At-A-Glance: ShriHari Mandir Patotsav
🌻 The auspicious day which marks the start of the spring season is called ‘Vasanta Pañcamī’. This day in the lunar calendar falls on ‘Māgha Śukla Pañcamī’, which is the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the lunar month of Māgha.
#FunFact– This day is also dedicated to the worship of Mā Sarasvatī, the Goddess of Learning and is also called ‘Madanotsava’, celebrating the God of Love in the season of spring.
🌻 A divine and grand feast in the form of Annakūṭa is offered to all the the divine deities at ShriHari Mandir as part of worshipping Nature, which is the main message of the Govardhana Pūjā established by Lord Kṛṣṇa.
🌻 This is the one day of the year that the Lord’s darśana remain open all day from 7.30am-8.30pm IST for devotees, with no rest in the afternoons.
🌻 The day commences with a formal sixteen ritual step worship of the mountain with Govardhana Pūjā and Parikramā (circumambulation).
🌻 It is a divine sight to witness Pujya Bhaishri perform this abhiṣeka with milk, curds, honey, fresh fruit juices and waters from the sacred Rivers with his own hands. The Lord-in-mountain-form is bathed outdoors on this day, in the garden of ShriHari Mandir.
🌻 He also worships Mother Cow on this day.
🌻 Māgha Śukla Saptamī (the seventh day of the bright fortnight in the lunar month of Māgha) is the main day of the annual ShriHari Mandir Pātotsav. On this day a grand ritual bathing ceremony, or ‘Mahābhiśeka’ is performed by Pujya Bhaishri of all primary seven dieties established in the Temple in both unmoving and mobile form. This is followed by wonderous darśana of the Lord adorned in new regal vestments and adornments, renewed by the love and affection of devotees through this annual celebration of the day that marks His consecration at ShriHari Mandir, called ‘Pātotsav’.
Did-you-know: The main Mūrti of the Lord are called his fixed, or ‘achala svarūpa’ and the smaller mobile mūrti’s are called chala svarūpa.
🌻 Divine glimpses (Jhānkīs) of the Lord’s pastimes (Līlās) were invoked- from Lord Hari saving his devotee Gajendra; to Lord Ram having His feet washed by loving devotee Kevata.
🌻The bejewelled form of Lord ShriHari as Lord Venkateśvara (Tirupati, Bālājī) was bedazzling and ensnared the hearts of all who had this darśana.
🌻Along with these devotional moments in the Mandir, the 22nd Annual Sandipani Gaurav Awards were also awarded.
🌻 Annual Bhāgavat Chintan Yātrā also continued with various Rishikumars speaking on various topics.
🌻 There were various other centers of attraction, culminating in the Sacred mark of Victory (Vijaya Tilaka) on the Lord on the final day of Saptami.
🌻As with every year, devotional sentiments are enhanced with carefully decorated re-enactments of the Lord’s divine pastimes, called “Jhānkis”, at ShriHari Mandir (Porbandar).
🌷To mark the 11th year since Lord ShriHari and the various swaroops were consecrated in these forms, pastimes such as the “Paṇaghaṭa Līlā” show the closeness of the Gopis and the Lord- wherein He appears anywhere and everywhere to play mischief with them- following them even to the Yamuna river when they fill their pots with water!
🌷The Lord was also decorated in an entire rose-pink hued darbar one day!
🌷The Lord also sat as a grand Librarian with a vast scriptural library one day!
🌷 One memorable moment from
this year’s celebrations was a strand of saffron forming a U-shaped Vaiṣṇavi tilaka on its own during an abhiṣeka by Pujya Bhaishri, which was indeed divine for all who glimpsed it.
If you missed any of these divine experiences or more, don’t miss this highlight.
🌻To mark the Ten-Year milestone of the ShriHari Mandir inauguration and the Lord’s invocation, the seven-day event was grand in every way.
🌻 Shri Tansukhbhai, Sarlaben Ganatra Parivar (USA) have been the key donor-devotee family for this ShriHari Mandir from 2006 and a decade later, they once again were the key sponsor-hosts for this celebration.
🌻 As per the Upanishads, ‘Yagño Vai Viṣṇuh’, Yagña is verily Lord Viṣṇu. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Lord Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa (ShriHari), adjacent to the temple a divine special bamboo hut was constructed for this Yagna (as per Vedic injunctions), with Pujya Bhaishri visiting the site under construction as well.
🌻 A 108-Kundi Viṣṇu-Yagña was performed therein as per scripture under the oversight and leadership of Sandipani Vidyaniketan graduate and current Acharya, Dr. Hiteshbhai Pathak and a team of qualified graduate and current Rishikul students.
🌻 Saints who graced this occasion with their purifying presence included- Gaudiya Acharaya Shri Pundarik Goswamiji of the RadhaRamana Temple (Vrindavan) ; Govats Shri RadhaKrishna ji Maharaj (Jodhpur); Shri Bhagawat Rishi of Sola Vidyapeeth (Ahemedabad).
🌻’Purāna Prasāda Pravachan’- A special panel of Graduate Rishikumars delivered talks from various Purānas over the course of this event.
🌻On the day of the grand Mahābhiṣeka, devotees were gratified to enjoy the sight of a a grand floral shower of the temple by rose petals from a helicopter overhead!
🌻 The Ninth Patotsav was celebrated with innovation and newly renewed enthusiasm with Jhānkīs such as “Phāga Manoratha” (a celebration of the festival of colors called ‘Holī’) and “Hāṭa Manoratha” (a open-air bazaar for the Lord’s enjoyment).
🌻What remains most memorable from this year’s events, however, is the “Dīpa Dāna Manoratha”, wherein one thousand lamps were offered to Utsav Svarūpas of Lord ShriHari in the beautiful setting of the waters of the fountain-mountain-lake on the right side of the Temple grounds.
🌻In the flames seen around the Lord’s reflection in the water, it appeared as though both Varuṇa Deva(Lord of Water) and Agni Deva (Lord of Fire) were together worshipping the Lord! This was a memorable sight for all.
🌻During the annual Sandipani Gaurav Awards this year, the “Nārī Gaurav Award” was a special citation.
🌻The celebrations concluded with the grand abhiṣeka coinciding with the flag hoisting and salute in honor of Republic Day on Jan 26th, 2015 by both Pujya Bhaishri and Mahamandaleshwar Karshni Swami Gurusharananandji Maharaj.
🌻The eighth year of the lotus-eyes Lord ShriHari was celebrated with a lotus-fountain jhānki (kamala kuṇḍa manoratha).
🌻Devotees were able to enjoy Lord Krishna as a baby who breaks the butter pot of devotees, which represents their individual sense of “I-ness” and enjoys the butter of their loving sentiments.
🌻The divine ‘annakūṭa’ and ‘mahābhiṣeka’ of the Lord who is the true enjoyer of all forms of nectarean tastes (sarva Rass bhoktā).
🌻A very significant and special three day “Gopi Geet” pravachan series by Nityaleela-leen Pujaniya Shri Indira Betiji (“Jiji”), who lovingly considered Pujya Bhaishri to be her own younger brother from their very first encounter in 1986. Her divine voice still reverberates in ShriHari Mandir and fills our hearts with joy and glad tidings.
🌻As with every year, the 19th annual Sandipani Gaurav Award ceremony was conducted with honored recipients in three categories joining in the functions.
🌻As with every Pātotsav, or annual celebration of the consecration of the Lord’s seven darbāra svarūpas, there were various divine pastime decorations, called ‘Jhānkīs’.
🌻 Specifically, this year saw various ‘Rāma Līlā Jhānkīs’ of Śrī Jānkī Vallabha Prabhu, to accompany the grand Shri Ram Katha by Pujya Morari Bapu.
🌻 In this Katha which was named as “Mānasa Hari Mandira” by Pujya Morari Bapu, the auspicious trinity of ‘Satyam, Śivam, Sundaram’ were memorably described thus:
1) Satyam = Kirti Mandir
2) Śivam = Sudama Mandir
3) Sundaram = ShriHari Mandir
🌻”Mānasa Hari Mandira’ Rāmacaritamānasa caupāis from the Sundarakāṇḍa were:
*sayana kiē dekhā kapi tehī । maṃdira mahū na dīkhi baidehī ॥ bhavana eka puni dīkha suhāvā । hari maṃdira tahā bhinna banāvā ॥4॥
🌻 Bapu expressed his loving devotion for the glorious form of the Divine Mother, Mā Karuṇāmayī.
🌻 Pujya Bhaishri’s divine mother, Pujya Lakshmi Baa; various visiting Saints including Mahamandaleshwar Junapeethadheeshwar Swami Avdheshanand Giriji Maharaj, Swami Ramdev Baba, and various other honored attendees and devotees from around the world all partook of and greatly enjoyed this divine celebration.
🌻A musical recitation of the entire Rāmacaritamānasa was sung in ShriHari’s Bageechi by Rishi Shri Shyambhai Thakar along with Rishikumars and devotees.
🌻The sixth annual Pātotsava celebration, was a special National Sanskrit Conference hosted at Sandipani Vidyaniketan, known as “Sandipani Rashtriya Sanskrit Mahotsava”. Rishikumar delegates from other Sanskrit-learning institutes visited our campus for five days.
🌻 The five-day event commenced with a ‘śobhā yātrā’ or grand celebratory circumambulation of the complex, with Veda Bhagavāna upon one’s head, as a mark of utmost respect for the importance of its instructions. The key devotee-donor host for this conference was Shri Geetaben Ahuja.
🌻 This event was graced by the venerable presence of world-renowned Sanskrit scholar, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Dr Satya Vrat Shastriji. Seven eminent Sanskrit scholars were felicitated with honour in a ceremony called a “Saptarṣī bhāva pūjana”.
🌻 With Pujya Bhaishri’s visionary guidance and leadership, Sandipani Vidyaniketan confers awards, and honours in the spirit of humble social responsibility to lead by example and laud those, whose life and work for society are applaudable, and considers this to be a ‘bhāva pūjan’, which awardees kindly accept.
🌻 Various panel discussions were held regarding the preservation of Sanskrit language and Bhāratīya Sanskriti, or culture. Pujya Bhaishri says language is the key to protecting the history, sentiments and roots of any culture.
🌻Devotees enjoyed Pujya Bhaishri’s participation on the cricket pitch in the Sandipani Cricket Cup or “Khel Mahakumbha”, wherein live sports commentary in spoken Sanskrit was given by the multi-talented Rishikumars of Sandipani.
🌻 A five-day “Mahā Rudra Yāga” was also conducted by Acharya Shri Krishnamoorti ji of Kashi and his eminent team of priests, who travelled to Porbandar from Varanasi just to conduct this significant scriptural sacrifice. Shri Arunbhai and Divyaben Lodhia Parivar were the manorathis for this divine event.
🌻 The annual Govardhana Pūjā was conducted by Pujya Bhaishri along with Shri Darshana Ben and (Late) Shri Dineshbhai Kapadia. In this way, another divine celebration was offered in the Lord’s lotus feet.
Audio diaries by Rishi Shri Dhavalbhai Joshi