Huge Attendance At Sai Baba Temple Guru Purnima Celebrations

Sai Baba

Sai Baba


Huge Attendance At Sai Baba Temple Guru Purnima Celebrations
Thu Jul 24, 2008
BY K.B.NAIR

MONTEBELLO,CA – An unprecedented flow of hundreds of devotees to receive the blessings of their guru Sai Baba marked the celebration of Guru Purnima at the Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan LA, here in an event spread over three days, July 17 – 20. With almost double the number of expected people showing up, volunteers were hard pressed to produce the Mahaprasad to feed all arrivals. However the army of volunteers responded to the challenge by setting up a kitchen on site for cooking and made sure that not a single visitor left hungry.

The event paying respect to the guru saw several aaratis, poojas and hawans performed during its duration which were all well attended and supported by eager followers of the Baba. The Lalitha and Vishnu Sahasranamams were also recited on different days, On Saturday, after the daily morning kakad aarati the final ceremonies commenced with the Samoohika Kserabhishekam. This service comprised the bathing of the sacred idol of Sai Baba with water and milk in which almost a hundred people participated.

Following this ritual the curtains were drawn and the idol was kept away from the sight of the public while it was draped for ‘alankara’ in fresh new apparel and the alter decked with flowers and food . There was much joy and excitement among the gathering when the drapes were drawn to a darshan revealing the Guru in splendid attire placed in beautifully decorated surroundings.

After the pooja of the Sadguru the priest had the growing congregation squat on the floor and immerse itself in the combined chanting of “Om” for a quarter of an hour which added a whole new spiritual ambience to the religious experience.

Addressing the devotees on the occasion , the founder of the temple, Dr Prabhakar Tummala reminded devotees how the temple when it was inaugurated last year, started with just the basics. He thanked Baba’s staunch devotees which has grown to over 4,000 strong and the volunteer ‘soldiers’ of Baba in converting it to a full fledged temple in a matter of months. He continued to say that this sanctuary is a “Shirdi away from Shirdi.”

Tummala announced upcoming events and said a neem tree would also be planted behind the structure to replicate the setting in Shirdi in India.

The morning rituals concluded with the ceremonial planting of the Udumbara tree when a puja was conducted in the courtyard of the temple with devotees doing three pradarshans around it while chanting “Om Sai Namo Namaha” and each one throwing a handful of rice into the receptacle holding the plant. This again was to duplicate the presence of a similar tree in Shirdi under which the Sai Baba spent several happy and peaceful hours.

In the afternoon there were bhajan sessions led by Suresh and a presentation of episodes from the Ramayana by children of “Bala Gokulam” which meets at the temple every Saturday.

Reference

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