Namadwaar Celebrates 7th Annual Srimad Bhagavata Mahotsava

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Kids after Srimad Bhagavatam Musical Play

MANVEL: December 21 to 27, was a joyous, blissful week in Houston with the Srimad Bhagavata Mahotsava and Grand Madhura Utsav spiritual and cultural celebration held at Houston Namadwaar. Organized by Global Organization for Divinity and Love to Share Foundation America, the event saw over 100 devotees from across the USA join Houston devotees for this unique celebration – from Orlando, Richmond-VA, Raleigh-NC, Boston, New Hampshire, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, Austin, Bay Area-CA, Redding-CA and other cities.

The days were packed with kirtanam and katha shravanam with little chance to think of anything other than Bhagavan. Every day began with Prabodhanam and Tiruppavai recital at 6 am. This was followed by the commencement of Srimad Bhagavata parayanam (18000 slokas in 7 days) which went on until about 1pm daily. Simultaneously, in the mornings and afternoons there was either vahanam processions or Sampradaya bhajan with Sri Jayadeva Ashtapadis and kirtans of numerous other mahatmas including Sri Thyagaraja, Sri Purandara Dasa, Sri Bhadrachala Ramadasa, Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji and Panduranga bhaktas’ abhangs.

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Ramanujamji discourse

Every evening was magical, as everyone was transported to Gokula and Brindavana through the wonderful exposition of Sri Krishna Leela by Sri Ramanujamji, disciple of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, at Sri Meenakshi Temple. This discourse series was co-sponsored by Meenakshi Temple Society. Sri Ramanujamji delved to great depths into many of Sri Krishna’s bala leelas, bringing out and explaining many enjoyable points in the stories through the commentaries of various mahatmas. It was truly an amazing discourse series. On a couple of days, after the discourse, the day of Krishna Jananam and Rasa Leela, women devotees danced in joy and celebration, around Bala Krishna and Sri Radha-Krishna respectively.

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Overflowing Namadwaar on Radha Kalyanam day

The discourse series was preceded daily by cultural dance performances by Houston dancers including students of Sravanthi Modali (Kuchipudi), Rathna Kumar/ Venugopal Josyula (Bharatanatyam), Supradipta Datta (Odissi), Indrani Parthasarathy (Bharatanatyam) and Padmini Chari/Kum. Surabi Veeraragavan (Bharatanatyam). On one day, children of G.O.D.’s Gopa Kuteeram heritage program from all across the USA presented a musical play depicting all the Cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam, and on another, Gopa Kuteeram Youth presented a “Street Play” on how they follow Bhagavata Dharma. These cultural performances were conducted under the auspices of Love to Share Foundation America.

Other special events during the week-long utsav at Namadwaar included celebration of Nandotsavam (with children dancing around baby Krishna), Govinda Pattabhishekam and Anna Koototsav, Radha Kalyanam (divine wedding of the divine couple), Madhura Gitam quiz (quiz on the compositions of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji), beautiful Jhoola Seva at night amid diya lamps and Nikunjotsavam with an extremely melodious vocal concert themed on Krishna Bhakti by Shilpa Sadagopan. Shilpa was accompanied by Deepa Ramachandran on violin and Karun Salvady on mridangam.

It was an exhilarating week that rejuvenated everyone and inspired all to do more service, kirtanam, katha shravanam and celebrate Bhagavan in their own lives!

Global Organization for Divinity and Love to Share Foundation express their heartfelt gratitude to the many restaurants and grocery establishments who came forward to sponsor dinner prasad for the week-long event – Annam Indian Cuisine, Balaji Bhavan, Bhojan restaurant, Hyderabadi House (Woodlands), Madras Pavilion, Maharaja Bhog restaurant, Meena Catering, Raja Sweets, Sagar Indian Cuisine, Shiva Indian Restaurant, Shiv Sagar restaurant, Patel Brothers (Hillcroft), Subbulaxmi Grocers (Hillcroft), Swadeshi Grocers (Pearland), Chipotle, Olive Garden, HEB, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Food Town and Fiesta.