Keeping up its cherished tradition,
Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas observed OMKARANANDA MAHOTSAVA from
25th December 2008 to 4th January 2009.
H.D. Gurudev Swami
Omkarananda was born on 25th December 1929 in Secunderabad, in
Andhra Pradesh. After Gurudev had left his physical body, on 4th
January 2000, the 11 days from His Jayanti on 25th December, up to
4th January, took the shape of a special 11 days holy Festival,
dedicated to Swami Omkarananda. During these days, special Hawanas,
Pujas, Aratis, Kathas and devotional cultural programs are
performed in honour of Gurudev Swami Omkarananda.
Omkarananda Ashram’s small Auditorium, “Omkarananda Vidya Bhawan”,
acquired a new look for this year’s OMKARANANDA MAHOTSAVA. It was
painted with beautiful soft colours, in white, pink and sky-blue
and decorated with shining lights, surrounding Gurudev’s Altar,
which looked very appealing.
In this beautiful surrounding
Gurudev’s Photo stood shining like a brilliant jewel.
after the completion of Sundarkand Path
Omkarananda Jayanti began with recitations from the Sundarkand
Path by Chief Priest Pandit Suresh Ji and his team. They had
worked hard most of the week to ensure that everything would go
like clockwork – and everything did!
Welcoming the guest
for the event, Sangitamaya Kathavyasa Pandit Rajeshwar Maharaj Ji,
Swami Vishveshwarananda Ji recalled how moved he had been when he
first heard Pandit Ji’s Kirtan and Katha. Pandit Rajeshwar Maharaj
then lighted the ceremonial dipa to signal the start of the day’s
Swami Vishveshwarananda Ji also extended a warm
welcome to Swami Shankarananda Tilak Maharaj, on a visit from
Spain with his disciples, and to Swami Rakeshananda Maharaj of
Kartikeya Ashram in Rishikesh. Among those present was Swami
Narasimhulu Ji, Trustee of this Ashram.
Swamiji and Pandit
Rajeshwarji lighting the lamp
Kumari Pinky, Guru-Bhakti Ratna Kumari
and Kumari Neha in a devotional dance
The audience, consisting of Sannyasis, students
Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam, Ashram-Devotees and
Maharaj Ji is a resident of Datia in Madhya Pradesh. His father,
Sant Vaidehi Vallabh Sharan Ji Maharaj, has his roots in Ayodhya,
while his mother, Shrimati Brij Kumari Devi Ji, belongs to
Brindavan—both particularly blessed places, the one associated
with Bhagavan Shri Rama, the other with Bhagavan Shri Krishna.
Kumari Pragati, Pandit Ji’s ten-year-old daughter, sang the
Ramashila Bhajan with the ease, a seasoned singer might have
envied, and added her beautiful voice to his rendering of the Shri
Gurudeva Stuti and the Shri Guru Panchashata Jayakara Mantra.
Pandit Ji explained in this context that AUM, the sacred mantra
frequently also rendered as OM, represents the four Divinities –
Brahma in A, Vishnu in U, and Rudra/Shiva and Jagadamba in M. Pandit Ji had admirable support from his accompanists, Shri
Balaram Ji (vocals and harmonium), Shri Mukesh Ji (synthesizer),
Shri Talmani Ji (tabla), and Shri Hemant Ji (keyboard).
Kumari Somashekhari and her students
in Omkarananda Vandana
Parineeta dedicating her tribute
to the lotus feet of our Gurudev
Then followed Guru-Bhakti-Ratna Kumari Somashekhari Ji’s
Omkarananda Vandana, a choreographic tribute to Gurudev Ji, to her
own vocal accompaniment.
Kumari Somashekhari Ji dedicated
her next dance to Radha Rani Ji, whose ceaseless pining for the
Lord at last brought the two together, and the one after, to the
beloved Divine Prankster, Bhagavan Shri Krishna.
Neha and Pinky, her students, lent Kumari Somashekhari Ji valuable
Somashekhari’s Devi Dance was in homage to the Divine
Mother, our Protector, and the source of all wisdom, love, and
A monastic disciple of Gurudev Swami Omkarananda Ji
Maharaj, Kumari Somashekhari Ji is the Director and principal
teacher at Omkarananda Saraswati Natya Kala Academy. She has
studied Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathak under such eminent
teachers as Dr. Yamini Krishnamurti Ji and Dr. Minati Mishra Ji,
and has performed before distinguished audiences. Of the many
honours conferred on her the one she values most is the title
Kalanidhi, received from Gurudev Swami Omkarananda Ji Maharaj
Twelve-year-old Parineeta Rane, on a short visit
from Mumbai with her parents, added her own tribute to Gurudev
Maharaj, recalling His words, ‘Who am I? Before I was born, I was.
After I die, I will be. …’
|Release of the Silver
Jubilee issue of the Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam
school magazine, Prayatnasheel
Those assembled had a great gift
waiting for them. This was in the shape of a short message in the
voice of Shri Gurudev Maharaj on the omnipotent, omnipresent and
omniscient intelligence of God, which is in every point of space.
Coinciding with the occasion was the completion of a
quarter-century by Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam Inter College,
and Col. (Retd) D. L. Sachdeva, the Principal, released the Silver
Jubilee issue of the school magazine, Prayatnasheel.
Swami Vishveshwarananda Ji’s vote of thanks, and the Omkarananda
Arati and Pushpanjali, with Kumari Somashekhari Ji, Pandit Suresh
Ji, and Pandit Sanjay Ji participating, concluded the day’s
Pandit Ganesh Shastri Ji from Omkarananda Dharma
Samsthan, Mumbai, had compered the entire programme in his
The Bhandara lovingly provided, delighted
In a charming way Swami Vishveshwarananda
expressed his thanks to all,
who took part in
the Omkarananda Jayanti Celebrations.
Mahant of Bharat Mandir, Rishikesh, Shri Ashok Prapann
Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda