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Vyasa Puja Celebration – a report from LA

Dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

The last weekend around 150 disciples gathered in LA to celebrate the Vyasa
Puja of their beloved spiritual master, His Holiness Srila Jayapataka Swami
Maharaja.
On Thursday evening, March 25th, the adivas ceremony was observed in the big
prasadam hall. Guru Maharaja was seated on the beautifuly decorated
asana/chair and male devotees were offering him the auspicious objects,
which were offered to salagram and Gopal Deities, Tulasi Devi and earth,
while the chanting of vedic mantras was going on. After that Guru Maharaja
distributed prasadam to all the assembled devotees and greeted them. It was
very sweet and intimate ceremony where everyone was able to be near Guru
Maharaja’s lotus feet and male devotees were able to perform this vedic
ritual personaly to Guru Maharaja. Before that Guru Maharaja gave a speech
and explained how this adivas ceremony is preparing all the participants for
the important event that will take place the next day, in this case the
Vyasa Puja of Sri Guru, which is one of the most important events in the
life of a disciple.

Next day, Friday, March 26th, Vyasa Puja celebration started with the temple
morning program and Srimad Bhagavatam lecture of Guru Maharaja. After that
devotees were reading their homages and offerings to Guru Maharaja,
beginning with his Godbrothers and Godsisters. First to talk was Svavas
Prabhu, the temple president of ISKCON LA, than some of the other members of
ISKCON LA community like Omkara Devi Desi, Brigupati Prabhu, Drutakartma
Prabhu, Hari Charana Prabhu, then Kroda shamani Devi Dasi. Then some of Guru
Maharaja’s disciples read the homages of Bhakticaru Swami, Guru Prasad
Swami, Hrdayananda Goswami, etc. Then some of Guru Maharaja’s disciples read
their homages. That was going on untill the midday arati to the Deities.
After arati the altar was closed and devotees performed the bhoga offering
and abhiseka to the lotus feet of Guru Maharaja. Everyone present was able
to bathe Guru Maharaja’s lotus feet (that was advantage of having small
Vyasa Puja instead of big one!) After puspanjali and guru puja, everyone
went to prasadam hall to honour opulent lunch prasadam prepared by Jaganivas
Prabhu, one of Guru Maharaja’s senior disciples and chef cook for Govindas
Restaurant.
Jagadambika Devi Dasi, one of the senior active members of ISKCON LA
community, was organizing the bhoga preparation and offering to Guru
Maharaja. There were few devotees who were cooking in different places and
by united efford were able to prepare 216 small preparations for Vyasa Puja
offering. All preparations were made exactly according to Guru Maharaja’s
diet. The paper with all informations and guidelines of the diet was
distributed to the devotees before they started to cook. In this way Guru
Maharaja was able to taste all different praparations that were offered to
him, and honour prasadam for his full satisfaction.
In the evening disciples gathered in the temple courtyard where temporary
tent was made, like a small pandal. Guru Maharaja was present and was
listening the rest of the disciples homages. Then disciples presented some
cultural program like safari song and video from the last safari 2010 made
in honour of Guru Maharaja, then bharat-natyam dance of Vujay Vishnu
Prabhu’s dother, then video from the High Hopes klinik made by Madumati
Gaurangi Devi Dasi who is a proffesional movie director, then some nice
bhajan performance.

On Saturday morning, March 27th, Guru Maharaja gave initiations and class.
He explained about importance of following the regulative principles. He
said how second initiation is like a fast track to take us back to Godhead,
but in the same time we’re more responsable for the reactions of our
mistakes.
In the evening devotees of ISKCON LA community presented the drama of the
pastimes of Lord Nrsimhadeva to the pleasure of Guru Maharaja, coordinated
by Jagadambika Devi Dasi.

On Sunday, March 28th, Guru Maharaja went to the swimming pool accompanied
by most of his disciples. After excersising in the pool Guru Maharaja and
devotees took lunch in the park and had some relaxing time togather.

On Tuesday, March 30th, Guru Maharaja went to Atlanta to finish some legal
work that require his presence. He will stay till Monday and have disciples
gathering there. He’s continuing with his excersises every day.

Your servant,
Teja Gaurangi devi dasi

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