Gour Jayanti (Holi) celebration at Sridhaam Remuna
This year’s Sri Gour Jayanti celebration at Sridham Remuna was full of transcendental frenzy. Scores of pure devotees celebrated the auspicious day under the divine guidance of HDG Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj. Check out the following videos to have some glimpses:
Coronation Ceremony of HDG Srila Bhakti Amal Aranya as a Preceptor Held on Sri Vishnupriya Tithi
The 28th Jan 2012 was a red letter day in the history of Gaudiya vaishnavas—the advent anniversary of Srimati Vishnupriya Devi was solemnised with due devotional order by all the devotees of Srimad Bhaktibhushan Bharati Sri Chaitanya Sevashram. It was also the 84th advent tithi of HDG Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj.
After the disappearance of Srila Guruthakur, HDG Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Bhushan Bharati Maharaj in 2005, HDG Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj has been preserving the line of preceptors in a secret manner. Now all the pure devotees wanted to install him ceremonially as the present preceptor in the Rupanuga preceptorial line. Srila Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj declined again and again to become guru owing to his extraordinary humility. After long 6 years he kindly fulfilled the desire of the devotees when he received the divine signal from Sri Sri Guru Gauranga. The joy of the devotees knew no bounds. They arranged for a grand coronation ceremony of the present emperor of pure vaishnavas in Srimad Bhaktibhushan Bharati Sri Chaitanya Sevashram on the bank of the Ganges in the district of Howrah, West Bengal. This senior most monk is the intimate disciple of Srila Gurumaharaj, HDG Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Keval Audulomi Maharaj and the bosom friend of Srila Guruthakur. Bathed with the grace of both these preceptors, Srila Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj is the bonafide preserver of the line of pure devotion following Thakur Bhaktivinode in the present world.
The preceptorial line is a secret of secrets—accessible only to those who are sincere seekers of truth and who surrender themselves unconditionally to the wishes of Sri Sri Gaursundar and pray for His Divine Guidance. Truth reveals itself in the heart of those who shed sincere tears in secret at the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga.
The adhibasa kirtan was duly held on Friday January 27, 2012 along with blissful dances by both male and female devotees forming separate circles.
On the abhisheka day, January 28 special kirtan and archan were performed. The temple was beautifully decorated with flower, leaves, alpana (festive decoration on floor), mangal ghat (consecrated pitcher) and light. The deities put on new clothes and garlands. Various types of delicacies were offered to the deities. In the morning, a procession of devotees went to the Ganges and offered puja and arati there. Two female devotees carried two holy pitchers containing water of the Ganges on their head. After 10 am, Srila Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj was bathed with the holy water of the Ganges ceremonially. Pandit Sri Nadiayananda Prabhu, an erudite vaishnava scholar conducted the rites. Vedic hymns were recited, select parts of Srimad Bhagabatam and Srimad Bhagabad Gita and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita were read out. Then 108 earthen pots were filled with the water of the Ganges amidst hari sankirtan in the accompaniment of the recitation of verses from devotional scriptures. The new preceptor was sprinkled with the holy water of each pot for almost an hour amidst loud chanting of panchatatva, haribol, sounds of conches and ulu by the female devotees. Then the preceptor put on new clothes, new sacred thread and was kind enough to take his seat on a tastefully decorated dais by the side of two previous preceptors — Gurumaharaj and Guruthakur. Then Sri Nadiananda Prabhu performed the gurupuja in the presence of devotees hailing from different parts of India including some devotees from Navadwip. The devotees performed the arati of the new preceptor, singing a newly composed arati kirtan. Then they offered flower at his lotus feet. They paid obeisances to gurudeva chanting a newly written pranam mantra in Sanskrit. Senior vaishnavas shouted ovation for the new preceptor and garlanded him. On this occasion of guru-installation a yagna was performed by Sri Golokvihari Prabhu of Kheerachora Gopinath Remuna in accordance with the principles laid down in Sri Satkriyasardipika. All the devotees collectively greeted the new preceptor with ovation and fell prostrate on the ground at his lotus feet. At noon, hundreds of devotees honoured various types of mahaprasad. In the afternoon and evening sessions, devotees spoke of divine qualities and activities of the new preceptor. They emphasized particularly on his boundless love for all irrespective of caste and color, age and education, his incredible childlike simplicity, his unparalleled divine humility etc.
Among the prominent speaker were Pandit Sri Nadiyananda Das Bhakti Shastri, Sri Golokvihari Das Adhikari, Sri Rohininandan Das, (alias Prof. R. P. Sasmal, Associate Professor and Head of the Dept of English, Bajkul Govt Sponsored College), Sri Krishnayan Sasmal (from Infosys Pune), Sri GaurKrishna Das Adhikari (alias Gaurav Pande, research scientist from TERI, Delhi), Brinda Dasi (Research scholar cum guest lecturer from EFLU, Hyderabad), Srimati Monishita Pande (Spanish teacher and guest lectuer from Delhi), Sri Shyamaleswar (from Bureau of Indian Standards, Kolkata), Srimati Shefali Dasi from Mumbai, Sri Sundar Gopal Das (Editor of Mahamilan Patrika Hoogly), Srimati Krishna Dasi (from Fakirmohan University, Balasore) and others.
The new preceptor delivered a speech at night in response to the devotees’ tributes. He shed copious tears of love and humility and said that he wanted to serve all vaishnavas with affection. He sang the glory of prema or divine love as the supreme gift of Sri Gaursundar. The message of all embracing love delivered by the new preceptor moved all the listeners to tears. The ceremony ended with congregational chanting of harinama.
Gurupuja 2011 Celebrated in the Holy Dham Maishali amidst Devotional Frenzy
This year Gurupuja was solemnised with exceptional devotional ardour and éclat on the 17th,18th, 19th December 2011 at the holy dham of Maishal in the district of Midnapore East, West Bengal under the allegiance and guidance of Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj, the worthy successor to nityalilaprabishta Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktibhushan Bharati Goswami guruthakur and only custodian of unalloyed devotion in the proper preceptorial line in the present time. Sridham Masihali is a place of pilgrimage to all pure vaishnavas as Srimad Bhaktibhushan Bharati Goswami guruthakur was born here in 1925 in an aristocratic vaishnava family. The holy idyllic surroundings of the place and the serene panoramic view of the entire place with its lush green and wide, long paddy fields soothes the heart every viewer.
On the 17th Dec a huge colourful procession of namasankirtan was brought out and nearly 800 devotees circumambulated the holy land of Maishali and its surroundings. Words fail to describe the divine bliss in which all devotees were drenched during the parikrama. They loudly sang Mahamantra, Panchatattva and other appropriate verses, danced in devotional frenzy and rolled down on the holy dust. Almost all the devotees had a rare experience of tears, tremor and horripilation. All the houses along the path of parikrama were tastefully decorated by beautiful flowers and mango leaves, holy pitchers and auspicious banana plants and painting (alpana). The blowing of conches , the sound of Ulu made by female devotees and the congregational chanting of the holy name created a transcendental atmosphere.
At noon the devotees were fed Mahaprasadam and in the evening adhibasa kirtan and discourses were held by pure devotees hailing from distant places of India. The central place of celebrations was Maishali Trailokya Vidyapitha, an HS school. Sri Guruthakur donated a huge amount for the school and was its first founder cum Headmaster in 1962.
On the 18th dec, gurupuja was held to celebrate the auspicious 116th advent anniversary of HDG Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktikeval Audulomi Maharaj. In his inaugural address HDG Sripad Aranya Maharaj reminisced on the extra ordinary love, affection of his gurudeva and described some transcendental qualities of his divine character. Other prominent speakers included Sripad Golokbihari Das Adhikari from Remuna , Orissaa, Secretary of Sri Bhakti Bhushan Bharati Sri Chaitanya Sevasharm; Sripad Nadiyananda Das Bhaktishatri from Sautiya, WB; Prof R. P. Sasmal, from Bajkul ; Srimati Anasuya Devi from Cuttack, Orissa; and Srimati Brind Dasi from EFLU, Hyderabad.
On the next day, 86th advent anniversary of Sri Guruthakur was properly celebrated. After performing Arati of the present Preceptor Om Vishnupad Sila Bhakti Amal Aranya Maharaj, the morning session started with sweet songs sung by Sri Ramabilas Prabhu and others. The holy portrait of Srila Guruthakur was brought from his birth site to the venue along with a grand devotional procession. Devotees were simply thrilled by rare realization of transcendental bliss. Srila Arnaya Maharaj sang with tears the glory of his bosom friend Srila Guruthakur. The infinite qualities of the character of such a rupanuga guru can’t be properly described even by Sri Anantadeva, remarked Srila Aranya Maharaj. Prof Sasmal narrated some of Sri Guruthakur’s childlike attributes and activities. Sripad Nadiyananda waxed eloquence on why Guruthakur should be called bona fide jagatguru citing scriptural verses. Srimati Brinda Dasi referred to the essential teachings of self-surrender and humility imparted by Srila Guruthakur. Sri Krishnayan Sasmal from Infosys, Pune spoke of the all embracing-love of Srila Gurthakur and referred to the same qualities manifested in the leela of Srila Aranya Maharaj. Srimati Monishita, a Spanish Instructor in British Embassy school, Delhi recollected the sweet words of Sri Guruthakur who used to say that servitude of Srimati Radharani is the summum bonum of human life but it is a very rare and difficult thing to achieve. Sri Gaurkrishna Prabhu, a senior scientist from Delhi’s TERI glorified Srila Guruthakur and Aranya Maharaj and emphasised the need of association of pure vaishnavas. Srimati Shefali Dasi from Mumbai shed tears to describe the days she spent in the ashram of Srila Guruthakur. Some devotees recited their self composed poems on Guruthakur.
About 10000 people were sumptuously fed mahaprasad at noon and both the days of gurupuja attracted thousands of devotees from the neighbouring places who gathered in the school and witnessed the devotees dancing with limitless delight, forming two circles (one for the male devotees and other for the female). The presence of Mr Ardhendu Bikas Das from Haldia, the Vaishnava donor who financed the entire celebration delighted all the devotees.