Devotees carrying “kalasha.” (All photos: Balaji Temple)
Sri Balaji Guru Vandana was celebrated grandly with 108 kalasha Ganapathi abhishekam, 108 kalasha Balaji abhishekam, Mahalakshmi abhishekam and Sathya Narayana Pooja, writes Hari Hara Kumar Maharaj. (@siliconeer, #siliconeer, community, #BalajiTempleSanJose)
A ‘108 kalasha sthapana’ (presenting to God) for Balaji Abhishekam was done, Nov. 20. Families sat individually and invoked the Almighty Lord doing ‘sankalpa’ (resolution) and performed Ganpati, Navagraha Poojas and Mahalakshmi Abhishekam.
Pitathipathi Sri Narayananada Swami (Swamiji) initiated and led all the devotees in reciting mantras.
Later, everyone was enchanted with the Mahalakshmi Abhishekam. Vittal Nithyananda Swami spoke about the meaning of ‘Guru’ (teacher). He talked about how the temple has grown today since the 206 Charasthapatha of Balaji into a spacious place where devotees can come to feel one with God anytime and also how the Balaji Guru Vandana has become such a grand event every year.
He talked of how Swamiji had a vision of Lord Balaji and how that vision has turned into a reality by which devotees are all able to come here to see and pray to all the Gods and Goddesses. By performing Guru Vandana, devotees can feel closer to God and through performing the poojas, all their doshas (problems) are removed. Later, a mahaprasadam sponsored by Peacock, Cupertino (Ram Gopal) was served to everyone.
On Saturday, Nov. 21, a 108 kalasha abhishekam was performed to invoke Lord Balaji and Swamiji performed this abhishekam with help from Vittal Nithyananda Swami, Manoj Kumar, Parthasarathy, Ganesh and Satish. All the kalashas used as part of the abhishekam were brought by families of devotees along with ingredients to make Panchamirtha abhishekam to Lord Balaji. Panduranga Rukmini abhishekam was performed by devotees with aarti on Maha Ekadeshi day.
A wonderful cultural program was held. Elango helped organize the cultural events. Mahaprasadam was sponsored by Ganesha Restuartant, Santa Clara. Later, the treasurer of the temple, Babu Dinakaran spoke about how Swamiji inspired the board in thinking innovatively on ways to manage the temple successfully as it grows to ever greater heights. Babu, Krishnasheelam and Elango thanked Swamiji on behalf of all the temple devotees and thanked him for the opportunity to be of service to God and the community. R.K. Swami thanked Swamiji and the temple for giving opportunity to serve God. Prabhu Goel expressed thanks on behalf of his family and other devotees for being able to be associated with supporting the temple and Swamiji’s goal of serving God through humanity.
Swamiji also spoke briefly about the need to balance love and dedication to reach one’s goal.
He talked about Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and how his devotion enabled him to reach Goddess Kali. He later talked about the significance of Guru and told a story of a disciple who took the words of the Guru like a mantra but did not understand true meaning and criticized his Guru when he got hurt. Swamiji mentioned how Guru is the best guide to reaching God and how a Guru selflessly spends time and effort to guide his disciples to the right path. He also spoke how Shiva, Vishnu or Brahma are not different and how a devotee can chant mantra in praise of any of the three and reach God and get Moksha.
On Sunday, Nov. 22, celebrations started with beautifully sung devotional bhajans by students of Jayasri Dasarathi. This was followed by a 108 kalasha Sathya Narayana Pooja performed by Pitathipathi Swami Narayananda chanting “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” along with devotees. All participants had individual moortis and peformed the pooja under Swamiji’s guidance.
The katha (story) in the Pooja was read by Manoj Kumar. Vittal Nithyananda Swami, priests, Parthasarathy and Prabhuram helped perform the pooja. Prasadam made by Hema, Manoj Bhombra and family was served. Everyone enjoyed the delicious prasadam and a wonderful conclusion to a grand, peaceful and successful Guru Vandana program.
Krishnasheelam thanked all the devotees for attending and announced plans for the construction of a dining hall at the temple. He requested devotees to donate generously to help realize the hall. For donation and more information, please contact Balaji Temple at (408) 203-1036 or visit the temple webpage at www.balajitemple.net.