BY MAHADEV DESAI
THis Holiness Sri Sri Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee Maharaj who is on his annual U.S. tour and currently in Atlanta graced the spiritually suffused and joyous Rudra Homa at the North America Shirdi Sai Temple of Atlanta, in Suwanee, Georgia on November 8. The Homa was guided by Dr.Mukundji Hanumante from New Orleans. Swamiji not only actively participated in the rituals, but at the end, enlightened the devotees with a spiritual discourse.
A huge Yagasala (canopy) was erected adjacent to the temple, under which attractive and artfully decorated homa-kundas were constructed. The priests, conducted homas chanting vedic shlokas, in front of the consecrated fires
The devotees, who participated in the Homa rituals as well as those who observed the uplifting Homa, offered their prayers, sought the blessings of Swamiji, enjoyed the colorful event and relished the delicious maha-prasadam. Among the 30 couples and over 250 devotees who either participated in the homa or sat observing the rituals were Sri B.Krishna Mohan, Dr.Ravi Sarma and his wife Seshu Sarma, Dr.Sujatha Reddy and her husband Mohan Reddy, Dr.Sreeni Gangasani and his wife Madhavi Gangasani.
Dr.Mukundji Hanumante, a well respected and admired devotee and philanthropist, and also a scholar who has written several spiritual books including ‘Glimpses of Divinity’ and ‘The Eternal Friend’ said that he felt truly honored and blessed to be in the presence of Swamiji. He thanked all for attending and participating in the Homa and requested Swamiji to say a few words.
Swamiji is known for his selfless service, compassion and unreserved love for all. Swamiji, born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, is a spiritual humanist, an embodiment of the divine and unconditional love. He spreads the message of universal integration, peace, love and fraternity and in helping the poor and neglected members of the community. Swamiji oversees the Viswayogi Institute of Medical Science VIMS - Mother & Child Care Charity Hospital, in Guntur which was inaugurated on April 3rd 2008, by Former President of India, Hon. Dr. Abdul Kalaam. From his ornate seat, Swamiji, clad in an orange dress, delivered his brief spiritual discourse, with occasional amusing comments. He spoke in Telugu which was then translated into English by the National coordinator for SVVFUIP (Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee Foundation For Universal Integration and Peace) Mr. Narayan Murthy.
Swamiji said that when he entered the Shirdi Sai Temple he felt similar positive vibrations he felt in Samadhi Mandir in Shirdi, India. In his discourse, he exhorted his rapt listeners to get the young generation interested in reading spiritual literature, in reciting mantras and shlokas and performing homas.
“Today we are doing this Rudra Homa in the divine presence of Sai Maharaj.It is a Sai sankalpa of Maharaj himself. Swamiji recounted that on one ocassion Bhagwan Sai Baba while giving a discourse on Maha Shivratri Day, was asked by the devotees who were chanting ‘Om Namah Shivay, Om Namah Shivay’,’ while doing abhishekam of Shivalinga. Lord Shiva arose out of the Shivalinga and said, “I’m pleased with your devotion and prayers. Please come with me to Kailash.” The devotees said, “We are not yet ready to come to Kailash. We just need your blessings, please” (Laughter)
Swamiji continued, “What is Rudra? It is life force in our body. We have five life forces, five subordinate life forces and one main life force. Actually there is only one life force but it transforms into eleven life forces. Those eleven contribute to eleven different activities in our body. In the universe also there are eleven life forces. Homa tries to appease and strengthen these life forces. If these life forces are in equilibrium then the body will be full of energy and free of diseases. The body is subject to prana/apana vayus. Prana force pulls upwards whereas apana force pulls downwards if apana force is stronger the body will fall prey to heart, lungs; sight and nervous system disorders. The Homas purify the pollution caused by human beings to their bodies and also to the environment. He lamented that people are not performing homas these days.
Sadly, some wrongly think that homas are only for retired and old people as a pastime. The only homa a person does is smoking!
As a result, we are hearing of new diseases like swine flu, bird flu, chikungunya etc. “The human body is like a mobile temple and if pollution free, it can be an energy center,” he said. “Let the energy spread to give peace to people. Mantras and meditation help rejuvenate body and mind, and elevate consciousness and creativity.” He also spoke about Sanatana Dharma, which teaches how to live good, family-values based life from birth to death.”
After his uplifting discourse, all the devotees lined up to receive Swamiji’s blessings. All the priests deserve to be commended for conducting all the poojas and ceremonies with dignity and utmost patience. And a special thanks to all the Shirdi Sai Temple and other attending devotees, priests and staff of the Temple; and Atlanta's coordinators ;Geetha Satteneni, Madhu bala, Srikanthi Vantipalli, Sreekar Chada, Sushma Chada, Uma Maheshwar Reddy to name a few for making the Rudra Homa a truly awe-inspiring and memorable event.