Janmashtami Utsav at Houston Namadwaar

It was the eve of the divine descent of the “Unborn” Lord. Satsang families were slowly pouring into the serene Namadwaar prayer hall-met by the divine couple who wore smiles brighter than ever. The night long celebrations were begun with a transcending pravachan on Krishna Jananam by Smt. Dr. Lekshmi Nair. Coupled with the Tirumanjanam of the Yugala Dampathis, the pravachan indeed took the satsangis back to that glorified evening in Mathura itself and truly depicted the Lord’s divine play. Adding to the divinity present, the Krishna jananam chapters of Bhagavatam were read by Sri Muthuramanji and Smt. Laxmi Mahesh. Having the Lord verily present and waiting to be taken to Gokul, Vasudevar (Sri Hari Shanmugham) eagerly and humbly carried the Lord over his head, walking to ‘Gokul’ to the tunes of “Karirul Thanile Karmugil Pozhiya”. After reaching ‘Gokul’, Vasudevar, with a heavy heart, gave the Lord to Nandababa (Sri Houston Ramaswamyji). The satsangis of Houston Namadwaar thenceforth partook in the joyous celebrations of Nandotsav. The Lord was placed in a beautiful cradle, and was fed milk and butter by ladies who were, all along, yearning to lay their eyes on Him. The children, already very enthusiastic, began to circle around their dear Friend and dance. Following their suit, the men gathered around the Protector and began to dance. The men then gave way to the ladies, who then began to dance gracefully for their Beloved. Afterwards, Nandababa threw sweets to all-old and young alike-spreading happiness around. After dinner Prasad, Mahamantra was chanted, soulfully, until midnight. It was as if no one wished to leave the Lord’s side.
From Aug 14-19 2017: Nama was chanted continuously in Namadwaar during the day.
On the 17th of August, Divya Namasankirtan was conducted as a part of the grand celebrations of the Janmashtami utsav. It was a lovely evening where the satsangis of Houston Namadwaar relished sampradaya bhajans, abhangs, and kirtans of many saints.
On 18th, the evening celebrations were headed by the rendition of the first few ashtapadis. Afterwards, continuing the celebrations of Janmashtami, a Sesha vahana purappadu was conducted. The Divine couple rejoiced as bhajans were sung. Adding to the joy were the children who eagerly ran up to the “uri”, waiting to get their hands on the stick. With “govinda, govinda” being chanted in the background, the children were excited as ever. The children broke the “uri” in no time and gathered as many chocolates they could. This joyous evening culminated in an enthralling Damodhara leela pravachan by Sri Ramaswamyji.
The next day 19th, the satsangis of Houston took part in a grand celebration of Govinda Pattabhishekam in Cypress at Smt. Vanathiji and Sri Venkatesanji’s house- “Vrindavan”. The Divine Couple was brought on a Yaanai Vahanam. A short yet sweet purappaddu took place. As the mridangam and the khol beat to “Yehi Gopala,” and the shrill voices of men shouting “Premika Varadha swami hecharika!”, Perumal arrived in the house with all his grandeur. He rode on the Yaanai Vahanam which moved with slow and majestic grace up the stairs and to the peetham where tedious decorations had been made. After a few kirtans to set the mood, Houston Ramaswamyji told an eloquent and enrapturing story of the Govardhana leela emphasizing the necessity and importance of surrender and complete belief in the Lord. After the story, the drums beat again to the tune of various songs celebrating govinda giridhari who proceeded to lift the mountain for seven days and protect all the people who surrendered to him with effortless ease. The night ended with the united chanting of Govinda nama.
On the final day, celebrations began early and included the finishing of the ashtapadis. Towards late morning, Smt. Neela Iyengar elegantly rendered various kirtans including those of Sri Swamiji, as we celebrated nikunjotsav. Finally, the day ended as we had Radha Madhava vivah as the churnikai and pravaram were chanted. Finally, the day ended with Anjaneya utsavam and the chanting of the hanuman chalisa

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