With the grace of our Guru Maharaj, HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, Gopa Kuteeram Minnesota Chapter celebrated Annual Day, on 21st May, 2023. It was a day to celebrate all that the kids had learnt over this past year, and to showcase a few chosen kirtans, slokas, and research work on ancient temples, to all the parents and grandparents who attended the event. 20 kids attended the event in-person with their families, and extended families, while 10 more kids and their families attended via zoom.
Highlight of the event was a segment named ‘anukarana’. For this segment, kids came dressed up as a character from the puranas or ithihasas, or as a Mahatma/saint belonging to Sanatana Dharma. They then presented who they are doing the anukaranam of, shared quotes or songs related to that character, or shared a story significant to that character. There were Krishnas, Ramas, Hanuman, Panduranga, Andal, Radha Rani, Lalitha sakhi, Durga Devi, Lakshmi Devi, and so many more! Kids dazzled the audience with their knowledge and the details that they captured for each of their characters. Kids were very impressive while they shared stories as the character themselves – kid dressed up as Hanuman verily became Hanuman as he narrated how he was bestowed Rama Kainkarya, as the Rama standing next to him acknowledged Hanuman for being the catalyst in Vibheeshana Sharanagati; kid dressed up as Panduranga, became Vittoba for those few minutes, as he claimed ‘Naham vasami vaikunthe na yogi hrudaye ravou, mad bhaktah yatra gayanti, tatra tishtaami!’; Radha Rani and her sakhi recited Gopika Geetham, and a young Krishna shared how he ordained himself in Govinda Pattabhishekam, while another kutti Krishna shared why he is Mathura Nayaka! A little Andal shared the importance of Govinda Nama Sankeertanam, while Durga Devi shared her prowess with the story of how she annihilated Mahishasura; Lakshmi Devi assured the audience why she bestows not just material wealth to this world, but also bestows Govinda charana to whoever comes to her!
Young kids doing anukarana, shared stories with such ease and conviction, reminded everyone of the verse from Madhurageetham – Guru arulé unmai kāranamām vérondrum illai!
The event concluded with Hanumath Utsavam, with everyone chanting Hanuman Chalisa followed by Mahamantra Sankeertanam. Koti Namasakarams to the Lotus Feet of Sri Sri Swamiji for giving us this beautiful Govindanukku Atpatta Kutumbam in Minnesota, and for this amazing opportunity of raising our kids under the wings of Gopa Kuteeram. As we conclude 10th year of Gopa Kuteeram in Minnesota, we seek His blessings for continued Guru Kainkaryam through Gopa Kuteeram for many more years to come!