Bhakti Tirtha Swami's Vyasa Puja Program
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
We celebrated his appearance day with great pomp and joy!
Here are some highlights by Devaki
- Saci Priya dd began the program with a heartfelt kirtan
- The GN community gathered together to share their homages, remembrances and gratitude about Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja. The offerings were heartfelt, loving and sincere
- We had a sweet puspanjali for Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja. All the devotees gathered around Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja's chair, which was covered with beautiful flowers and garlands and had a very nice picture of Maharaja smiling. There was a very sweet atmosphere as Hari Chakra Prabhu lead the devotees in saying the prayers
- The happiness and bliss of the devotees was obvious as they jumped, danced and sang in the kirtan. But the best part was the devotees doing some of the dance steps that Maharaja used to do in the GN temple room. Seeing and engaging in dancing the way that Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja used to do made the kirtan even more special and a tribute to him.
- We had a spectacular with flavorful paneer and vegetable subji, gauranga potatoes, salad with french dressing, a rich coconut banana sweet, and a ginger, apple lemon drink. It was cooked by many devotees in the community.
- We also saw a very powerful DVD lecture by Bhakti Tirtha Swami "Even You Can Communicate With Your Soul". He describes in great detail about the soul, explaining the soul's qualities and how we can connect with the soul. He says, "It is so universal that the soul is neither male or female, neither child or adult." It was a very inspiring lecture and gave the devotees a lot of things to think about and try to apply in their own lives.
- The way all the wonderful devotees came together and engaged in doing service whether it was working in the kitchen doing cut up, cooking or setting up the offering plates, doing the artiok, leading the kirtan, helping serve out the feast, helping to clean up afterward the program was over, and the list goes on.
- Many thank you's to all of the devotees who contributed in any way to helping make the program a success. From the cooks, to the devotees who helped with the sound system, to the kirtaniers, to the devotees who helped serve out, to the devotees who traveled from far away (NY and NJ), to the devotees who helped clean up, to the devotees who participated in the program, we appreciate all of you! Thank you for your service!!
Wednesday February 25- Fasting Till Noon
5.00pm Class by H.H. Bhakti-Tirtha Swami and readings from his letters and writings
5.30pm Bhoga Offering
6.15pm Arati and Gurupuja
7.00pm Feast - Potluck
Saturday, February 28
Sri Sri Radha-Damodara Mandir
7am Srimad Bhagavatam class
8am Greeting of Deities and Srila Prabhupada
10am Welcoming Announcements
10:10 Meaning of Vyasa Puja
10:20 Offering to Srila Prabhupada by H.H. Bhakti-Tirtha Swami
10:30 Offerings from devotees
11:30 Bhoga offering
11:45 Puspanjali in Temple Room
12:00 Simultaneous arati for Sri Sri Radha-Damodara and Gurupuja for H.H.Bhakti-Tirtha Swami
2:30pm Offerings continue in temple room followed by- DVD of H.H. Bhakti-Tirtha Swami
Youth Leadership Center: This weekend we are hosting a group of 15 to 24 students from Penn State. Our main service project is to convert a basement room in the temple into a Youth Leadership Center. We are creating a place for the very talented youth in our community to develop their service skills, and to "hang out" with like minded peers.
Secondary projects: Secondary projects this weekend include upgrading the sewing room facility, renovating the dining hall serve out area, and supporting our new boiler with easily accessible stacked wood.
We look forward to a productive and fun weekend with our young helpers.
Wonderful paper decorations surround Sri Sri Radha Damodar
Lord Nityananda on His Glorious Appearance
Lead in Action-Penn State or the service team, as we called them, came in as enthusiastic and determined as ever to make a difference here in Gita Nagari. The group of about fifteen students arrived Valentine’s day morning with smiling faces and jolly spirits despite the freezing weather conditions. They were greeted by Snana Yatra Prabhu, who immediately engaged them in a tennis ball throwing game and set the tone for the day’s main focus; FUN in Service!
The students were given a short tour of the farm as there was not much else to see but our most valued and precious residents, the cows. We very much appreciated how the students all came into the pasture and barn to smother our heifers and oxen with their love. A few expressed that they did not feel any fear approaching the animals and that being with them felt satisfying.
We then rushed back to get started on our service projects. It was refreshing to see how each team set about completing their tasks with much attention and care and how easily they applied themselves. One group set out to convert part of the temple basement into a Youth Leadership Center. They were cooperatively cutting and stapling pieces of straw board to cover the walls and splitting bamboo to decorate the pillar supports, and our home grown youth, Jana Vatsala dasi, got busy smearing cow dung on the walls. This transformation is definitely getting us closer to feeling like we are in Gita Nagari village, home of “simple living high thinking”.
Snana Yatra prabhu commented on how impressed he was that the students understood that service is our life and soul. “They appreciated the fact that we engaged them in service because this fulfilled their desire to give service for a better cause.” Later on, we understood from hearing them share their reflections that, they felt we had given more service to them then they had given to us. They especially commented on how nice the prasadam was and how they felt they were part of the family. One student mentioned that the highlight of her day was having a heart to heart conversation with our resident Sati devi dasi. Overall, it was a relief for the students to get away from their hectic and very impersonal lifestyles at State College and experience something very new and different.
We ended the program on a high note by sharing Kirtan yoga. The students all stood up to dance and clap to the Maha Mantra in unison. They vowed to bring a bigger group in the Spring and come here more frequently!
Hare Krsna! Dear Devotees,
His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur
, February 8, 2015.