BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Srinivasa Kalyanam was the main Agenda for the Swamiji on the 30th of May at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in Riverdale. Addressing a packed hall of devotees at the temple, Swamiji talked about service for the community and spirituality before the Kalyanam.
“Enthusiasm is experiencing God from within” he said translating the literal meaning of the word. He added that most of us do not believe in God even though we see him in various different forms.
“Have you seen God” he asked the crowd. “God appears in different forms and shapes depending on the need starting from Vibhava. He comes to earth in different avataras such as Rama and Krishna. He also dwells among us as Antaryami but none of these can be touched or felt physically. Hence we have Idols in the Archavataram form, so that we can feel and experience as humans the presence of God” he said. He used an apt analogy saying just as people can take credit for bringing all the ingredients together to make a lamp burn; they cannot take credit for the light energy emitted by the lamp. Similarly he explained, even though man creates an Idol, he is not responsible for the energy emitted by the Idol that is the inherent property of the Idol.
“God is not in the Idol, but the Idol itself is God” he detailed.
He also emphasized the importance of faith. He talked about man treating his body like a temple because he said that where is God there is a temple. “The best way to live is to think of God all the time, as long as you breathe” he said. Swamiji also talked about the God in the form of Mother who forgives and accepts all faults of her children.
He later went to perform the Kalyanam (marriage) of Lord Srinivasa to Goddess Padmavati and Bhoodevi. The Kalyanotsavam was organized well with each sponsoring family given individual thali (plates) with lamps to perform the rituals. Plenty of volunteers helped around with the distribution of various pooja essentials such as flowers, oil, kumkum and Haldi. The events in Atlanta were organized by priest Seshavataram Puranam, Dr. Jagan Mohan Rao, and Dr. Krishna Mohan.
On the morning of May 29th, devotees had the opportunity to receive Narayana Maha Mantra Initiation, Individual blessings and Teertha Goshti at Jonesboro.
Swamiji has already visited New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North and South Carolinas before his Atlanta visit and was headed to Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.