II sadguroh paahi parama dhayaalO paahi II
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Sisters Jaya Lakshmi and Sri Lakshmi!
By a reader
on 1st and 2nd of october, my family and I were in sringeri to witness the very famous and auspicious navaratri celebrations at sringeri.
during navaratri, sri sri Gurugalu comes to the temple-side around 10.30 in the morning and gets back to narasimha vana only after the full day's programme. He makes the usual rounds to all the temples and then enters the sharadamba temple around 11.30 with the accompanying vaadya mela - beautiful nadaswara throughout. Sri Gurugalu Himself does pooja for the devi for over 1 and half hour. the temple will be jam packed to witness the pooja. after 12 noon, the lunch will be served at the dining hall for devotees who keep arriving to and departing from sringeri. pooja continues inside the temple and we have the option of eating either before the pooja gets over or after. the mangalarathi gets over by 2 pm and sri Gurugalu retires to His temporary camp, a newly built huge building adjacent to the new dining hall.
we need to be ready by 5 pm to have sri Gurugalu's darshan at this new building. there will be a long Q of devotees waiting to place their offerings at His Padukaas and receive His blessings. inspite of the hectic schedule in the morning, Sri Gurugalu sits there smiling all the while, talking to each devotee, listening to their outpourings and giving His abhayaashirwaada to all. every evening during navaratri around 7 PM the Devi is taken round the town in a Rathothsava. This new hall is big enough to accommodate 500 people to sit and watch the evening Sri Chandramouleeshwara pooja. the pooja gets over by 9 pm and immediately Sri Gurugalu goes inside to get dressed in the ceremonial durbar dress.
Sri Gurugalu came outside with all the glittering durbar dress and the diamond kireeta and diamond studded necklaces, and His PA sri Gowrishankar holding His hand and slowly helping Him to keep steps (it seems the whole golden dress and the jewellery and kireeta put together would be weighing more than 8 kgs!). then sri Gurugalu once again enters the sharadamba temple that is by now over flowing with devotees, packed in every nook and corner of the temple structure, waiting to have a glimpse of sri Gurugalu in durbar dress!
He then majestically does three rounds of pradakshine of the temple premesis inside, that too walking backwards, His assistants leading Him carefully, facing the Devi that is coming round in the golden chariot, to the accompaniment of vaadya and veda mantras chanted by hundreds of devotees and purohits.
at the end of three rounds, the devi is taken back to the shrine (this is the utsava moorthi devi) and sri Gurugalu climbs up the golden throne slowly that would be kept right at the centre of the hall, facing the sharadambe moola vigraha inside the gharbagudi. then starts the melodious chanting of few chapters of Devi mahatme (also called sri Chandi parayana) by one of the pundits. this goes on for over an hour and by 11 pm it gets over and mangalarathi is done to the devi and the prasadam given to sri Gurugalu by the archaka. the ceremony comes to a close when sri Gurugalu enters the garbhagudi, the screen closes and the Gurugalu lays down the durbar dress at the feet of sharadambe and emerges out in His usual saffron dress. He blesses all the devotees by raising His hand giving abhaya to all and goes out through the side door.
few of us devotees follow Him till the arch gate (bridge), we stood there singing till Gurugalu disappeared into his abode in the narasimhavana.............
those of you who have not yet witnessed navaratri at sringeri, may you soon be blessed with that opportunity and those of you who have already seen the celebrations, may you get many more chances to see it again and again!
Sri Jagadguru Bharathi Theertha Gurugalu Performing Shankara Jayanthi in Kundapura (May 10, 2008)
I have been so lucky to have been present along with my family and witness Sri Sri Jagadguru Bharathi Theertha Gurugalu performing the entire Shankara Jayanthi Pooja in the Kundeshwara Temple in Kundapur on May 10, 2008. There was no camera or video restriction, hence I have captured the entire pooja to my heart's content! I really want to share this rare, once-in-a-life-time-opportunity with the entire world! I hope you all enjoy them. Videos will be uploaded shortly!