2011 Events Summary
23rd Jan 2011-Prayer Session at Parramatta, NSW
GOD members and families met at the Scout Hall, Parramatta.
Between 4-5pm, group prayers were conducted. Prayers were offered at the Lotus Feet of our Spiritual Master Sri Muralidhara Swamiji and Lord Sri Krishna. The group also prayed for the people/families affected by the recent floods in Queensland.
Vijay Raisinghaniji shared a special incident. During his recent trip to Chennai, India, Sri Swamiji was conversing with the Raisinghanis. Sri Swamiji asked little Vandan ” does it rain in Australia”, ( this was the time when it was raining heavily in Chennai) Vandan replied, “yes, it does”. Sri Swamiji asked, ” does it rain this heavily in Australia’ and where does it rain heavily”. To this Vandan replied, “I don’t know”. Vijay ji said, he thought, if Sri Swamiji is asking like this, then there should be some reason behind it and left it there. Vijay ji said it suddenly struck him when he heard of Queensland floods, why Sri Swamiji was asking Vandan, ‘does it rain this heavily in Australia’……
Vaidehi also shared a special incident. Vaidehi ji said, everyone knows the popular song ” Kettadai koddupavane Krishna Krishna…”, which means Krishna will bestow you with what ever you ask for, but Vaidehi said, for her, “Ninaitadai koddupavane Krishna Krishna”, which means, Krishna will not even wait for you to ask HIM, but he will give what ever you even think of getting”
Vaidehi ji said she was browsing Namadwaar website the other day and saw there were calendars for sale from the Mission. She thought how nice it would be if she can get one for herself. As soon as Vaidehi ji came to the Prayer Meet, Kavitha ji came and handed over the very same calendar that Vaidehi wanted!!!
1st Jan 2011-Group Chanting at Ashfield, NSW
GOD Satsang members performed Nama Sankirtan at OMGet2Gethers New Year Day function at the Vedanta Centre, Ashfield, Sydney.
Feedback from the Secretary, OMGet2Gethers
It was great to listen to the Nama Sankirtan by the Global Organisation for
…Divinity and chant along with them. Our congratulations to them for promoting world
peace thru divinity by kirtans. Our heartfelt thankyou to all who participated on the 1st
– to all who sang and to all the musicians in their group. You all really made our day!!!
Om Ingleshwar, OmGet2gethers in conjunction with Carewell
15th Jan 2011-Group Chanting at Glenwood, NSW
Nama Sankirtan at the house warming ceremony of Smt Jayanthi and Sri Ravi. GOD members performed Nama Sankirtan and sang Sri Swamiji’s kirtans. Muthu Ramatchandirin spoke on the greatness of Nama and the benefits of chanting Nama.
30th Oct – 2nd Nov 2011 – Fiji Trip
Written by Deepak Vinod –
By the boundless Grace of Our Beloved Swamiji – myself and Bhagyaji had a wonderful 6 day tour of Fiji. I had the greatest fortune of travelling to Fiji with Dr Bhagyanathan Ji (Bhagyaji) Personal Secretary to His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. Bhagyaji arrived in Sydney on Oct 29th for a 2 month tour of the Asia-Pacific region. The very next day, together we embarked on a trip to Fiji Islands. This was Bhagyaji’s first trip to Fiji.
Sunday 30th October
After landing at Nadi International Airport, we made our way to the residence of our most loving Host’s Mr and Mrs Naresh Chand Ji. That evening a small Satsangh was organised at Sri Nareshji’s residence itself. The Satsangh started with the singing of Mahamantra Kirtan. It was a very nice satsangh where Dr Bhagyaji spoke on the Importance and greatness of a Guru. Bhagyaji very eloquently expounded on how the GURU is Bhagavan Himself. The satsangh concluded with a mass prayer. It was well recieved and ALL who attended. Prayers were also done later for various individuals with special prayer requests.
Monday 31th October Morning
The morning started with our Visit to Lautoka Andhra Sangam Secondary School. A wonderful attribute about this school was that its administration was committed to providing education to students from all socio-ecomonic, racial , cultural background. We were greeted very warmly by the Principle / Staff and 400+ loving young students. The session went for one hour where Bhagya engaged all the students in a very interactive, lively and educational session. It was so wonderful to see Bhagyaji had everyone wrapped. The session culminated with Bhagyaji explaining the greatness of the Mahamantra and all the students recited the Mahamantra with Dr Bhagyaji. Our Kind and benevolent Principle was extremely pleased with what she witnessed and requested us to make this an annual event. She also promised to make Mahamantra a part of the morning prayers and shared her desire to have darshan of Sri Swamiji in the near future.
Monday 31th October Afternoon
For the Afernoon session, we travelled to BA to visit NUKULOA SANTAN SECONDARY School. THis School was located in a very remote and rural part of the BA Town. It was truly a amazing school in the way it was setup and with hilltops in the backround and surrounded by sugar cane fields. THe Principle commented that it was so rural that they were never the subject of interest for speakers who often frequent the surburbian schools . The school had about 300 students from all racial backgrounds. Needless to say Sri Bhagyaji conducted another thrilling session.
Monday 31th October Evening
In the evening, we were invited to speak to the trainee-teachers at the FIJIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY. It was attended by 40-50 very keen students who took part in the 90 minute interactive program by Dr Bhagyaji and self .After the warm welcome, I spoke for about 20 minutes on the greatness of our Scriptures and its timeless wisdom. Thereafter Bhagyaji did a Audio/Visual Presentation with Slides on “Realising ones true Strength”. Again this was completely interactive. It was very much evident that the audience were really enoying the lecture while having a lot of fun. In an immaculate manner Bhagyaji drove the presentation to the importance of Focus of Mind – leading to Sound and the power of Mahamantra. After a photo session – everyone personally recieved the MM CD, Kumkum Prasad and MM Sticker from Dr Bhagyaji. It was so amazing to see the kids staying back to chat to Bhagya ji – making inquiry about various aspects of Spirituality, Ashram, Guruji and with Bhagya taking the time to individually meet them and encourage each one of them on the great position they are in to spread this very same message. The response recieved from the students made us feel very confident that this could be a major step towards Nama Propogation in Fiji. With a warm fulfilling feeling – we made our way back home.
Tuesday 1st November – Morning Early morning
We (Dr Bhagyaji, Master Naresh Chand and Myself) left for BA for a Mass Prayer at Ba Sanatan school. This program was to specifically cater for the upcoming Annual Exams. Dr Bhagyanathanji ran a 1 hour program. Bhagyaji spoke on the efficacy of prayers when complemented with hard work. As usual the session ended with Mass prayer with Mahamantra. The interactive session was very well recieved by Students and Staff all around. The Principle was full of praise about the program and felt the school overall had benefitted from this session.
Tuesday 1st November – Evening
Thereafter we left for Lautoka to pack and head to the Central Side – Suva, the Capital and Nausori. We reached there at 5pm. After a quick freshner, we travelled to a village town called Raralevu in Nausori for a program at Sita Ram Temple. This program was organised by my Cousin – who’s whole family are devotees of Sri Swamiji. Every Tuesday, this temple has recital and discourse on Ram Charit Manas. Hence we continued the trend speaking on the same. This satsangh was attended by approx 130 bhaktas. I spoke on the Meeting of Hanuman and Rama and the subsequent meeting of Rama and Sugriva. Thereafter Dr Bhagyaji spoke on the greatness of Rama Nama, alluding to the Kritis of our Tyagraja Swami. The Satsangh ended with vibrant chanting of Mahamantra for 10 minutes. The administrators were so touched that they made us promise that we should have a week long program next year. Everyone receieved Ji’s Kumkum prasad with CD’s and Mahamantra Stickers.
Wednesday 2nd November – Morning
Today, we decided to visit some important organisations/departments which we wanted to afiliate with for the purpose of spreading the message of Sri Swamiji across FIJI. Thus we visiting the FIJI TEACHERS REGISTRATION BOARD (FTRB), CORRECTIVE SERVICES OF FIJI, Indian Embassy, Fiji Times (including the affiliated HINDI Publication Section Viz ‘Shanti Dut’). By the immense grace of our Swamiji, every visit was successful and fruitful. GOD Australia recieved Formal Teaching Authority to Visit any School in Fiji – in particular Dr Bhagyaji and Myself were registered on the Teachers Registry for Fiji. As for the Corrective Services, we were successful in arranging an impromptu meeting with the Commissioner of Corrective Services Department together with their Rehabilitation officer-in-charge. Put simply, we couldn’t have dreamt of a better outcome from this meeting. They liked the message and goals of GOD and requested us to work with them across all 12 Imprisonment Centers across Fiji with the goal of allowing the inmates to redeem themselves and become valued members of the community and society.
Wednesday 2nd November – Evening
We were invited to talk in a Nav-Durga Temple on Wednesday evening. This program was organised by Master Keshwa Krishna- who is also very much touched by the messages of Sri Swamiji and aspires to become a disciple of Sri Guruji. Here, Dr Bhagyaji spoke on the topic of “Success of Life”. There were approx 40 – 50 Bhaktas present to enjoy the satsangh. The Satsangh Concluded with Mahamantra. Everyone present also receieved the kumkum prasad with some various publications.
Thursday 3nd November – Morning
After a short interview with the editor of Shanti Dut on Thursday morning – we left for Lautoka again. Master Naresh had organised a Satsangh in Lautoka that evening at a Shiva temple. It was a grand welcomed given by the locals. The topic here was Ram Charitra. Bhagyaji expounded on the greatness of Ram Katha and concluded with explaining how/why Rama Nama as the essence of all shastras. Thereafter I spoke in Hindi again on the greatness of being engaged in listening to the charitras of Bhagavan and constantly chanting HIS names. THe satsangh concluded with everyone chanting the Mahamantra. Thereafter everyone recieved the Kumkum prasad and Mahamantra CD with the Sticker. Many Bhaktas also got the various publications of Sri Swamiji. Bhaktas repeatedly spoke and Thanked Bhagyaji for coming to Fiji and having a program at their temple.
Friday 4th November – Morning
Our final programme for this tour was at Lovu Sangam Primary School. This was also a school filled with students of various different cultural/religions background. We arrived at the school to be welcomed by 500 students and staff. In the 45 minute session, Bhagya ji spoke on the importance of prayers, how we should pray and what we should pray for. As usual, it was an interactive session and all the children were in high spirits. The session ended with a prayers with Maha Mantra Chanting. All students chanted loudly with great zeal. Vinaka Vakalevu (Thank you) Fiji!! Thereafter, we left to pack and leave for the airport. Once checked in, and prior to boarding, Bhagyaji put a small prayer at the feet of Sri Swamiji – that very soon we get at least one Namadwaar in Fiji. We silently chanted Mahamantra with the prayer in mind and left for Sydney. It was indeed a fulfilling trip for both of us for many reasons most importantly since this is what pleases our Master. For myself personally, I had no words to express the joy of having fortune of a close association with Dr Bhagyaji in these 6 days. Sarvam Gururarpanamastu Satgurunath Maharaj Ki Jay
Jan 6 2011-Weekly Thursday Classes on SKYPE
This week’s highlights:
Sri Swamiji’s kirtan sung by Usha Raisinghani
Experiences of chanting Mahamantra shared by Saroja Narayanan.
Lecture on X1 Canto Srimad Bhagavatam by Poornimaji-Teacher & Senior Disciple of Sri Swamiji
7th Jan 2011-Bhagavatham Study Group 2011 Class
The Bhagavatam study group met at Cherrybrook, Sydney. The group chanted Bhagavatha dhyana shlokas, Kunthi sthuthi, Beeshma sthuthi, Dhruva sthuthi and started to learn Gajendra Sthuthi through the study material provided by Poornimaji – Teacher & Senior Disciple of Sri Swamiji
9th Jan 2011-Bhagavatam class at Prestons,NSW
The Concept of Avatara was discussed? What it means? Why Bhagavan Takes Avatara? We discussed the 24 Avataras of Bhagavan from the 1st Canto and focussed on the point that Bhagavan tries in many ways to free the Jivas… from the cycle of Birth and Death
13th Jan 2011-Weekly Thursday Classes on SKYPE
This week’s highlights:
Sri Swamiji’s kirtan sung by Jayanthi Ramanan
Experiences of chanting Mahamantra shared by Shreya Sridharan (Singapore Satsang)
Lecture on Sishtashtakam by Poornimaji-Teacher & Senior Disciple of Sri Swamiji
Chanting of Maha Mantra – All families
20th Jan 2011-Weekly Thursday Classes on SKYPE
This week’s highlights:
Sri Swamiji’s kirtan ‘Rama Ramana Hari….” sung by Dr Prasad and Kamakshi Prasad
Experiences of chanting Mahamantra shared by Mythili Bala
Lecture on Sishtashtakam by Poornimaji-Teacher & Senior Disciple of Sri Swamiji
23rd Jan 2011-Telecon Lecture by Dr Bhagyanathan
Topic: Kali Dharma Undiyar
Summary of the lecture:
All great things are simple, similarly the core message of our Spiritual master is Simple and is universal which is addressed to the entire makind. The work contains 31 logical verses.
Sri Swamiji establishes:
- That one can’t deny the existence of God
- The very purpose of life is to attain the Truth
- Many paths are available. Question is whether the path shown is accepted by our Scriptures and Mahatmas and that is the path one should choose.
- While speaking various paths to attain God Realisation in different ages, different paths have been shown. People have different tastes.Question arises, which path am I supposed to pick? Do a retrospection and understand your strengths and limitations. Once you have chosen a path, have faith and place all the responsibility on God.
- In this age the path that has been recommended is chanting the divine names of the Lord. In this path we place all the responsibility on God and have to simply chant HIS Divine Names.
- Chanting the Divine names of the Lord is the Dharma ( way of life) in this age.
27 Jan 2011 Weekly Thursday Classes on SKYPE
This week’s highlights: Sri Swamiji’s kirtan “Porumayum karunayum tavamum serndu” sung by Vaidehi Narasimhan …Experiences of chanting Mahamantra shared by Sharmila Reddy contin…Lecture on Sishtashtakam by Poornimaji-Teacher & Senior Disciple of Sri Swamiji Chanting of Maha Mantra – All families
3rd Feb 2011 Weekly Thursday Classes on SKYPE
This week’s highlights: …Ramuji’s kirtan on Sri Swamiji “Madhuram Madhuram Aho Madhuram…”sung by Sharmila Reddy …Experiences of chanting Mahamantra shared by Vaidehi Narasimhan contin…Lecture on Sishtashtakam by Poornimaji-Teacher & Senior Disciple of Sri Swamiji
Chanting of Mahamantra – All families
4th Feb 2011 Bhagavatam 2011 Class
After a brief introduction on Srimad Bhagavatam, every one chanted the Bhagavata dhyana slokas and contemplated on its meaning. From this month, Poornimajil, a senior disciple of Swamiji will render lectures (recorded) on Srimad Bhagavatam and also expound in detail the 11th Canto of Bhagavatam. Poornimajiâ€™s recorded lecture on Bhagavatam was played for 35 minutes. From the month of March, Poornimaji will expand on the 11th canto of Bhagavatam.
Synopsis of Poornimaji’s talk:
The central theme of Bhagavatam is Bakthi (love and devotion to the Lord). Bhagavatam shows œshravana yoga listening – and the fruit of this yoga is not received after a period of time, but instantly, as we listen to it in the form of love and peace in our hearts at the very instant.
Bhakthi that comes with Jnana (wisdom) and vairagya (dispassion) alone would lead to the Lord. The 11th canto of Bhagavatam is considered to be the crown of Bhagavatam as it contains the rare instructions on Bhagavatha dharma from the mouth of Lord Krishna himself to Uddava. 11th Canto is primarily a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Uddava and commonly known as Uddava Gita. The 12th canto is the feather on the crown and it explains that chanting the names of the Lord is the easiest path to reach God.
About 18 people attended the Bhagavatam study group in February.
15 Jul 2011 Guru Poornima
tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah
There is another incident in which the Bhagvan has categorically said that spiritual progression can never be made without a Guru. Thirukachi Nambi was a great Vaishnava Acharya. He did the Alavatta Kanikaryam ( Fanning service ) to Lord Varadharajar and he had a Parama Bhagayam of Having a dialogue with the Lord .First he did Allavattam Kanikaryam to Sri Ranganathar of Srirangam, but lord Ranganathar told that he is surrounded by Cauvery river and it is cool, so he instructed him to sevai to Lord of Seven hills Sri Srinivasan, Then Thirukachi Nambhi went to Thirumalai and told the Niyamanam of Lord Ranganathar. Lord Srinivasan told He is surrounded by Hills, Clouds and Cool breeze, so directed him to visit Kanchi do Alavatta sevai to Lord Varadharajar as he has come out from Agni Jawalai from the Yagya. Then he came to Kanchi back and did the sevai to Perumal. On a daily basis, he used to walk from Poovirunthavalli (Poonamalli) to Kanchipuram (Distance – About 60 Kms) to peform Alavatta Kainkaryam to Deva PerumAl and Deva PerumAl used to speak with Thirukachi Nambi. Swami Ramanuja got the answers for his questions, from Deva PerumAl, through Thirukachi Nambi. One day Thirukachi Nambi enquired with Deva PerumAl, on account of the Alavatta Kainkaryam performed him, whether he will get Moksham. Deva PerumAl replied that “VEsinatharkum Paesinartharkum Seriyaaka Ayiduthu” (i.e) in return for the Alavatta Kainkaryam performed by you, I spoke to you. Further, Deva PerumAl informed Thirukachi Nambi that there is no relationship between the Alavatta Kainkaryam and Moksham, and without Acharya Sambandham, Moksham will not be granted. Thus it is very clear that without Guru we cannot attain Liberation. Dhyana moolam Gurur murti, Pooja moolam Guru Padam, Mantra moolam Guru Vakyam, Moksha moolam Guru Kripa…..The form of Guru is the object of meditation, the feet of Guru the object of puja, the words of the Guru is verily siddha mantra, and the grace of the Guru is final liberation. The following incident demonstrates Guru Kripa. Sankaracharya during his Brahmachari Bhikshatana one day visited the house of a poor Brahmin lady, nothing was available in the house to offer. She was very much upset and worried that she could not offer any thing to such a great person who came to her house. She earnestly searched for something to be given in her house. At last she found an Amla fruit she had for Dwadesi parayanam, she gave it with all humility and respect in the bowl of Sankaracharya. Sri Sankaracharya was very much moved at the sight of the poverty, stricken woman and immediately in an extempore way started imploring Goddess Lakshmi to be merciful towards this poor Brahmin lady to drive away her poverty.He recited twenty two slokas in praise of Goddess Lakshmi Who was very much pleased and appeared and asked for his cause l of prayer. Sankaracarya pleaded her to grant riches to the Brahmin lady. Goddess Lakshmi said that this Brahmin lady did not qualify to get any riches in this life as she did not to do any charities in her previous life and carry consideration and she deserves sufferance and justified her stand of not conferring any wealth on her. Sankaracarya while accepting her response, replied that in this life she gave him Amla fruit with very great reverence in spite of not having any thing due to her extreme poverty and this act of her alone will justify to shower riches on her. Hearing upon this Goddess Lakshmi was greatly moved and immensely pleased with the advocacy of the argument of Sri Sankaracharya and showered instantly golden rain of Amla fruits. All of us here have so many shortcomings in this life, and we do not know what happened in our earlier births. It is only the grace of Guruji can help us. On this Guru Poornima day let us take a vow to do more and more Guruseva. Even if we are doing 100 % let us increase it to 200 % and so on. I would like to conclude with the verse (3) from Vivekachoodamani “durlabham trayam eva etat daivaanugraham hetukam, manushatvam, mumukshatvam ,maha purusha samshrayahaâ€.Shri Shankara says three things are very difficult to achieve Human Life, Desire to know one self & the shelter of Maha purusha. How fortunate we are that we are born as humans, and we have the desire to advance in spirituality and above all we have the greatest fortune of being in the shelter of our Guru Maharaj. Let us offer our Pranams to the Lotus feet of Guruji and seek his blessings on this auspicious day. After the talk, dolotsavam was performed and prasad distributed to all the devotees.
27 Sep 2011 – GK Spring Camp 2011
The weather on the morning of 26th September was definitely no indication of the bright spirits of 32 children who came to G.O.D’s Spring Holiday Camp 2011. Held in Parramatta Scout Hall for two days, the camp was an initiative by the Global Organisation for Divinity, instilling positive values in young minds. The camp aimed to give children an insight into different cultures with its â€˜Cultures of the World theme, while reinforcing the importance of respect, further emphasising G.O.D’s aim of universal brotherhood. The camp was initiated with a short prayer of Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, signifying that all auspicious events are started with a prayer. The children then dove into the first session of the camp: Cultures led by Lakshmi Sekhar and Saroja Narayanan. The idea of cultures and multiculturalism was introduced to the children. The focus turned to learning about a specific culture: the Japanese one. Hands shot up, as children were bubbling with excitement to show off their knowledge on Japan. The adults stood amazed as slowly each aspect of the Japanese culture was revealed effortlessly by the children. The general consensus was that they didn’t need to be taught anything! The importance of respect and not discriminating was brought up by a child who to the delight of the adults, summed up the essence of the camp. To further emphasise the importance of identity, the Indian and Australian anthems were taught to the children. They sang with utmost gusto, hardly needing the cards they were supplied with. They also learnt about the significance of a national anthem to a country and how it arouses patriotism. This was followed by a fun art session with Gayathri who gladly helped children create their own sunflower photo frames. Each child received their very own craft kit which they used to create the frame. The frames were made of painted wood and a sunflower design which was cut out by the children themselves. They enjoyed sticking their own pictures in the centre of the flower and decorating the sides with leaves. There was definitely an air of pride as they saw their creations propped up onto the art table beside their name. It was time to enter the boys domain with the onset of the cricket clinic! Cricket being intrinsic to the fanatic nature of Indian culture and the sportiness of Australians, was well received by all. Aditya Ramakrishnan of Emerging Blues U15, Gajan and Varun came to teach the children a few essential cricket skills such as fielding, catching, bowling, batting and throwing at the stumps. Fun cricket games were integrated into the clinic, creating quite an amount of enthusiasm amongst the youngsters. A fun-filled magic show followed the cricket session in which Ruby Star from Yabadoo Kids’ parties made an appearance just to fill the hall with bright smiles and laughs. She provided lots of entertainment and even blew up balloon toys for the children, sparking wild sword fights with the boys and playful puppy play time with the girls. When it was time for her to leave, the children thanked her and all gathered for a keepsake photo which they treasured. The day was rounded off with the learning of dandiya and hip-hop, much to the delight of the children. Shonie Kaushik taught dandiya, a celebratory folk dance and Sitara Ramakrishnan taught the children hip hop set to modern hit songs. While the choreography was kept simple, the children enjoyed the session immensely, moving to the fast and upbeat music with great eagerness. They settled into the routine quite quickly, their enjoyment apparent. The onset of day 2 brought on a wave of excitement as children hastened to come inside to start another fun-filled day. What awaited them was a host of stimulating activities that would teach them about different cultures of the world. As last time, the day was started with a prayer. The children then participated in a Tai Chi session, led by Virginia Akrap, an Instructor from the Australian Academy of Tai Chi, who introduced the group to the various facets of Tai Chi. Tai Chi, an important part of traditional Chinese culture, is a practice which helps develop combat skills while improving concentration and overall well-being. Virginia demonstrated some simple movements which the children followed. Then she showed them a self-defence move which involved the throwing of a fan. Exclamations of surprise followed with a thunderous round of applause. The children thanked her warmly and proceeded onto the next activity. To consolidate their understanding of the Chinese culture, the children learnt about the Chinese celebration: Moon Festival. A power point outlining the festival was shown and the children learnt the significance of the festival and how it is celebrated. Maria Xu, a teacher at Berala Public School, then answered the children’s questions about China and the Moon Festival. A wide array of impressive questions was asked by the keen children to which Mrs. Xu answered patiently. The next activity saw the children being divided into two groups. The older students were taken by Mrs. Xu who showed them how to make a Chinese lantern. The lantern was decorated with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. The activity was somewhat challenging in that corners had to be meticulously glued but this was eagerly lapped up by the children who made the lanterns with great care. The second group went to Leela aunty, a very talented artist from India, who taught the children how to create artworks with simple everyday items like vegetables. Cut up okra and carrots dipped into paint soon produced beautiful flowers on paper. With the addition of deft strokes on the part of Leela aunty, the flowers soon had stems and leaves. The young children were also taught how to make decorative borders relatively simply. After the demonstration, the children sat down in an attempt to recreate Aunty’s art. The results were all fantastic as the children had added their own creative impressions to it, making for some excellent flower baskets. This marked the end of the activities that camp provided. The children then prepared for the presentation which was to be held in front of the parents as a showcase to the wide range of activities the children participated in. Mr Stafford Watts, former senior Commissioner of Land & Environment Court, took out time to be present in the presentation as Chief Guest. They buzzed with excitement as they busily prepared for the presentation. Some practiced their dance moves while some nervously prepared speeches to tell parents about each activity. All turned out well in the end with the children giving an amazing performance and the reflections of each activity being well said. Parents collected children with wide smiles of contentment in their children’s happiness, who gushed with eagerness to recount stories from camp. G.O.D’s Spring 2011 Camp was a downright success in that it gave children the right values they need to function as forthright young adults in the world while doing it in a fun, encouraging way. Urged by supporting parents and adults, they learnt the value of respecting other cultures. By making constant connections to the familiar Indian culture, they also learnt that the world is a similar place and love and respect is needed in order to achieve universal brotherhood. Not a bad way to spend two days, I say! Report by Smriti Sekhar Youth Volunteer
24-26th Dec 2011 – Satsang Retreat with Bhagyaji
Sri Bhagyaji’s visit to Australia commenced with a Mahotsav ( Sri Swamiji’s Jayanthi) and drew to a close with a Mahotsav implying that everything in between was nothing different. A retreat was organised by G.O.D team at Yerrinbool, a village in the southern highlands of New South Wales about 120km out of Sydney. The event had about 45 participants, including from Melbourne and Auckland satsangs, commencing on the 24th Dec 11 and finishing on the 26th Dec 11. It was a nice and bright Saturday morning. Retreat participants started arriving as early as 8am. Soon after their arrival they went through the registration process and proceeded to their accommodation. After refreshing themselves, everyone assembled in the dining hall and had morning tea. At 9:50am everyone assembled in the lecture hall. The hall was beautifully decorated with Sri Swamiji’s and Madhuri Sakhi sametha Sri Premika Varadan’s portrait. The program started at 10am with a brief introduction by the Secretary of G.O.D Soma Sekar ji. Soma Sekar ji briefed about the theme of the retreat, which is Bhagavatha dharma a way of life. The key ingredients of this dharma is Bhagawan nama and Guru mahima. Everything that happens in the day revolves around this and the bliss that comes about in this style of life has to be experienced than explained. The Yerrinbool camp demonstrated this leading. Dinesh Ramanan was the MC for the event and he explained the house keeping rules. As a re-cap Jayashree ji, gave a brief talk on the verses that were covered by Sri Bhagyaji on Kali Dharma Undiyar previously. Right at the outset, Sri Bhgyaji explained that the objective of the camp would be to replicate the experience one enjoys at the Madhurapuri Ashram in the proximity of Sri Swamiji. It was a nice opportunity to get a taste of Bhagavatha dharma of which a lot was heard in the preceding two months of satsangs. Is it not said that no amount of explanation of how sweet honey is will be the same as actually tasting it? Over two nights and three days, the participants experienced sheer bliss from discourses on Kalidharma undhiyar, Gajendra sthuthi, and above all, performing prabodhanam and dolotsavam to Lord Premika Varadhan. Typically, the day commenced at 5.00am with a brisk walk and yoga stretches. The rest of the day was packed with events till 10pm in the night. The vibrant youth team of G.O.D provided splendid music, conducted interesting and thought provoking games and sanathana quiz. Free fall was a game that demonstrated the value of trust and faith with the volunteer tipping backwards in all abandon into the hands of the other volunteer at the back. The game of leading the blindfolded person to the destination without verbal instruction brought out the value of good communication skill. The sanathana quiz between the Gopas and Gopis was very interesting with some great questions. The music contest to quickly compose and present the song with the given words Mahamantra, Guru, Namadwaar, Global, Nama was great fun and demonstrated the excellent enthusiasm in the group. There was active participation from all age groups. Little Vandan aged 8yrs made an astounding narration from the Ramayana in a very meaningful and humorous manner, especially the greatness of Anjaneya. Sharadha aged 8 yrs rendered Bhisma Stuthi in a very fluent and touching manner. G.O.D members presented their speech on various topics such as Greatness of Nama, Practical Spirituality in today’s context, Guru mahima, Uniqueness of Namadwaar, Nama Anubhava and What does G.O.D represent, which was very enjoyable and educative. Jayashree ji beautifully spoke on the highlights of Sri Bhagyaji’s APAC tour saying, normally we have satsangs, that itself is a great pleasure, but in Bhagyaji’s presence the satsangs turns out to be a celebration. Soma Sekar ji summed up the entire trip of Sri Bhagyaji. One would be awestruck to note that, in the 60 day trip, Bhagyaji covered, Fiji, PNG, Wellington, Auckland, Hobart, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Bhagyaji presented more than 50 public programs and 60 house visits/house satsangs. The concluding day of the Yerrinbool camp, Deepakji discoursed from Sri Tulsi Das Ramayana, explaining the key aspects of Guru Mahima and Nama prabhava. Some excellent lessons of life were explained such as that the greatness of Sugreeva was his knowing his own limitations and never leaving the Guru (Anjaneya) at any cost. Shatrugna is held in higher esteem than Lakshmana as he was an epitome of service to a Bhagavatha (Bharatha) rather than service to Bhagwan. In Kali Dharma Undiyar discourse, Bhagyaji addressed each and every verse very logically and substantiated with appropriate examples from everyday life or the Puranas. The examples have helped the participants to understand and instil the true values conveyed through this Maha Grantha Kali Dharma Undiyar of Sri Swamiji. In Gajendra stuthi discourse, Bhagyaji very beautifully explained that it is not a mere story of an Elephant and crocodile, but demonstrates the facts of life. In todays world, if we are in physical or mental agony, we can expect some help from friends and family but only upto a certain point. The message is to hold on the Holy Feet of the Guru or Bhagawan. While explaining Prabodhanam and Dolotsavam, Bhagyaji explained how we can show our devotion to the Lord by actually making Him a member of our family and do things that we would normally do for the little children. All in all, the camp was a blissful experience for the mind and key lessons to take home and ponder such as Guru Seva and Nama Mahima
27th Dec 2011 – Farewell Satsang with Bhagyaji
Concluding Satsang with Sri Bhagyaji Cherrybrook Bhagyaji’s 2011 tour of Asia Pacific was brought to a close at 9, Ridgemont close, Cherrybrook on the 27th evening. Almost 100 people attended this concluding satsang where Bhagyaji once again drove home the message of Guru Bhakthi and Power of Mahamantra. This was the central theme of this tour and it indeed proved to be a fitting finale for two months of joyous and inspiring satsangs. The program began with a talk by Bhagyaji, where once again he brought out some simple but logical examples to radiate the beauty of the mahamantra. These examples have become his trademark and made his talks appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds. The satsang then finished with a mass prayer and prasad was served.
1st Jan 2011 “Joy of Sharing” at Parramatta
On New Year’s day, GOD Australia launched “Joy of Sharing”, a community outreach program that is aimed at providing meals for the disadvantaged citizens of the community. GOD provided free lunch for disadvantaged and homeless people in Parramatta’s Church Street Mall, outside the Parramatta Town Hall, Sydney. GOD volunteers prepared and distributed lunch to about 70 people.
6th Nov 2011 – Campbelltown Street Parade
The blind king had a forlorn look, summoned his minister and said
Dhritarashtra: Oh Sanjaya, what is going on? I am sensing gloom…The G20 economic summit at France over the weekend has failed to ward off the euro zone crisis. You always say that in the face of gloom and darkness, there is always a silver lining somewhere. Is anything happening around the world?
Sanjaya: Indeed Maharaj, in the southern hemisphere, Sydney to be precise, the most remarkable thing you could ever imagine. A grand double is about to unfold Sri Muralidhara Swamiji Jayanthi Mahotsav and the consecration of Mahuri Sakhi sametha Premika Varadhan in Australia.
Dhritarashtra: Tell me all about it Sanjaya, commanded the king.
Sanjaya: The signs were very much there. Bhagyaji had arrived a few days prior and held satsangs in the neighbouring Fiji and sanctified the air around. The theme was environment – friendliness and therefore, the GOD team was all set in green. The GOD Australia team had readied a nice palanquin with the portrait of our Master on it and a truck showcasing our mission and activities. A couple of sevaks even came all the way from Melbourne to participate. What a magnificient lead up, Oh Maharaj!
Dhritarashtra: I am very curious, Oh, Sanjaya. Your description suggests a massive set up. How is all this possible in a foreign land? What about all permissions, regulations & getting people together?
Sanjaya: Gift wrapped and handed in a plate maharaj. The Campbelltown council organised everything for them, traffic halted and thousands of local residents already lined up the streets. G.O.D sevaks didn’t have to do anything. Remember how Vasudeva in spite of the most adverse conditions, fulfilled the Lord’s desire to be taken to Nanda Baba just by submitting to the divine will.
Dhritarashtra: How nice, long live the faith of these sevaks. Describe the Nagar valam for me.
Sanjaya: A thousand eyes are not enough to see, Maharaj, breathtaking! Sri Swamiji’s ratham turns the corner at Queen street with the twirling and colorful umbrella, amidst the loudest chant of the Mahamantra, streets lined up with Aussies waving and chanting along. The media is doing a sensational job announcing frequently about G.O.D and its mission to the applauding crowd. The Channel 9 chopper from above is confused as to whether the long line up belong to float 75 entirely? Banner boys in the front, chanting sevaks following, dancing maidens in great bhAva, children colourfully dressed, the Master swinging about in the palanquin, alert and able bodied men watchful in respect, the cavalcade marches merrily along the winding streets of the suburb.
6th Nov 2011 – Inauguration – Part 1
The conversation continued in the evening…
Dhritarashtra: Great to hear, did it all end with the procession?
Sanjaya: Not at all, it is only the beginning of Lord’s long journey as he tirelessly re-establishes dharma by getting people back to chanting the divine name. He has made a sankalpa to work from Sydney for now. After the nagar pravesa, he moved to his abode at the other corner of the city. In the evening, G.O.D oganised the Samarpanam program and it was all about glorifying the Lord and Guru. Bhagyaji gave a lucid talk on Guru Mahima and conducted a mass prayer with about 200 participants. The G.O.D youth stole the show with some outstanding music, dance, skit and a glorifying tribute to Guru maharaj.
Dhritarashtra: I am all ears, Sanjaya, tell me about the Lord’s sankalpa.
Sanjaya: Remember the slogan maharaj? – œsambhavami yugae yugae. The Lord decided to lift his game a notch or two by taking a physical position in Sydney. The holiest of the holy days was the 6th Nov’11. It was Ekadasi, a very special day for the Lord. By the Divine Will of our Master, the day marked the inauguration of the shrine of Sri Madhuri sakhi sametha Sri Premika Varadan. All satsang members had assembled at Chitra and Ravi’s residence, Cherrybrook in the early hours of Sunday. The place was beautifully decorated with rangoli and foot prints of Krishna. The mandap was tastefully decorated with flowers and garlands. The program started with the parayanam of the first 3 chapters of the 10th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, to mark the incarnation of Bhagavan. As directed by Sri Swamiji, Bhagyaji inaugurated the shrine of Sri Madhuri sakhi sametha Sri Premika Varadan in a very colourful and vibrant ceremony. As all the devotees sat together, Bhagyaji gave a short talk during which he said that this is not merely a ceremony and that Guru Maharaj and Sri Premika Varadan were right there with us blessing all of us. He said that Guru Maharaj was listening to every prayer that was being made and urged all to pray that we be blessed to serve Him always. Right at that moment, in the most unexpected manner, big flowers from the Swami fell down thrice in succession leaving all awestruck. To cap it all, Guru Maharaj himself did a recorded message for the G.O.D sevaks on Nama mahima.
Excerpts of what the Master said: Of all the 84 lakh jeeva rasis, only human beings are bestowed with the ability to speak. One should use that ability only to chant Bhagavan nama and nothing else. Specific shastras do specific things. Karma shastra does not fetch moksha, jnana shastra does not fetch kamya palan. Chanting the Nama does both. The Upanishad meant specifically for kali specifies the nama chanting as the way ahead since longevity will be shorter in kali and the enormous time required as stated in the jnana shastra do not become available. The great sage Vyasa said that on reviewing all of his works several times over, the conclusion is that Bhagavan nama is the essence of every shastra. Only one of the 70 heads of kanchi has the title in his name â€œJagad guru bhagavan namaâ€. He is a jagad guru because his teaching can be followed by anybody and what he taught was to chant bhagavan nama. Chant the Nama even if you do not believe in its power. Since you will not be able to do two things at the same time, focus of mind has to set in and improves over time. After listening to Sri Swamiji’s video talk, satsang’s youth presented a musical presentation on â€œOothukaadu Venkatakaviâ€ and sang kirtans. The evening satsang began with kirtans and sloka recital by the Gopakuteeram children and this was followed by blissful rendering of Sri Swamiji’s kirtans by all the devotees. This was followed by sharing of anubhavas by many devotees most of whom expressed their sheer joy in seeing Sri Swamiji via the recorded video message. . Before closing the day with Dolotsavam, Bhagyaji observed that the only way to transgress the 3 gunas is to involve in tasks that are for the Lord as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatham.
Dhritarashtra: Well narrated Sanjaya, how blessed are these Sevaks in G.O.D Australia. They are being led by hand by the great master. Even in our times, Krishna though very much present with us, left us to learn ourselves. Playful are his ways.