Bhagawat Saptah 2016

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Srimad Bhagawat Saptah by Swami Abhedananda in Durban, South Africa

As part of commemorating Pujya Gurudev’s Birth Centenary Celebrations, Chinmaya Mission South Africa organised a ‘Bhagawat Saptah Family Camp’, conducted by Swami Abhedananda from 26th June to 2nd July 2016.

A day before the Bhagawat Saptaha was the grand inauguration of “Brahmaloka” – a newly renovated and state of the art auditorium cum satsang hall, which was dedicated to the public by Swami Abhedananda. Thus, the Bhagawat Saptaha was the first auspicious program to be conducted in this new auditorium.

More than 300 devotees and delegates attended the Bhagawat Saptah, and around 50 overseas delegates from USA, Singapore, Dubai, and India stayed in the newly constructed ashram premises, which is nested on top of a serene hill in Durban within the premises of the Chinmaya Shivamtemple. The delegates revelled in the beautiful ashram,experiencing the towering source of spiritual knowledge that invigorates the entire vicinity with its resounding spiritual energy; bestowing peace and happiness upon everyone who entersit’s inviting gates from all walks of life.

IMG_5529The Bhagwatam Saptah camp witnessed seven days of blissful satsangs on complete Shrimad Bhagawatam, and festive celebrations of various Utsavs and leelas including Shri Ram Janmotsav, Shri Krishna Janmotsav and Rukmini-Krishna VivahaUtsav. During the evenings, devotees revelled in musical performances and Bhajan Sandhya by professional artists, as well as cultural programs by children. Aside from this two traditional priests from Madurai had come specially to perform daily Havans and rituals which were participated by the Yajamans of the Bhagawat Saptaha. Prior tothe commencement of the Bhagawat Saptah, Saturday, the priestsconducted the SankalpHavanand Pooja where all the Yajmaans took sankalp for peace, prosperity and growth of the ashram and all it’s devotees. On subsequent days, the priests performed different havas like Sri Ganeshahavan, Sri Maha Vishnu havan, Navagrahahavan, SreeSooktamhavan, Gayatrihavanetc.

On the inaugural day of the Bhagawat Saptah, a grand procession of Shrimad Bhagawatam was held from the Chinmaya Shivam Temple to the Satsang Hall ‘Bramhaloka’. The procession was led by Swami Abhedananda ji and followed by the Yajamans and other devotees, carrying the Bhagawatam on their head. Hundreds of devotees thronged the ashram to witness this glorious moment and to revel in the leelas of Shri Krishna. The traditional lamp lighting and formal inauguration was performed by His Holiness Swami Saradaprabhananadaji – Vice President of Ramakrishna Mission South Africa, along with Swami Abhedanandaji. While Swami Abhedananda described the enchanting glories of the Lord, the main priest performed the parayan of ‘Shrimad Bhagawatam’ and the assist priest mentally chanted ‘Om NamoBhagawateVaasudevaaya’ to invoke the grace of the lord and bless everyone present there.Throughout the saptaha, lunch and dinner bhiksha were lovingly served to all the devotees who were present to hear the Bhagawat Saptah. Every evening concluded with the Aarti of the magnificent Lord Shiva in Chinmaya Shivam temple where devotees thronged in large numbers.

IMG_5339How should one lead his life? How can one perform his duties and yet be free from the bondages? How can one have a yearning thirst to see, to feel and to unite with the Lord? The answers to these questions and much more was revealed in the daily satsangs by Swami Abhedanandaji, who in his most inimitable style showered the secrets of blissful devotion upon all sincere seekers.While describing the glories of the blue boy Sri Krishna, Swamiji traversed the minds of all devotees to ‘Gokul&Vrindavan’. How can one describe the ecstasy of the devotees on the night of celebration of Sri Krishna Janmotsav! Sweets, miniature flutes, feathers, giveaways as gifts, chocolates were all showered and distributed among the elated devotees.

On the last day of the Bhagawat Saptah, the children performed a captivating skit on Shri Krishna and his devotees. The well scripted skit once again melted the hearts of the audience reminding them about the glories of the Lord.

The culmination was done on 3rd July with the auspicious Purnahuti Havan, followed by Vishnu Sahasranama Archana and Samashti Bhiksha for all devotees. Knowing that it is considered highly auspicious to listen to a Bhagawat Saptah at least once in a lifetime, the delegates carried with them the feeling of joy, satisfaction and completeness.Expressing their gratitude in many different ways to Pujya Swamiji and other members of Chinmaya Mission South Africa, the devotees departed for their homes with a heavy heart, but overflowing with joyful memories that they would cherish all throughout their life.

The Bhagawat Saptaha camp was truly a befitting tribute to Pujya Gurudev on the auspicious occasion of His birth centenary.

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