Swami Ramakrishnanandaji Maharaj 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations – Day 3
Day 3 (17th July, 2012) – Shashi Maharaj`s 150thJayanti day
The day being the 150th birthday of Swami Ramakrishnananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math Chennai, was glittering and felt the bliss of its founder sage.
It began at 4:30 am with Nadaswaram, Suprabhatam and Mangala Arati followed by Vedic chanting and bhajans by Swami Jnanadananda and other monks and devotees. After circumambulating the Universal Temple, sadhus and devotees went in a solemn procession to the newly inaugurated Mandapam. At the Mandapam, Arati was performed to Swami Ramakrishnanandaji`s image by Swami Gautamanandaji. Flowers were offered to Swami Ramakrishnanandaji by the assembled sadhus and devotees.
Bhajans at the Universal Temple were performed first by Smt Vishnupriya and then by the students of Ramakrishna Math Vivekananda Centenary Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Mint.
The boys from Ramakrishna Mission Students` Home brought a florally decorated chariot in procession carrying the picture of Shashi Maharaj to the Math while playing on their orchestra. Devotees assembled offered pushpanjali to Shashi Maharaj while the boys offered their prayers at the shrine. Later, they played on the orchestra in front of Swami Ramakrishnanandaji at the Mandapam.
Swami Atmajnananda, other monks and devotees present chanted the Vishnu Sahasranama at the Universal temple. From 10 am special puja and Ramakrishna Homa were performed to mark the occasion. Swami Atmaghananada performed bhajans during food offering to the Lord. About 2000 devotees witnessed the Maha Arati and were blessed by the divine grace of the Lord and His disciple. Everyone enjoyed the prasad that was distributed.
In the afternoon around 30 children from Jyanadarshan seva foundation for the disabled repeated their heart-rending performance in front of a large audience at the pandal. Each of them was presented with a school bag and a memento. This was followed by a Harikatha at 2:15 pm presented by Smt Gowri Rajagopal, an eminent artist, along with her team on the supreme devotion of Shashi Maharaj. At 4:30 pm large number of devotees took part in Vishnu Sahasranama Archana with Akshada at the Universal Temple.
As Lord was pleased with devotion, His blessings came down as mild shower and the evening function was shifted to Vivekananda Auditorium. Swami Gautamanada presided over the function in which a DVD compiling all 50,000 pages of ‘Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam’ since its inception in 1921 was released. Swami Harivratananda sang two melodious prayer songs to mark the start of the function at 5 pm.
After the welcome speech, the audience was apprised by a nice presentation on the process, contents and facilities available in the DVD by Prof Yogananda of Sriranga software Technologies, the makers of the DVD. The 92 years DVD of Ramakrishna Vijayam was released by Swami Gautamanandaji and the first copy received by Sri R.Krishnamoorthy, Editor, Dinamalar, a popular Tamil daily. Sri R.Krishnamoorthy in his talk appreciated the efforts of the Math as well as the technicians who made the epoch making DVD.
A function was held at 6:15 pm to felicitate the ground workers who by their dedicated service have contributed to activities of the Math. Swami Asutoshananda, Manager of the Math, hailed their role and introduced these workers. They were presented with an attractive looking glass memento with Swami Ramakrishnanada`s image embedded on it. Swami Gautamanandaji and Swami Divyanandaji presented this memento to the employees and volunteers.
After evening Arati, the public function of Swami Ramakrishnananda’s Jayanti was held at 7 pm at the pandal. Swami Kamalatmananda spoke in Tamil on the great life of devotion and sacrifice that Shashi Maharaj lived to establish his Master`s name as well as the organization of Ramakrishna order in Chennai and several states of South India.
Swami Gautamanandaji Speaking in English dwelt on the intimacy of Shashi Maharaj and Swamiji; and how Shashi Maharaj took Swamiji as his leader. As Shashi Maharaj had witnessed Sri Ramakrishna`s command to Naren to hold on and take care of these boys, he (Shashi Maharaj) faithfully followed Swamiji, the Swami pointed out. He also pointed out as to how the ecstasy witnessed by Shashi Maharaj at the time of his Master`s Mahasamadhi was repeated when he left his mortal coil in 1911. He underlined the Master`s praising of Shashi Maharaj’s service to him, by saying that it was so intense that it may even make him bound to his body. Shashi Maharaj`s service extended to his Master`s other disciples too. The swami concluded his speech by saying that Shashi Maharaj preferred service to Guru than have his own spiritual experience.
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