narayananji
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc0WfeedmEw –Akanda Nama at Namadwaar


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