After a long seven-year wait, Chinmaya Mission St. Augustine (Florida) was extremely blessed and filled with gratitude to welcome Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda again at the Chinmaya Govardhan ashram, May 20-24, 2012.
Guruji took two informal Q&A satsangs daily, completely satisfying devotees with his extraordinarily insightful yet simple answers to life’s spiritual and practical dilemmas. He also gave three evening talks on Madhurashtakam, the beautiful devotional hymn on Lord Krishna composed by Shri Vallabhacharya. Guruji’s in-depth interpretation of this apparently simple text was amazingly profound. Truly, his words and presence wrapped us in the aura of Lord Krishna’s divine sweetness and love till we felt literally uplifted into the Lord’s leela itself. No words can describe it!
Guruji gave the final seal of blessedness on the ashram’s newly installed Shrinathji murti in the main shrine, and three beautiful dhyana-murtis (Lord Garuda, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Hanuman) placed outside in different garden areas. Hanumanji now resides in a special shrine built amidst our 70-ft. bamboo grove at the back of the property.
On the last day, devotees experienced another unique joy. While chanting “Shri Krishna sharanam mama,” we all processed together down to the little woodland creek on the ashram grounds where Pujya Guruji then sprinkled sacred sand from Vrindavan into the waters and renamed the creek as “Yamunaji.” While Guruji waved the lamp in worship, devotees offered flowers into her waters and sang Yamunashtakam in her honor. The Yamuna River in Vrindavan is most sacred to the lilas of Bhagavan Krishna and is regarded as the embodiment of pure devotion. Chinmaya Govardhan is now blessed to have such a body of holy water also.
The joy of our 4 day program was multiplied through the presence and help of numerous visiting CMW acharyas: Swamini Shivapriyananda, Swami Prakashananda, Swami Sharanananda, Brahmacharini Aparna Chaitanya, Acharya Vilasini Balakrishnan, Brahmacharini Robyn Thompson, Brahmachari Eric, and Acharya Shailaja Nadkarni. Devotees and newcomers from St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, and Alpharetta filled every inch of the ashram’s living room/ lecture hall, kitchen, and library for Pujya Guruji’s evening talks. Delicious catered lunches and dinners were kindly sponsored by families from the Jacksonville area.
Chinmaya Govardhan saw four days of immense spiritual joy and fulfillment in Pujya Guruji’s presence. As when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill to give refuge to the inhabitants of Vrindavan, Guruji spread the umbrella of divine Grace over us in the form of pure devotion and knowledge. For this we shall be forever grateful! Hari Om!