THE INAUGURATION : February 13, 2017
Adorned with fairy lights the Delhi Center looked festive and bright, in readiness for a momentous event; the first gyana yagna by Swami Swaroopananda, post his being anointed Global Head of Chinmaya Mission. Swamiji has been to Delhi on many an occasion and is no stranger to the many that eagerly awaited him. In addition to the familiar faces there were many new ones in the hall.
Swamiji along with other Acharyas of the Mission was greeted with the traditional purna kumbha. Escorted by Swami Prakarshananda he lit the inaugural lamp, to symbolically remove the dark shadow of ignorance from the mind. The spotlights then turned to Aishna Sharma, who added a melodious touch. She petitioned the Lord to bless the yagna through a soulful, mindful and meaningful invocation.
Days of Bliss
In her welcome address, Smt. Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi prophesised that we were looking forward to six days of Bliss!! That is just what it was. Swami Swaroopananda was like a wizard with a magic wand – every morning and evening he cast a spell on the listeners and kept them mesmerized. For the duration of the talks, every morning and evening there was magic in the air – problems, worries, trials and tribulations came to rest.
Every evening Swamiji unraveled with dexterity the complexities of the melodious sutras of Upadesh Sara. Similarly through the lyrical notes of the pauris of the Guru Granth Sahib he shared each morning the methods and means for effective meditation.
Over the six days Swamiji coaxed the mind to delve into deep enquiry, essential to gain infinite freedom. With simple anecdotes and humour he pointed out that if bondage was our true nature, then we would never taste freedom. Bondage is a delusion born out of ignorance, which when removed reveals our true nature. The spiritual practices (sadhanas), the starting point for each seeker may be different but their aim is to achieve an agitation-free, single-pointed and contemplative mind. Such a mind abides in the core and attains the goal.
During the yagna, on 15th February, we celebrated a very special occasion – Swamiji’s birthday. In his presence, Swami Prakarshananda performed a mid-morning Paduka Puja. The celebrations concluded with a aesthetically put together slide show – a walk through Swamiji’s life as a seeker…from white, to yellow…culminating in orange.
The success of every yagna depends on the enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of the volunteers. Under the leadership of Swami Prakarshananda and the meticulous directions of Prema Vishwanath, the team functioned and performed to perfection. The result of which was palpably evident in the happy faces that filled the halls in the morning and evening.
The well-worded and succinct announcements directed seekers to the books and CDs. The sevaks behind the counters, eager to serve made sure that the requests of our guests were fully met.
In the short windows at their disposal, before and after the talks, the book and CD stalls did brisk business.
Other than the talks both morning and evening, Swamiji had a full programme. Apart from being available to devotees, he very graciously blessed all those who offered bhikshas…most of which were at the Centre.
The programme ended with a comprehensive vote of thanks by the Secretary. She took care to thank all those that made the yagna possible…Swami Swaroopananda, Swami Prakarshananda, the volunteers, the CCWU staff and of course…most important the audience.
In his concluding remarks Swamiji confessed that though all audiences are inspiring there was something special about the Delhi audience and he was always delighted to share this knowledge with them. And so we can block off the dates for next year on our calendar…13th to 18th February. Swamiji will be in Delhi to offer more of the ancient knowledge and wisdom he so obviously revels in!