By J.V. Lakshmana Rao
Viswanagar (Chinakondrupadu-Guntur): The 12-day-long Amruthostava program to mark the 75th birthday celebration of Sri Sri Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee Maharaj here from February 22 to March 5 has been a great spiritual experience for hundreds of devotees, including 75 visiting families from the US and other countries. During these days a free medical camp was also organized on March 3 and the festival of Siva Ratri was performed by several fasting devotees on March 4.
The colorfully decorated huge campus which includes Swamiji’s abode with a big hall, the Yagna Shala, various small and big temples, specially erected hermitage-like Homa Kunda pandal, the tall Universal Peace and Integration Pillar and cottages wore a festive look. The whole Viswanagar campus reverberated for all the days with the Vedic hymns, Vedic chanting, yagnas, homas, vratas and pujas by Veda Pandits in various groups and devotees.
The celebration, which began with the 108 Kalasabhishekam to Kalpa Vruksha Varasiddi Vinayaka puja, ended with the highly spirited birthday message of Swamiji on March 5, which was celebrated as the Universal Unity and Peace Day.
Swamiji said that he was born on March 5, 1944, and his body created by the Almighty with a plan to serve the society. The human body was composed of more than 70,000 sinews and other components. It was packed with tremendous “Shakti,” or power. Everyone should make oneself strong, acquire strength and power, and serve the humanity and the world. That was the intent and plan of the God. A strong man alone could make others strong.
Giving a call for the unity among all human beings, he said: “Unity is our strength and humanity is our life.”It was his cherished goal to make India a strong center for peace in the world and said he was confident that India would become a strong nation and lead the world. “I have been telling this for the past two decades and it is becoming a reality. There is a need for peace among world nations and that peace would be achieved only through love and unity among all human beings. Efforts to unite all nations have already started. World unity is possible and it would become a reality only by the efforts of India,” he added.
Swamiji said that there was a grave danger to the Mother Earth. Everyone must protect the earth. Nature was being disturbed and environment was being polluted. Man was polluting the five elements – the earth, the sky, the water, the fire, and the air. Everyone must protect them. God was sending man to the earth to protect and preserve the nature. No one could save humanity, if the nature unleashes its fury. “Arise, awake and unite for protecting Mother Earth,” he said.
He said that he had completed 75 years of life and entering his 76th year. He vowed to continue to work for the world peace with all his strength. This strength was ever active –yesterday, today and tomorrow. “All human beings are one family. Humanity is our aim and love is our way of life. We all should aim at world peace. Spread love and illuminate the world with the rays of love, unity and peace,” he concluded.
The highlights of the daily ritual events beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m., aimed at invoking world peace included Ganapati Puja, Punyahavachanam, Rakshabandhan, Deekshadharana, Ankurarpanam, Mandaparadhana, Suryanamaskaras, Pavamanasuktaparayana, Durga Saptashati (Chandi) Parayanalu, Rudra Ekadasi Navagraha Japalu, MahaVidya Parayanalu, Avahita Homamulu, Kumkumarchanalu, Neerajana Mantra Pushpamulu, Teerthaprasada Vitarana Programs, Cultural Programs, and felicitations to various achievers.
While groups of learned Pandits performed Siva and Parvati-oriented pujas from morning till late evening, along with a perennial homa fire glowing in the main homa hall, in an artistically built thatched hermitage housed 12 homa kundas (fire pits) where devotees and their families performed Saptashati Homas guided by priests for over four hours in the afternoon everyday as another group of Veda Pandits continuously chanted mantras. Swamiji used to join the main homa in yoga shala as well as in the thatched hermitage. In the evening women devotees used to participate in the group chanting of Kamalaalaya DurgaMantra, Lalita Sahasranama Kumkumarchana, Neeranjanam and Mantrapushpa offering. In the morning and evening Swamiji used to bless the devotees with sanctified water and apply kumkuma and vibhuti on the forehead of every devotee individually. On the last day, nearly 150 devotees, guided by a priest performed, DattaVratam. Swamiji was also given an elaborate sacred and ritualistic head bath. Every devotee had an opportunity to reverentially shower Swamiji with sacred water.
Among several cultural events, a unique literary and music event stole the hearts of literary and music lovers. Performed by the Swara Samrat-Swara Veenapani (A.S.V Ramanamurthy) of Hyderabad, the literary-music featwas called “Apoorva Saptaswara Avadhana.” Like other Avadhanams and Avadhanis, the Swara Avadhani Swara Veenapani spontaneously composes and sings in Karnataka music style a song for the given keyword or subject and for given raga. This is a rare and special musical feat that manifests and tests one’s memory, literary, music, and vocal skills set to 72 Karnataka melakarta ragas and their several other sub-ragas.
Swara Veenapani regaled the audience with his mesmerizing quickness composed and sang seven intricate songs in seven rare ragas, while the interpretations by Sahitisamanvayakarta Dr. N. Deexitulu of Hindu College Guntur, and Sangeetasamanvayakarta and music exponent B. Venkateswarulu of Guntur were interesting and educative. Swara Veenapani received appreciative applause repeatedly after every song he sang soulfully and meaningfully.
Another informative event was the presentation of an annual report by Dr. Rajeswari on free medical services provided by VIMS Mother and Child Care Hospital headed by Swamiji. A free monthly medical camp started with 408 patients in 1998 had taken into a shape of full-fledged modern hospital with all faculties in 2008 and by the end of 2018, it had treated 20,829 patients annually. She said that the hospital conducts medical camps every month and provides free medicines and spectacles. The hospital staff, including regular employees and volunteers treat patients free of charge, perform surgeries and provide free medicines.
Swamiji felicitated surgeons, physicians, nursing staff members and volunteers in recognition of their services.
Earlier, there was an interesting Veda Sabha followed by felicitations to 75 Veda Pandits. Also as part of the cultural programs, a solo singing of songs on Swamiji in Karnataka music style by Smt. K. Gayatri, and group singing of classical songs in Karnataka music style by the disciples of Smt. K. Rama enthralled the audience. All the puja programs were organized under the supervision of Brahmasri K. Subrahmanya Sarma (Phani).
Among the dignitaries, who attended the celebrations, were Mandali Buddha Prasad, Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly; Andhra Pradesh Ministers Siddha Raghava Rao; Justice A. Shankara Narayana; and Y.T. Naidu, additional SP of Guntur Urban.
By J.V. Lakshmana Rao