Festivals at Chinmaya Haridwar
Kavitha Veerappan and Lalita Pandruvada
Festivals are periods of celebration and are an important part of life. When religion is intertwined with spiritual meaning, this joy came to be identified with the joy of worship. In Chinmaya Haridwar we associate Festivals with religion and participation in the productive activities and with the seasons of the year. Festivals are a time to reflect and renew our commitment to selfless service in pursuit of unconditional happiness.
Here is a glimpse of the various festivals we enjoyed over the past year academic year (2018-19).
Guruji Jayanthi – Our Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayanandaji’s birthday falls on June 30th, during our Summer break. We celebrate his birthday by chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra 108 times followed by aarti for his long and productive life.
Guru Purnima – Guru Purnima in 2018 was on July 27th. To students of Vedanta, the Guru is the embodiment of their goal. The Guru is nothing but pure Consciousness, absolute Bliss, and eternal Wisdom. Self-redemption must come ultimately from ourselves. The external props, such as temples, idols and gurus, are all encouragements and aids. They must be intelligently used to help build up inner perfection. We perform Guru paduka puja and aarti on this day followed by dinner.
Janmashtami – We celebrated Janmashtami on September 2, 2018. Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Shri Krishna, an Avatar of Lord Vishnu. On this day, we welcomed the Lord with Pooja, Bhajans, Dahi Handi, Jhula Utsav and other festivities.
Karwa Chauth – Our lovely women celebrated this festival on October 27th 2018 after fasting for the whole day by gathering together to perform a puja for the safety and longevity of their husbands.
Diwali – This is one of the much awaited festivals of the year for all our students and volunteers. We celebrated Diwali with so much fun and festivities on November 10th 2018. Celebrations started with a Lakshmi puja, followed by dinner (with lots and lots of sweets) and huge amount of fireworks.
Thanksgiving – This is a day to chill out with family and friends and be thankful for all the blessings we have been bestowed with. This year we celebrated our 8th Annual Thanksgiving dinner together. Of course the highlight of the day is our Chocolate Turkey!
New Year Day – We welcome the New year with a Ganesha puja that is performed by our Mom-to-be’s and family.
Maha Shivarathri – Students and volunteers look forward to this day to shower Lord Shiva with love and milk and to get his ever-lasting blessings. This year we celebrated Shivaratri on March 3rd 2019.
Ramanavami – We performed the Jhula utsav on 14th April 2019 followed by Rama Aarti. The kids enjoy rocking baby Rama in his Jhula.
Gurudev Jayanthi – We celebrate Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s birthday, Balavihar Graduation and Mother’s day together at Haridwar. On this day, five of our graduating 12th graders performed the traditional Paduka pooja to honor and celebrate Pujya Gurudev’s birthday. This being combined with Mothers day, the wonderful dads of Chinmaya prepared and served a very memorable lunch.