Celebration of Omkarananda Jayanti,
in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas,
on 25th December 2012

Though it was a cold, "bone-chilling" North Indian winter morning, everybody in Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas was busy in contributing to the auspicious start of Omkarananda Mahotsava, which commenced on 25th December 2012 with the Omkarananda Jayanti Celebration.

In the early morning a wonderful Sundarkand Recitation started, interspersed with Bhajan, Kirtan and short Kathas by the renowned Kathavachak, Shri Gopalacharyaji, along with a team of Priests of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas and local musicians.

This event took place outside, opposite Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir, at the beautifully decorated Omkarananda-Hanuman Mandir. Devotees and Guests started flocking in, who also attended the Sundarkand Path, which concluded with Arati and Prasad Distribution to all.

Start of Omkarananda Jayanti with Sundarkand Recitations by Shri
Gopalacharya and the Priests of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir.
Prayers and Arati during the conclusion of Sundarkand Path
at the Omkarananda-Hanuman Mandir.

After short refreshments for all, everybody was invited to attend the cultural programme in Honour of Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati in the Hall of Omkarananda Vidya Bhawan, where on the stage a beautiful photo of Swami Omkarananda was shining, decorated with flowers and glowing lights.

Shri Rajiv Malik, the honourable Chief Guest of this Function, was welcomed and introduced to the audience by Dr. Quaylee Chakravorty, a dedicated Teacher of Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam Inter-College, and then, along with Swami Vishveshwarananda and a well-known Veda-Acharya, he started lighting the Deepas in front of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati.

Malas and flower bouquets were offered to the honourable guests.

Dr. Quaylee Chakravorty announces the opening of the cultural programme of Omkarananda Jayanti Celebration and welcomes the honourable guests. Lighting of Deepas by the honourable Chief Guest, Shri Rajiv Malik,
and H.H. Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati.
As the first item Kumari Somashekhari presents a Solo Bharatanatyam dance.
Vedic Shloka Recitations by young Sanskrit students.
The wife of the honourable Chief Guest, Shri Rajiv Malik,
is honouring the students with special gifts.
Swami Vishveshwarananda offers a shawl to Shri Shivkumar Malviya,
the Principal-Acharya of the Sanskrit students.
Siddhartha Krishna delivers a lecture on Adi-Shankaracharya. Siddhartha Krishna expresses his joy to the audience, after Indra Udayana from Bali (in the middle) had honoured him with a shawl.

Then Kumari Somashekhari started a Solo Bharatanatyam dance. Soma's professional skills in Indian Classical Dance made the important guest, Shri Rajiv Malik, wonder-struck. The applause of the audience spoke for itself.

To keep the Vedic tradition going on, 8 Sanskrit students at the age of 8 to 10 years recited different Vedic Shlokas. Along with the rhythm of the oral recitation the Students nicely and clearly showed the according hand-gestures, as it is the beautiful tradition in Shukla Yajurveda.

Thereafter a short Katha was performed by Siddhartha Krishna. He highlighted in an excellent way the life of Adi-Shankaracharyaji and presented the "Shri Minakshi Pancharatnam".

Kumari Somashekhari, along with her student Neha, showed a devotional dance called "Barishon ki Cham Cham Men", in which the longing of the devotees for the Darshan of the Divine Mother is described. The shining and colourful dresses added to the beauty of the dance.

Kumari Somashekhari and her student Neha are offering colourful flowers at the beginning of their devotional dance.
Kumari Somashekhari and her student Neha are worshipping the Divine Mother through dance.
Mrs. Kalani is honouring Somashekhari with a flower mala.

Shri Gopalacharya and two Priests of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Temple made the audience singing and clapping with Bhajan and Kirtan. The learned Acharya created a vibrant divine atmosphere.

A great moment for the audience came, when via multimedia, everybody could see H.D. Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati speaking to the devotees. For all people present it was a wonderful opportunity to see Swami Omkarananda in action. It was a video recording from the year 1982.

With small, small shining Ghee-Deepas, burning on a plate full of flowers, Somashekhari and Neha performed the Omkarananda Arati Dance. The light was offered to Gurudev and then to everybody attending the function.

Bhajan and Kirtan by Gopalacharya (in the middle) with the
Main Priests of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir,
Suresh and Sanjay.
Shri Gopalacharyaji joyously embraces Brigadier Kartar Singh, Deputy V.C. Pantanjali University (to his left) and Col. Sachdeva, Principal, Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam Inter-College (to his right),
after they had jointly honoured him with a shawl.
Overwhelmed with happiness Gopalacharyaji is hugging Swami Vishveshwarananda, President Omkarananda Ashram. Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati's lecture, translated into German
by Prof. Eleonore Lauterborn, shown on Video to the audience.

Now it was time for Dr. Quaylee Chakravorty to announce the Release of the second Edition of the Booklet, "A Glimpse of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati - His Lineage and His Mission".

Dr. Quaylee informed the audience, that Shri Rajiv Malik, the Chief Guest of this occasion, belongs to the top rank of Journalists. The world famous Kauai's Hindu Monastery, Hawaii, U.S.A., has given him the prestigious post of being the Representative on All India and South Asia level for their International Magazine "HINDUISM TODAY", which is published world-wide. This Magazine is appreciated in the whole world as an outstanding work in relation to Hinduism in daily life.

Rajiv Malik was instrumental for the historic interview with Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, which has taken the form of the Publication "A Glimpse of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati - His Lineage and His Mission."

Kumari Somashekhari offered the first copy of the 2nd Edition of this booklet to Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, and then Shri Rajiv Malik, along with the President of Omkarananda Ashram, Shri Swami Vishveshwarananda Saraswati, and Kumari Somashekhari, released this treasure booklet and showed it to the audience.

The audience eagerly awaits the release of the 2nd Edition of "A Glimpse
of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati – His Lineage and His Mission".
Release of the booklet by the Chief Guest, Shri Rajiv Malik, Kumari Somashekhari and Swami Vishveshwarananda.

Then Shri Rajiv Malik addressed the audience and highlighted the booklet, which contains the interview, he himself conducted, about 20 years back, on behalf of H.H. Satguru Sivaya Subrahmuniyaswami’s "Hinduism Today" Magazine.

Rajiv Malikji spoke about Swami Omkarananda's life, praised his enormous work in spreading education and establishing beautiful Ashrams and Temples. He considers Swami Omkarananda as one of the greatest Spiritual Personalities.

Rajiv Malik expressed highest admiration for Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati's style of answering most difficult and highly philosophical questions in a manner, which sounds like beautiful flowing poetry!

Shri Rajiv Malik speaks about his interview
with Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati

He further mentioned in his speech, that at that time - about 20 years back - when he was asked by "Hinduism Today" to do an article on the Mission and Life and Educational Projects of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, he came to Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas and saw, how Swami Vishveshwaranandaji Maharaj and his team were putting all their energy and struggling hard to make and set up Schools even in the remotest parts of the Hilly Himalayan areas. At that time already, when it was difficult to go to far up Hilly areas, because of Swamiji's Blessings, Shri Rajiv Malik, along with his family, could personally go and visit at least one Dozen of Omkarananda Hill Schools. And there he could see for himself, that for those children, for whom even the Indian Government was not able to provide education, the Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas had established good Schools, even at that time! Shri Rajiv Malik further said, that he is from that time onwards witness, how uninterruptedly, up to now, this work is being continued in a most praiseworthy manner; more Omkarananda Hill Schools have been established and in the meantime Omkarananda Saraswati Inter-College educates thousands of Students, and also Institutions of Higher Level have been added, like Omkarananda Institute of Management and Technology, where Students from all over India can obtain professional University Degrees.

Shri Rajiv Malik expressed his deepest admiration for Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, who spread the Light of Education in the neglected areas of Garhwal Himalayas, though he was residing in His Ashrams in Europe, being physically thousands of Miles away from India.

Mr. Malik further informed the audience, that Swami Omkarananda has spread Hinduism in Europe and in the whole world.

Shri Malikji described Gurudev Swami Omkarananda as an embodiment of indescribable Divine Power, and that Gurudev has connected His extraordinary Power with Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji Maharaj, who started 30 years ago constructing and establishing educational Centres and spreading education and excellent facilities of learning for Thousands of Students in the Garhwal Himalayas, which otherwise would have been deprived of education, which is, according to Shri Malikji's words, very astonishing and not less than a miracle.

He remembered, that when he personally saw several such Omkarananda Hill Schools, already 20 years ago, he strongly felt in each of these Schools the spiritual Presence and divine Power of Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati.

Shri Rajiv Malik further mentioned, that everyone, connected with Omkarananda Ashram, may be knowing that Swami Vishveshwarananda was a Pilot, who gave up his career and all the luxury to become the Disciple of Swami Omkarananda and started working in Rishikesh, a place of Tapasya and Saints and spreading the Vedic Culture, which is really a wonder.

Shri Malikji was also full of praise for the other direct Disciples of Swami Omkarananda, who also had renounced a comfortable and luxurious life in Europe and are helping Swami Vishveshwarananda in India, namely Swami Satchidananda and Kumari Somashekhari.

Rajiv Malik informed the audience, that Kumari Somashekhari, an Indian Citizen, hailing originally from West-Germany, who studied Bharatanatyam and other forms of Indian Classical Dance, has received the highly prestigious Mahila Shiromani Award for promoting Indian Art and Indian Dance.

Shri Malikji mentioned also other Members of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, like the saintly Sanskrit Scholar and Katha Vachak, Shri Siddhartha Krishna and his Mother Usha Devi, who is a famous Iyengar Yoga-Teacher.

Coming back to Gurudev Swami Omkarananda and His Teachings, Shri Rajiv Malik said, that if one reads Gurudev's inspiring words in books like "Who is a Guru? And Other Inspiring Speeches by Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati" or "A Glimpse of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati - His Lineage and His Mission" one's entire life can be changed!

Shri Malikji emphasized, that the guidelines in verbal expression and practical application for changing the whole life of a person in a positive direction, Swami Omkarananda has given in three lines: "Think like a Genius - Work like a Giant - live like a Saint!" Rajiv Malik said, that all the philosophies of all the Vedas in India are contained in these 3 lines.

"Think like a Genius!" For following this advice by Swami Omkarananda, no money is required, exclaimed Malikji! He further explained, that it is a known fact, that normal human beings use only 2 to 4% of their brain or thinking power and so everyone should imagine what a great potential lies hidden in a human being, which could be used!
Swami Omkarananda has told in only three lines how to live an ideal life and what is the essence of life: "Think like a Genius - Work like a Giant - live like a Saint!"

Mr. Malik strongly emphasized, that if these 3 lines would be adopted by people in India, then such horrible things, which just recently happened in Delhi - and which have shaken whole India and the whole world - would never happen!!!

Shri Rajiv Malik ended his brilliant speech with deepest Adorations to Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati and his congratulations and best wishes to Swami Vishveshwarananda and his team for continuing the great Mission of Gurudev.

Shri Rajiv Malik's speech revealed the high class quality of a journalist, who is not only reporting, but also living the high ideals of a true Hindu.

The huge clapping of the audience showed, that his speech was very much appreciated by one and all.

Swami Vishveshwarananda touches the hearts of the audience with his speech.
Omkarananda Arati performed by Swami Vishveshwarananda and Kumari Somashekhari.
 

Swami Vishveshwarananda then thanked Shri Rajiv Malik for his great, lively and divine words and for releasing the work of Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati. He honoured Shri Malik with a white shawl.

Thanks and gifts were also offered to all the participants, who helped to make Omkarananda Jayanti a great occasion.

Then it was the turn of Swami Vishveshwarananda, President Omkarananda Ashram, to express his Vote of Thanks.

But there was a small surprise in store. Dr. Quaylee Chakravorty, the highly dynamic and capable Anchor of this holy function, first wanted to share her own experiences concerning Swamiji with the audience.

She said, that no Mission and dream of a Guru would be complete, unless he has a true and devoted Successor. She continued with the powerful words of Swami Omkarananda: "Successors are not trained! Successors are born!"

Shri Swami Vishveshwaranandaji, who was appointed as Successor by Gurudev Swami Omkarananda, is carrying out all his Gurudev's dreams and Mission successfully, because he is a Karma Yogi by temper, character and choice and bears in his heart uncompromising and total devotion to his Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswatiji, she continued.

Dr. Quaylee Chakravorty further informed the audience that she has been working under Swami Vishveshwaranandaji's Guidance and Blessings for the past 24 years as a Teacher in Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam Inter-College, with Swami Omkarananda's Motto: "Think like a Genius - Work like a Giant - Live like a Saint!"

She said: "Believe me Ladies and Gentlemen, Swami Vishveshwar­ananda is truly proving it, because he thinks like a Genius – he makes us think like a Genius; he works like a Giant - day and night - and makes us also work like a Giant; and he lives like a true Saint and taught us also to live like a true Saint! Thank You Swamiji for always being there by our side as a true Follower of Swami Omkarananda and a true Guide for all of us, be it an Ashramite, a Worker or a Teacher, anybody …"

With these words Dr. Quaylee Chakravortyji requested Swamiji to come up the stage and bless the audience.

Swami Vishveshwarananda, in his Vote of Thanks, emphasized the utmost importance of having a Sadguru and also the importance of Prayer as well as a dedication to the great Vedic culture.

Swamiji's heart-touching words were reflecting his utter humble nature and saintly character and his deep devotion to his Gurudev Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati.

Swami Vishveshwarananda's speech was totally natural and not rehearsed - it spontaneously came from his heart and therefore his words were radiant with a divine power, which made a deep impression on all listeners.

After Swamiji's inspiring words the wonderful function in Honour of Paramahamsa Omkarananda's Jayanti neared its completion.

The Main Priests of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Temple concluded the celebration with Omkarananda Arati and Pushpanjali.

There was a great joy among all the visitors and a visibly happy Rajiv Malik was invited for Prasadam, a Bhandara which everybody could join.

Note:
All those, who would like to see the Video of the Speech of Paramahamsa Omkarananda Saraswati, shown on 25.12.2012 to all devotees and guests, as well as Videos of the Book-Release and Shri Rajiv Malik’s Speech and the Speech of Swami Vishveshwarananda on this occasion, along with the introduction by Dr. Quaylee Chakravorty, can go to the Website of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas www.oah.in and watch everything under the subject “Videos”.

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