Shri Krishna Puja 2005
Parsippany, New Jersey, USA
We came from all over the world to worship our Holy Mother as Lord Shri Krishna. The atmosphere in the hotel, with approx. 1,000 Sahaja Yogis in attendance, was soft and kind. Friends old and new had small gifts for each other. The integration of the complete vishuddhi felt like a grand celebration, as North, South and Central American yogis met and embraced.
The events of the weekend--the morning meditations, the queues for the meals--were all the best experiences we had ever had. We settled into a feeling of complete contentment and well-being. Yuva Shakti who had stayed up all night each night enjoying the friendship of other Yuva Shaktis, singing and playing traditional games, felt like the rest of us, on top of the world.
Saturday afternoon featured the rakhi ceremony. The ballroom filled with movement, colour and love as sisters sought out dear brothers to tie with the sacred thread of purity and devotion. Shri Krishna Himself choreographed a circle of brothers who danced around a circle of sisters while musicians played on the stage.
The Friday and Saturday entertainment evenings brought together talents young and old from around the world. The Saturday night entertainment program was delightful. The night was young and so was our first performer: Shraddha Joshi, four years of age, sang a stanza of Vande Mataram. With her sweet voice and impeccable pronunciation, our hearts melted. Ashish Pradan, the moderator of the Entertainment program, asked all the yogis to stand in honour of the song. The next performer, Shaswati Chipdey, not yet 10 years old, showed incredible power and range as she sang "The Colours of the Wind" from the movie Pocahontas. A few minutes later, we watched Bal Krishna gather his friends to reach, via a human pyramid, a pot of butter which hung from the ceiling of the ballroom. When the contents were spilled and then thrown into the delighted audience, the butter was in fact small chocolates.
The highlight was on Saturday night when, through the power of the Virata and communication, a live entertainment program was web-casted from Shri Mataji's living room to the Hotel ballroom and to rest of world. There was deep silence and tears of joy as yogis were able to be in presence of Shri Mataji on this night of enjoyment. During the event Shri Mataji asked about each artist as they came forward with their humble offerings. Later, prasad was offered, Shri Mataji vibrated it and then tasted a piece. These 54 minutes of pure, concentrated bliss showed us a possible future style of "being with" Shri Mataji--our Mother seated in Her own house and the world transported to Her feet via remote broadcast.
The marriage announcements took place Saturday evening. Our applause was thunderous as each shy yogi and shy yogini sat side-by-side on the stage. Feeling their surrender and devotion, tears welled up in some of our eyes.
The puja began Sunday evening as the room filled with the bhajan, Namami Shri Ganaraja Dayal and we prayed that Shri Ganesha would be seated and grant us permission to do His Mother's puja. Then we sang He Nirmala Ma, Sitting in the Heart of the Universe, and Ranga De Jhini.
At 9:45 p.m. it was announced that Shri Mataji had arrived at the Hotel and was in Her room, taking tea and receiving the baskets of Lakshmi gifts. We sang He Adi Ma He Anti Ma -- "Oh Eternal Mother, You have given us whatever we desired" and Jogawa. During Jogawa Shri Mataji entered the ballroom, and the beginning of Her playful and astounding Rasa Leela became evident. Twenty years earlier, She would move so quickly through airport lounges that we had to jog to keep up. This puja, Shri Mataji, even in a wheelchair, was on the stage before the Yuva Shakti could get the curtain pulled across the front of the stage.
We sang our welcome -- Swagata Agata Swagatam. Then a chorus sang "God Bless America." Eduardo formally welcomed Adi Shakti Shri Mataji from "Your loving children from the three Americas."
After performing Ganesha puja and Devi puja, Shri Krishna Puja followed. As a flute and staff were offered, we sang, "Krishna Govinda." Then there was Aarti, the three great mantras, and we collectively did pranam to the deity seated before us.
The decorations were removed, and our dear Holy Mother sat before us. She permitted Her children to express their gratitude, and an international gift was presented, followed by other gifts from yogis from all the continents. 11:00 p.m. came and went, and still Our Mother sat with us. The attention in the ballroom was at Sahasrara, silent. It was very emotional when two representatives of the Lakota Nation, from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, presented their gifts.
At 11:12 p.m. it was announced that there would be a short break, and "SHRI MATAJI WILL BE COMING BACK." There was one minute of profound silence, and then the musicians began to sing, and we filled the ballroom with Apani Panaha Me Hame Rakhana -- "Always keep us in the shade of Your compassion." The air filled with the words and melodies of Vrindavani Vena, Amazing Grace, and He Govinda He Gopala.
At 11:38 p.m. Shri Mataji returned. There was a huge applause as yogis got so thrilled to see Shri Mataji again. After we stood in silence to greet Her, we resumed singing "He Govinda He Gopala". Among the beautiful gifts there were several peacocks, from China, South Africa and Austria.
Speaking for the world collective, Eduardo said, as the evening drew to a close, "We thank You for Your love and patience," and we all offered pranam to Our Holy Mother. Then sang Vrindavani Vena to Her. At 8 minutes past midnight, the curtain was drawn, and Shri Mataji left the ballroom to return to Her house. We sat for a full fifteen minutes in complete silence. We had all entered a pure witness state, absorbing the vibrations. Some time around three in the morning, after all the prasad, gifts, and dancing, the Shri Krishna Puja ended with the three great mantras and a silent meditation.