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Shri Raghavendra Swami Aradhana Mahotsava

Press Release

The 347th Shri Raghavendra Swami Aradhana Mahotsava was celebrated on Sep 8, 2018 at Bhakta Samaj Center in Tyngsboro by New England Shri Raghavendra Swami Brundavan. NE SRS Brundavan is affiliated to the famous shrine at Mantralayam that is dedicated to this saint and is supported and guided by the current pontiff H.H Shri Subhudendra Theertha as part of a global reach program. The mission of this program is to establish prarthana Mandirs all over the globe so that devotees have access to their beloved guru no matter where they are in the globe.

Shri Raghavendra Swami belongs in the lineage of Madhwacharya and lived in the 16th century and is believed to be the incarnation of the greatest of all devotees - Prahallada. In addition to many scholarly treatises that he authored, this saint provided frameworks for the common man to lead a pious and moral life making the shastra- based life available to all. He entered Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam in Andhra Pradesh and is believed to live in a metaphysical form for 700 years - Devotees continue to feel his presence and many miracles are regularly reported and his guidance and benevolence are lovingly experienced. For this reason, this saint is considered to be the Kalpavruksha or Kamadhenu of the Kaliyug.

Raghavendra swami (fondly called Rayaru) has a huge following all over the world and it was evident by the turnout at this event as well - Over 650 people attended the event and the entire proceedings was run efficiently thanks to the passionate work of 100+ volunteers serving in every department from onsite cooking and serving to the conducting of the puja rituals as well as parking and crowd management.The format of the event was authentic to the Madhwa community traditions but the event was open to everyone - caste, religion and language no bar and given the huge popularity of this saint, there was a great diversity in the attendees.  

The event started with chanting of various suktas and stotras by the Sukta Dhama group. Devotees were able to worship and adore their beloved saint in many different ways in the form of paduka puja, Ashttotara recitation, Panchamrutha Abhisheka and Kanakabhisheka or showering of coins on the idol. The celebrations also included a grand pallaki procession around the premises with a resplendent and bejeweled Prahallada and colorful royal parasols and the sounds of the dhol, singing and chanting.

Another important aspect of the Aradhana is the Ashtavadana seva where the saint is offered a chanting of the 4 vedas, the Ramayana, Bhagavata, Stotra, Harikathamruthasara, music, dance etc. For the stotra presentation, students of the Gnana Kalpavruksha classes once again impressed the attendees with their memory and the clarity of pronunciation. The next session of these classes begin on Sept 16, 2018. More details on the Gnana kalpavruksha classes can be found here - http://ne-srsbrundavan.org/classes/. A special highlight in this year’s event was a group Kolatta dance presented by women in beautifully coordinated bright attire and executing a simple but elegant choreography.

This year, the Aradhana also featured a very special seva called Alankara Brahmana seva where five practicing brahmins meeting very stringent prescribed requirements were invited for a ceremonial meal and presented with many gifts. These five brahmins are seen as the five forms of Vishnu and so this elaborate multi-step process becomes a spectacle of ultimate hospitality and a chance for the devoted heart to experience a face to face interaction with the divine.

Last but not least, the Aradhana once again featured it’s hallmark, elaborate and traditional meal which was served on banana leaves by men in dhotis. Almost 500 people seated in an orderly manner in front of banana leaves filled with numerous colorful and aromatic dishes was not just a gastronomic feast but a feast to the eyes as well. All devotees also received the special ‘parimala prasada’ that is unique to the main shrine of this saint in Mantralaya along with the sacred rice or mantrakshate blessed and sent by the current swamiji of Mantralaya. Seva sponsors also received special tokens to take home along with fruits and other prasada.

NE SRS Brundavan launched 3 years ago first as an ‘events only’ organization but became an operating mutt or temple since September 2018. The temple is located at 1527 Middlesex st, Lowell MA Unit #5 and operates 3 days a week on Thursday and Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. The temple runs on a self-sustaining model and is completely run and managed by the devotees of Raghavendra Swami in the New England area. The organization is raising funds and working towards a full time priest and a permanent temple location. Details about the temple and also options to make one time or recurring donations are available on the organization’s website.

For more information, contact info@ne-srsbrundavan.org.

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