Grand Devotional Event in Mumbai

Date : 28 Apr 2024

On a bright sunny morning, with great love and devotion for Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, members of Chinmaya Mission Mumbai gathered at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Powai, Mumbai, to perform Mastakabhishek to His statue.

This event offered an opportunity to serve Pujya Gurudev through Body, Mind and Intellect. Upasanam integrates the body by doing abhishek, the mind through devotion and the intellect through satsang. Waters from seven sacred rivers, namely Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, Tungabhadra, Kaveri and Brahmaputra had been collected and stored in kalashas for the Mastakabhishek. The best of dravyas, like chandan, kumkum, haldi, bhasma, milk, were offered with devotion.

Devotees assembled at Gurudev’s kutiya (residence) by 6.25 am. Smt. Meghana and Shri Mukul Patel, Mukhya Yajmans, carried Gurudev’s Padukas in a procession from the kutiya to Pujya Gurudev’s Pratima (statue), opposite the Saraswati Nilayam hall. The pandal was beautifully decorated with flowers; more than a thousand kalashas, dravyas etc. were kept ready. The seating arrangements were well done and a big screen ensured visibility to all. Sevikas had decorated the entire path leading to Saraswati Nilayam with rangoli, lovingly, painstakingly done. The eight zones of Chinmaya Mission Mumbai worked in complete unison, as one family, just as Pujya Gurudev would have wanted. Different stalls were set up. Registration counters for the different kalasha categories were buzzing with activity.

Kalash Puja Sankalpa and Acharya Varan were taken by the Mukhya Yajmans, followed by Ganapati Pujan and Punyah Vachan. Kalash Puja began at 7.20 am; there was an uncanny sense of perfect timing at every moment, like what Pujya Gurudev would have followed. The Paduka Puja started at 8.15 am. There was much excitement amongst the Bala Vihar children, as they lined the path from Anand Vihar to Gurudev’s Pratima, to welcome all the Swamins. The little ones held plates of rose petals and were ready to sing Guru Stotram, while sevikas gently guided them. As Swami Tejomayananda, Swami Advayananda and Swami Swatmananda arrived, rose petals were offered at their feet.

Shri Chinmaya Ashtottara Shata Namavali was chanted. Chinmaya Aarti was done, before the Swamins proceeded to Saraswati Nilayam, where they were greeted with Poornakumbham and chanting of Sannyasa Suktam. The yajmans garlanded the Swamins. When they were seated, Smt. Vidya Harikrishna sang the invocatory prayers, followed by a heartfelt rendering of Swami Tejomayananda’s composition, Gurudeva Tava. Smt. Manisha Deole, Secretary, Chinmaya Mission Mumbai welcomed Pujya Guruji, Swamins, Brahmacharins and the audience. A video on the highlights of the 1008 Paduka Puja sankalpa was shown. Smt. Meghana Patel, President, Chinmaya Mission Mumbai, gave a sparkling welcome address, urging sevaks and sevikas to give Unto Him their Best. Aashirvachan by Swamins followed.

Swami Tejomayananda released Ram Naam Mahima, a book by Swami Swaroopananda (Global Head, Chinmaya Mission). The prasad book for the Mastabhishek event titled Your Question Chinmaya Answers – 108 Q&As, was also released by Swami Tejomayananda.

After a vote of thanks by Smt. Manjula Suresh, Vice-President, and announcements, by 10.30 am, the audience followed the Swamins to begin the Mastakabhishek. What followed was most fulfilling to every devotee; every little child and every senior was given the opportunity to climb the ramp and offer the kalasha of their choice. Individuals and families eagerly performed this offering to their beloved Gurudev. As the winding lines grew smaller, people went to the Annakshetra for lunch prasad. The various stalls saw brisk sales in books and gift articles. A team of dedicated sevikas ensured that everyone received the special Prasadam bag, with kalash, coconut, prasad pustika, the unique game of Gurudev’s Cube and sweets. With clockwork precision, before 2 pm, the concluding puja and aarti of Pujya Gurudev was done, at his Pratima.

Most devotees did not want to leave the Ashram! After such an emotional, exciting event that all had been getting ready for since several months, despite the intense summer, the children lingered on, until it was time to go. Many zones had arranged for free bus services. People who were visiting the Ashram for the first time vowed to return soon, to further explore Chinmaya Pradeep.

Unto Him Our Best!
Shri Chinmaya Sadgurave Namaha!