After months of preparations and much of anticipation, Chinmaya Mission South Africa was blessed to witness one of the most beautiful and rare program – ‘Complete Ramayana Yagna’ which was conducted at the beautiful Ashram in Durban. Swami Abhedanandaji (Incharge, Chinmaya Mission South Africa) took Tulsi Ramcharitmanas, from the very beginning to the end, in 18 wonderful sessions spanned over 9 Days. At the outset, it was a very unique program in itself for the people of South Africa as they got the opportunity to listen to complete Ramcharitmanas over the span of nine days with three hours of discourses in the morning and in the evening.
Prior to commencement of the Ramayana Yagna, Sankalp Havan and Pooja was conducted on April 2nd where all the Yajamans took sankalp for inculcating divine virtues of Gyana, Bhakti and Vairagya, and prayers for the prosperity and growth of Chinmaya Mission worldwide. Devotees participated in large number during the sankalp havan as well as during the daily morning havans which sanctified the premises even further.
On the day of commencement, April 3rd, Swamiji began the series of divine discourses on Tulsi Ramayana after expressing his heartfelt gratitude towards Lord Ram and Pujya Gurudev. Swamiji’s words were soaked with humility as he said, “To that Lord who made me His instrument, I express my gratitude… Lord alone should be the speaker of Ram Katha here & I should be a mere listener!”
As Swamiji started unraveling the Mangalacharan verses of the Balakand of Ramcharitmanas, the audience were taken to a different realm of bliss and devotion, and then there was no coming back. Swamiji’s words transported the listeners to Ayodhya and then to Chitrakoot and to all the places where Bhagavan Shri Ram stepped His foot during His Avatar-kal. Swamiji beautifully explained all the moving episodes from Manas including Shiv-Parvati prasang, manifestation of Lord Vishnu as Lord Ram, exalted character of Shri Bharatji and the touching episodes of Bali Sharnagati and Vibhishan Sharnagati and the impeccable might of Shri Hanumanji and many more.
On the third day of the enchanting Ram katha, the auspicious moment of Shri Ram Janma was celebrated with a lot of cheer along with devotional bhajans and dance performances. On the fourth day, devotees witnessed the divine wedding of Lord Ram and Mother Sita as Swamiji painted the whole picture of Janakpuri in front of everyone’s eyes. To explain the subtle import of Ram-Sita vivah, Swamiji said, “The cosmic power of Bhagawan Ram is Sita. Sita-Ram Vivah is the merger of ‘Power’ with the ‘Powerful’… It is the divine confluence of Shakti and the Shaktiman!”
With each day of the mesmerizing Ram katha, hundreds of devotees thronged in the ashram and Swamiji took them deeper and deeper into the oceanic bliss of Shri Ramcharitmanas. Unearthing each doha and chaupai of Ramayana, Swamiji captivated the audience by bringing out the hidden love for the Lord that resides in each heart. The attendees felt extremely grateful as they were able to peek into this treasure called Tulsi Ramayana. And as much as they were enjoying the bliss of the discourses, so much so they were relishing the sumptuous lunch and dinner prasad that was been lovingly served at Anna Shiva (dining hall) every day after both the morning and the evening sessions.
The grand conclusion of this most unforgettable & enlivening nine days of Complete Ramayana Yagna was marked by Lord Ram’s coronation on the throne of Ayodhya. Devotees offered their deepest regards to Pujya Swamiji and yearned for more and more such beautiful yagnas where they get to immerse themselves effortlessly in Lord’s glories and Lord’s katha.
On the following morning, April 12th, Purnahuti havan was conducted in which the devotees thanked all the deities who blessed the listeners with uninterrupted bliss of katha. In the evening, there was a special event organized by Chinamaya Mission South Africa named ‘Samarpanam’ which was a divine evening filled with soulful bhajans and classical dance performances. It was a platform for expressing gratitude towards Pujya Gurudev and the whole Guru Parampara for bestowing the greatest of Knowledge of the scriptures upon the entire Hindu community.
The culmination of the whole Yagna happened with the most sacred Ram Navami program on the 13th of April where acclaimed vocalist and dancers rendered performances and invoked the grace of Lord Shri Ram. With an extremely fulfilled and joyous heart, the devotees thanked Chinmaya Mission for having organized such a resplendent and awe-inspiring event which left an ever-lasting and spiritually uplifting impression on each heart and soul that it touched.