By grace of swamiji, few partly orphan boys from very distressed family of remote Himalayas have taken shelter in the asharama. Without any specific provisions we are talking care of their needs. They have been admitted in the local school and are now being engaged to participate in the regular activities of the Ashrama, to help in running of the ashrama and continue with their studies.
On 24th may, Rudraspandan foundation of culcutta, (Garia) had organised a health camp in our ashrama. Dr. Probir Sarkar had led the team who him self had been running an institution in Amarkantaka, MP serving the tribal children there. 20 local Children of Devprayag from the nearby Ashrama locality had participated in the camp. Each child was given dress and stationary and after the camp the children were fed puri sabji and sweets and fruits.
On 31st January a small marble image of Sri Ramakrishna was installed in the ashrama and there was also a Vastu Yaga performed. Math pratistha (installation of the Math) was done on the same day and about 16 Brahmins performed the Yaga. On this day a special puja was performed for Sri Sri thakur, Sri Sri Ma and Swamiji along with Homa and many devotees were present on the occasion. It was a veritable mart of joy. Here are some glimpses for those who missed the ceremony and event. Devotional songs (bhajans) were sung and all those present were sumptuously fed with the prasadam.
Hena Chakhravarty and Subhas Chakravarty organized an art workshop for local children on 11 Nov 2017 in the ashrama premises. The workshop had participation from eminent artists like Prof. Niren Sen Gupta and Hena Chakravarty, both from Delhi. The children had a wonderful day in depicting their imaginations in paintings in front of renowned artists. All the participants were given horlicks and snacks, sketch book colour pen pencil etc. The young budding artists thoroughly enjoyed the session. Hena studied in the college of art Delhi, studied Museology from Institute of history of art conservation and museology, National Museum Delhi. She is a former curator, restorer and senior artist of Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti, Minster of Culture, GOI and her specialization is in portraiture and thematic paintings.
Prof. Niren Sen Gupta was born in 1940 in Kolkata and graduated from Calcutta University in Science and also Government College of Art and Crafts, Kolkata. He is a former principal, College of Art, New Delhi and has an illustrious teaching career of more than 30 years. He is a member of various notable cultural organizations like India Habitat Centre.
Durga Puja was celebrated this year in the ashrama with the usual fanfare. The image of the mother Durga made of eight metals is there permanently. The priest was brought from Tarakeshwar and all other associated people like the dhakis also came from West Bengal. Devotees came from both Kolkata and Delhi. The locals were fed with sumptuous lunch prasad throughout the event. A news of the event was published in Anandabazar Patrika in Bengali
Report in Ananda Bazar Patrika
Preparing the deity for offering food for boy Gopala, the little darling of Vrindavan
Janmashtami – The Nativity ceremony of Sri Krishna celebrated in the ashrama through special worship and puja
Gurupurnima was celebrated in the ashrama with usual devotion. As part of the celebration special Puja was done for Sri Ramachandra with abhishekam and homa. Special puja was also done for the Holy Trio. As part of the programs local children were sumptuously fed as Bala Narayana Seva. A special coaching for local students was conducted on spiritual and other knowledge areas.
The third anniversary of the Ashrama was celebrated (on the 4th and 5th of April). About 50 devotees from Delhi and Kolkata attended the function. Revered Pravrajika Buddhaprana from Haridwar, Revered Pravrajika Prabhaprana and Respected Pravrajika Divyanandapranaji (Principal Nivedita Vidyamandir) from New Delhi attended the ceremony and celebration.
On the 4th of April the Annapurna day, puja was performed in the morning. In the evening Sri Ajay Bhattacharya sang bhajans. Prabhaprana gave a talk on Sharanagati, the preparation and mindset required for it. She explained with the help of short stories from the Mahabharata and Puranas.
Divyanandapranaji spoke on keeping the pathways of the mind clean so as to go towards him smoothly, with the reference of an incident of dakshineswar between Vishuddhanandaji and a gardener thereof who had seen sri thakur and been instructed to clean the path towards thakur’s room.
The 5th April was the Ramnavami day. The Abhishek of Raghunathji had been done as the traditional method, followed by vishnusahashranama chanting and Havana. Evening session was with the speeches of Dr. Bandita Bhattyacharay
a and Sri Ajay Bhattyacharaya. With Ramnam sankirtan the function ended.
They left on 7th April after
breakfast. Weather also was very pleasant. Almost all the devotees were pleased in attending the festival and highly enjoyed the divinity and serenity of the place.
The Durga Puja 2016 was celebrated with much success in Devprayag Ashrama. An article for the same was published in Anandabazar Patrika. Here is the link –http://anandautsav.anandabazar.com/beyond-bengal/one-and-only-durga-puja-at-garhwal-in-devprayag-257. The article, as written by Swami Saravatmanandaji for Anandbazar Patrika, states that the cultural oasis of India, Ganga, has the origin of its main stream in the confluence of Devprayag as here Bhagirathi meets the combined flow of Alakananda and Mandakini to go down to the plains as Ganga. This sacred place which is noted for the old Raghunath temple is witnessing the puja of goddess Durga for the past three years in the ashrama. This is also the only Durga Puja in Garwal Himalayas. Other places normally celebrate Navaratri, but not Durga Puja ala Bengali style. Since clay idols are not available, the eight metal Simhavahini idol is worshipped, beside Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda. Even the local people actively participates in the celebration.