“Love” is the word which describes – “2017 Janmäñöamé” Celebration at KARM.
It’s distribution, the major reason for which Lord Çré Kåñëa descended to this world and Janmäñöamé is the celebration of the Appearance Day of Lord Çré Kåñëa, the day of showering Love.
Love, which was the theme of the function, depicted by decoration with Red Roses (symbolic of Love)
ÇRÉ GURUDEVA showers in ever increasing ways on Devotees as Loving Reciprocations, Darçana, Love-filled Kértans and Hari Kaöhä.
Devotees under ÇRÉ GURUDEVA Shelter have for the LORD and for ÇRÉ GURUDEVA, manifested in the form of preparation for the Celebration including 56 Bhoga Offering extending to around 1200 items.
KARM Devotees have for each other as they help others in their service, serving together and making love-filled offerings to each other.
Under this Love-filled atmosphere, the festival of the Appearance Day of the Happiness, Love Personified Lord Çré Kåñëa was celebrated under the Divine Shelter of Prema-rüpäye ÇRÉ GURUDEVA by the loving devotees in KARM.
Soon after Vyäsa Püjä, messages, thoughts, discussions started for the eagerly awaited festival of Janmäñöamé. The very next day devotees began to look for venue.. even before the venue was finalized, permissions were seeked for serving devotees on the decoration day.
Red Rose symbolizing Love was finalized to be the Theme of the occasion. While some devotees got roses in red & golden made at their showroom, another got the backdrop ready at his factory. Some devotees gathered to make flower bunches for decoration. Yet another devotee put her heart to design & make dresses for Rädhä Kåñëa to be worn during Abhiñeka as well as after Abhiñeka.
Making of presentations, script writing and play practice also began days before the function. Simultaneously list for 56 Bhoga was being made.. every day the number was increasing & increasing to reach exorbitant 1192 on Janmäñöamé. These Bhogas included varieties of items which one can think of & even those which one cannot even think of- 56 types of Burgers, 56 + 56 types of biscuits, 56 + 56 types of drinks, 56 types of toffees, 56 types of sweets etc. Different types of sandwiches, pakodas, kachoris, puris, paranthas, sabjis, halwas, rice, dry fruits, fruits were also among 56 Bhoga items. These Bhogas were not only served by Devotees, but also by the friends, families, colleagues, employees of devotees. So attractive are our Beloved Deities- the Sevit Vigraha of our Revered ÇRÉ GURUDEVA.
For Devotees at KARM, each festival is like an opportunity to become the recipient of Kåpä of Çré Rüpa Gosvämé & Çré Gurudeva by practically living the S Çloka- dadäti pratigåhëäti (Nectar of Instruction, Verse 4) under the guidance of ÇRÉ GURUDEVA. Serving gifts is a culture in KARM, which is not just limited to serving a thing.. gifts are actually love-filled offerings of devotees, as these are served with utmost sensitivity to seek blessings.
It is very often seen, devotees going out of their way to serve exclusive gifts. One of the devotee’s residing outside Delhi not only came with her 2 year old kid to attend & participate in the function, She also got along with her exclusive gift (speciality of the place from where she belongs) for other devotees. Milk Shakes were served.. not 8 or 12 or 16.. rather the entire crate. Soan Rolls were also served but were they the commonly available ones? No..! They were flavoured soan rolls, ordered and delivered all the way from Nagpur. Sling Bags, Incense Sticks etc were served which were brought specially from Våndävana. Cushion Äsana was one of the offering made by a devotee to other devotees, the thought behind serving it was to make devotees at ease to do their sädhanä. Varieties of biscuits & cookies were served, none of which was the usual one. While one box contained healthy dalia-oats biscuits, another was exclusive bakery cookies. Yet another box of fruit biscuits was the speciality of Hyderabad. Some devotees had put their hearts to prepare gift hampers of sauces, of eatables etc., which looked even more beautiful than those made professionally. Pouches of toffees not just for devotees but for kids of devotees, almonds, honey, amla murabbas, patisa, big containers were also lovingly served by devotees.
To facilitate devotees in making bhoga conveniently and quickly, one devotee served multi-blades Chopper while one devotee served beautiful gift wrapping papers which could be used by devotees in their services. This was not all.. the love of a devotee was expressed in her offering as she served Uddhava Gétä and Caitanya Caritämåta Grantha to devotees. Not just that, kids of devotees made offerings to devotees of flavoured makhanas, exclusive sipper-cum-tumbler etc.
Usually decoration is done the previous day… and whole one day is spent in decoration.. but this year, decoration was to be done on the same day early in the morning, in the limited 4 hours. How will the decoration be completed? Even if decoration be completed, will it be done in a satisfactory way? This was the question in many devotees’ mind. But as is known- Kåñëa Himself is Käla (Time).. how can time be an obstacle or a limitation when sevä is being rendered for His Pleasure? It was 6.30 in the morning, devotees gathered at the venue & started decoration sevä. Some Prabhujis assembled & decorated back drop, some put up pillars, hung fabrics and decorated with flower bunches. Altar & Tables for Abhiñeka & 56-Bhogas were decorated beautifully by Matajis. Elegant Rangoli was being made along side.
Now, the Vyäsa Äsana was set, Backdrop was ready, Altar was laid, boxes of 56-Bhoga were arranged on the tables.. but to everyone’s surprise, time was only 9:30 am.. it seemed to all as if time expanded itself.
Soon after, other devotees & guests began to pour in.. all enthusiastic & eager for ÇRÉ GURUDEVA DARÇANA & Janmäñöamé Celebration. As clock struck 11am, amidst the sound of Conchshell & Kértans, ÇRÉ GURUDEVA entered the venue & the celebration began in the real sense.
Abhiñeka of Lord Kåñëa’s Deity was done with Païcämåta by ÇRÉ GURUDEVA, followed by devotees.
Thereafter, presentation was shown, which described importance of human form of life and it answered the basic questions of life- what is happiness, who wants happiness & how can happiness be attained.
Pastime of Sürya Püjä by Rädhä-Kåñëa in presence of Jaöilä was enacted by devotees, which left everyone in laughter.
After the ñångära of the Lord was done post-abhiñeka, Äraté & Bhoga Offering was done by ÇRÉ GURUDEVA.
This was followed by the most-awaited part of the celebration, as ÇRÉ GURUDEVA blessed us with Hari Kathä. Through the Discourse, ÇRÉ GURUDEVA explained the real meaning of the often heard but rarely understood çloka- Tvameva Mätä Ca Pitä Tvameva. ÇRÉ GURUDEVA also beautifully described the Rasa/Nectar of Çré Kåñëa through Lélä when Kåñëa appears amidst gopés. While everyone was already drowned in the Lélä Rasa, ÇRÉ GURUDEVA immersed all of us further in the ecstatic, mesmerising, heart-touching Kåñëa Kåñëa Kértana.
It was then the time of Cakes Cutting. While the Ann cake was decorated with beautiful roses representing the LOVE theme, Non-ann Cake was not just a cake.. Devotees had made it in the form of an Äsana, Siàhäsana (Throne) for Rädhä Kåñëa with overhead trees and parrots present nearby.
Then offerings were made by Devotees to ÇRÉ GURUDEVA & to each other. Devotees in turn received loving reciprocations, guidance, instructions from our revered ÇRÉ GURUDEVA.
ÇRÉ GURUDEVA left the venue to return soon and bless us with After-Lecture TALK. ÇRÉ GURUDEVA guided what practical steps to be taken, took understandings of devotees and clarified doubts in a very simplified way.
And within no time, the moment we never wished to come, came.. ÇRÉ GURUDEVA departed.
Prasädaà was then served. It was a fasting day yet the sumptuous prasädaà made it feasting. Delicacies ranged from lemonade, almond thandai drinks to pakodas chutney snacks, from kadhi rice, paneer, petha, raita, pooris etc. to fruit cream, ghiya dry-fruit halwa, cake etc. in sweets.
Thereafter wind up began by devotees who were as enthusiastic & energetic, rather were more enthusiastic & energetic than they were in the morning. A devotee despite being unwell was eager to do wind up, who was to be stopped to sit & take rest. Washing of utensils, loading into trucks was also done by devotees themselves. It was not that they cannot hire labour, it was just that no one wished to miss the opportunity of their purification by rendering service.
It was then the time to return home.. it had grown dark, gifts were in large numbers, then there were bags of Prasädaà and 56 Bhogas.. one may wonder how will these be taken home by devotees who have 2-wheelers or who have no conveyance? Well, this was not the question in anyone’s mind. This is because ÇRÉ GURUDEVA have not just given us a society named KARM but have given us the beautiful family where devotees care for themselves later, their first thought is to serve others. Devotees loaded their cars with packets of other devotees & went to drop them safe at their homes. This way, the function apparently came to an end leaving everyone further immersed in the love of the Lord & Guru.