On the evening of June 21st, the residents of Los Angeles, U.S.A and nearby cities were graced with Pujya Bhaishri’s Ram Katha Amrit. Held in a huge hall, the Katha was well organized by Radha Krishna Mandir of Norwalk. Shri Amrishbhai Patel of Los Angeles made beautiful decorations and paintings. A bus shuttle system was also provided for to give as many devotees the opportunity to attend the divine Katha, even those who lived a few hours away!

Pujya Bhaishri’s last Katha in L.A. had been in 1985 and the devotees of LA were absolutely thrilled to have him back and many of the newer ‘shrotas’ (one who listens) in attendance had never actually heard his Katha but had heard so much about the divine Katha held there in ’85 that they were eagerly awaiting to listen to his amrita vaani. As always, Pujya Bhaishri’s Hari Katha was as divine as Hari himself in all his glory.

On the first day he spoke of the greatness and importance of the Ramayana and its relevance to our lives even today. ‘It is not merely a historic epic tale; it is the story of each of our lives. Anyone who listens closely will feel the Katha is being said especially for him or her. It feels that close to home…. Such is the magic of Shri Ram Katha,’ said Bhaishri.

Pujya Bhaishri spoke of the two Ganga’s of Shivji; one travels all over India purifying the land and its people, while the other, Katha ganga has traveled to almost every corner or the entire world, purifying it! He further explained that the Shrimad Bhagwat teaches us how to die. It prepares us to take the test of death and pass with flying colors so that you need never take that exam again i.e. be freed from the cycle of birth and death. The Ramayana on the other hand, teaches us how to live an ideal life. For nine days, the devotees were blessed with divine wisdom and teachings to make their lives truly beautiful. Two sessions of the Katha were organized for the weekends and single sessions on weekdays.

Bhaishri then went on to expound upon the differences between Shri Valmiki’s Ramayan and Goswami Tulsidasji’s Ramcharit Manas. The essence of the difference is that the Ramayan sees Lord Ram as an ideal King and not God whereas Tulsidasji writes his tale with the main aim of satisfying himself by singing the glories of his Lord. The Ramayan teaches us the art of living our lives wholesomely. It teaches us how to fulfill the duties of each relationship. It is a historic truth which is still of use today for us to learn from previous mistakes so that we do not repeat them and also to understand our ancient divine traditions and continue them. Bhaishri further explained that the mirror never lies. It merely shows you what you are exactly the way you are. It is related neither to the future nor the past, simply this very moment in time. Through Katha, we can cleanse this mirror of our minds and make ourselves better human beings. To clean this mirror of our minds, seek the dust of your Guru’s Lotus feet, the glory of which Goswamiji sings repeatedly.

Listening to this divine Katha is merely the first step. Next we must absorb it and bring what we learn and understand from it into our lives. To understand, however, we need three ingredients:

Ram janma, Ram Vivaha and Ram Rajya Abhishek, all prasangs of the Ramayan were celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm.

A health camp was also organised during the weekend along with the Katha session. About 22 doctors volunteered to check the patients for diabetes and prostate cancer. Free blood tests were also carried out at this camp. Pujya Bhaishri complimented Dr. Kishor Shah and other doctors saying, ‘Real service is not building a temple or church but what you are doing at the health fair (camp).’

The entire session was so impressive that Joanna Corman of Los Angeles Times wrote an interesting report of the event in her daily. Excerpts from her report are given below:

‘For hours they sit quietly, listening to the high priest recite the Ramayana an ancient epic that is fundamental to Hindu belief and culture. More than 1,000 Hindus have gathered each day for more than a week at Fairplex to hear Shri Rameshbhai Oza tell the story of Lord Ram in three-hour segments that often turn into four or five.’

‘They came from all over the Southern California. 1000-1500people sitting on folded chairs or on swaths of carpet, in a cavernous hall at Fairplex, shoes and sandals strewn next to each doorway. Women wore saris or salwar kameezes, etc. in shades of orange, purple, green and blue embroidered or printed in a delicate pattern.’

‘During the Katha Shri Rameshbhai Oza also sang bhajans and stutis to the accompaniment of music of flute, drum and other instruments and the audience would join him in singing.’

This divine Katha nectar flowed on for nine days and the devotees in California were very moved by Bhaishri’s powerful Katha and will no doubt be fervently hoping he returns again sometime soon to sing the gloried of Shri Krishna too!


  1. faith in the Lord Himself, His tale and the Kathakaar,
  2. the guidance of a Saint and
  3. devotion to the Lord. Without faith and confidence in the Lord, Knowledge cannot be unveiled.


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