Omkarananda Kamakshi Devi Mandir

Krishna Janmashtami Celebration,
in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, on 10th August 2012

Amidst a great joy and jubilation, divine vibrating sounds of chanting the holy Mantras and singing Bhajan and Kirtan to glorify the Lord, and recitation of Vishnu-Sahasranama (the thousand Names of Lord Vishnu), at the beautifully decorated and splendidly illuminated Krishna Altar with the holy Jhula (cradle), in which the Baby Krishna was placed, and devotees swinging the Jhula to and fro, the Appearance Day (birthday) of Lord Krishna was celebrated in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas with great zeal, excitement and exultation, on 10th August 2012.

After auspicious Pooja and Arati for Lord Krishna and Goddess Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi, the grand celebration continued with Kumari Somashekhari performing classical dances to glorify and please Lord Krishna on His appearance day. Soma, along with her disciple Neha, danced to the tune of the spiritual sounds of the songs, invoking the Glory of the Lord - her every step, movement, gesture seemed to be radiating devotion, bliss and rapture of ecstasy to the stunning surprise of all spectators, devotees and particularly the Chief Guest.

Krishna Gopalji in a nicely decorated Jhula.

Shri Ramanathan Krishnamurthy, CMD of Power Corporation of India and Advisor to THDC (in the middle), 
is coming to attend Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations with Swami Vishveshwarananda, 
Shri Sukumarji and Shri Joshiji, Law Dept. THDC, together with his daughter.

The grand performance of the classical dance on the Lilas of Lord Krishna added to the beauty and grandeur of the surroundings. The congregation feasted their eyes on the dance performance, their ears listening to the sweet, melodious tones of the songs glorifying Lord Krishna, and the peace, freshness, purity and fragrance of the natural surroundings transported one to an ecstasy of transcendental bliss.

The Chief Guest, Shri Ramanathan Krishnamurthy, Chief Managing Director (CMD) of Power Corporation of India and Advisor to Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC), graced the function, having joined the celebration as a devotee, as a scholarly Vedic Pandit, beautifully dressed in the holy attire of the South Indian Tradition for the Darshan of the Lord.

He was overwhelmed with joy to be here on this auspicious occasion. He was all praise and gratitude for Swami Vishveshwarananda and Omkarananda Ashram, saying, that since about 2 years he is regularly visiting Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, being eager to have the Darshan of H. H. Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda and staying for some time in the holy atmosphere of this beautiful Ashram with its amazing Temples and Temple worships. He further added, that being here, he feels Peace and Light and the Presence of the Divinity. He expressed his Gratitude also to Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, since he believes, that it is because of His Grace, that he came in contact with such a holy place and holy persons, like Swami Vishveshwarananda.

Arati by Mukesh Panditji, Priest of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas.

Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda is welcoming the devotees. 

Shri Krishnamurthyji further extolled the importance of the spiritual Guru for attaining utmost purity in life, which is a requisite for spiritual enlightenment. He also talked about the Greatness of Lord Krishna and His Teachings in the Bhagawad-Gita.

Overwhelmed with ecstatic joy to witness the wonderful classical dance performances of Kumari Somashekhari in the Temple, the Chief Guest, Shri R. Krishnamurthy, being an erudite Vedic Scholar, well versed in scriptures, elaborated the spiritual significance of devotional dances, saying, that, according to ancient tradition in India, in the Temples, the Shodashopachara Pooja, i.e. the sixteen ways of worship to please the Divinity, had to be performed, and Temple-Dance and Devotional Music form an important part of this divine worship.

On this occasion Shri Krishnamurthyji shared a personal experience concerning Somashekhari with the audience. He told, that everyone knows, that in Indian Tradition small, young girls are worshipped as Goddesses, since it is believed, that the Divine Mother resides in them. Krishnamurthyji further said, that he observed, that though Kumari Somashekhari is a fully grown up Lady, she has preserved a stunning, child-like innocence in her character and personality, and he experiences the Divine Mother in her.

Sitting in the Mandapa of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir, from left to right: Kumari Somashekhari, 
Swami Vishveshwarananda, Shri Krishnamurthy, Swami Pragyananda and Shri Joshi.

Kumari Somashekhari and her Student Neha worshipping Lord Krishna through dance. 

H. H. Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati, President, Omkarananda Ashram, garlanded the esteemed Chief Guest, Shri R. Krishnamurthyji, with a beautiful fragrant flower-mala and honoured him, thanking him for his visit to Omkarananda Ashram. Swamiji appreciated, that Shri Krishnamurthyji, in spite of holding such high class professional positions, is so polite and humble and moreover he possesses deep knowledge of the Vedic scriptures and tradition. Swamiji said, that Krishnamurthyji represents the holy South Indian Tradition in a most ideal way in every respect, and everybody is impressed by his personality. Swamiji further extolled his spiritual qualities, saying, that he definitely deserves carrying the name of Lord Krishna.

Emphasizing the significance of the Celebration of the Appearance of Lord Krishna, Swamiji at length dwelt upon the gospel of Bhagawad-Gita and the meaning of "Yoga", as preached by Lord Krishna. Swami Vishveshwaranandaji exhorted everybody to know the real meaning of Yoga and imbibe the real spirit of Yoga, i.e. Purity, Spirituality, Divinity. Swamiji reminded everybody, that Yoga is not a mere physical exercise, but a way to purify one's life, to live life spiritually, a way to experience the Divinity in oneself and all, in order to know what one in Reality is.

Thus this beautiful Celebration, consisting of Worship of Lord Krishna with Pujas, Prayers, Bhajans, Kirtan, Dancing to sweet Melodies and holy Speeches, neared completion.

However the all-embracing, large hearted, all-loving Saint, the humble Devotee, Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji, who honoured every one with his love offerings, flowers and blessings, deserved the Thanks, gratitude and salutation from the audience and devotees also. They expressed from their eyes and gestures their love and gratitude to Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati, and Swami Pragyanandaji, learned Mahatma and Inmate of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, could not help but get up and approach Swamiji with a garland. Expressing feelings of deepest gratitude towards Swami Vishveshwarananda, he said, that Swamiji came from far away Europe, having given up all luxury and developing beautifully the Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas with utmost dedication, working day and night, leading the most pure life of a great Indian Mahatma of the spiritual Vedic Culture. Therefore, he, on behalf of all devotees and guests, wants to express deepest adorations, love and gratitude to Swami Vishveshwarananda and honour him on this auspicious occasion and wish him a long, happy and spiritually fulfilled life for all eternity. With these words Swami Pragyanandajji garlanded Swami Vishveshwarananda amidst great joy, jubilation and loud clapping of the congregation.

The festival concluded with all devotees relishing sweet Krishna Prasadam, but it was not the end, but the beginning of a new Spirit, Joy, Devotion and Love for all of us.

Report by Shri I.D. Joshi

Shri Krishnamurthy expresses his Adorations to Swami Vishveshwarananda.

After Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji's speech Shri Swami Pragyananda 
garlands him and expresses his Thanks to him.