Devotees performing Satyanarayana Pooja. (Balaji Temple, San Jose)
The annual Guru Vandana celebrations began with a four-day program at Balajii Temple, San Jose, Calif., from Nov. 11-14, writes Madhumita Banerjee. – #Siliconeer @Siliconeer #SiliconValley #BalajiTempleSanJose #SwamiNarayananda #SatyanarayanaPooja #Guruvandana
Day 1, Nov. 11: Swami Narayananda started with 108 Kalasha sthapana, initiated all devotees who performed puja with Diksha Mantra and invoked the Lord to have His presence on all the four days. The devotees chanted Om Namo Bagavathe Vasudevaya 108 times. As it was Ekadashi, Swamiji performed Abishekam for Sri Panduranga and Rukmini. Devotees who wore dhotis/saree got an opportunity to go up on the altar to perform abhishek to Sri Panduranga. Swamiji gave satsang about the ekadashi vratam and mahapradasam was served.
Day 2, Nov. 12: Swamiji re-invoked all the Gods and Goddesses with Navagraha Puja and performed Mahalakshmi Abhishekam. Godessess Mahalakshmi was adorned with beautiful Gold malas and flowers. Devotees chanted Lalitha sahasranama and sang songs on Mahalakshmi.
Day 3, Nov. 13: Swamiji performed 108 Kalasha Abhishekam for Lord Balaji. Devotees who took diksha, took their kalashas and Swamiji offered to Lord Balaji. Devotees chanted Vishnu Sahasranama while Swamiji was doing Alankaram. When the curtain opened, Lord Balaji looked stunning with silver kavacham and beautiful flower malas made by the temple volunteers. Devotees chanted “Venkataramana Govinda!” Swamiji did Ashta vandana, and concluded the puja with Mangala Aarti. Laddu and Maha prasadam was served. More than 200 devotees attended the puja.
On the final fourth day, Nov. 14, Swamiji performed Sri Satya Narayana Puja with 108 Kalashas followed by Katha.
The program concluded with salutations to our Guru Swami Narayananda Puri. Balaji Temple volunteer Sri Parthasarathi beautifully presented a short talk about the concept of Guru in Hindu tradition, the greatness of the spiritual Guru, to know the ways to serve him and to dispel the ignorant notion that he is just another human. He sang a song on Guru Ashtotram and geetham while Chandrasekar Vittaladas assisted by Padma performed Pada puja to our Swamiji. Temple priest Swami Vittala Nityananda talked about our Swamiji working tirelessly, guiding the devotees and requested all the devotees to do more seva. Prabu Goel talked about Swamiji’s dedication, discipline, wisdom and service to all the devotees.
Swamiji gave a talk about how God is great and honored Prabhu Goel for helping the temple with large donation. Temple devotees Krishna Sheelam and Elango spoke about Swamiji’s goal and requested all the devotees to help the temple for further improvement. All the devotees offered flowers to Swamiji and took his blessings. The food was sponsored by Hema and Manoj Pombra family. More than 600 devotees attended in the 4-day festivities.
Swamiji thanked all the devotees and volunteers who contributed successfully organize events for all the four days.