Phoenix: As all good deeds need to come an end, the three day sojourn of spiritual activity culminated on Nov 15th with a grand finale of Poornahuti Samarpana to Lord Maharudra.
As a prelude to Maharudra Yaga there were few Homas conducted to get the spiritual journey started. Here is a list of homas performed with great religious fervor:
– Sri SukthaHoma
– VayustutiPurashcharanaHoma & Navagraha Shanti Homa
Devotees participated in good numbers to get blessings of Lord. Then came the day all the devotees were eagerly waiting for the day of Maharudra Yaga.
Here is a brief description of the significance of Maharudra Yaga:
Eleven recitations of Namakam followed by one recitation of Chamakam are called EkadasaRudram. 121 Ritviks chanting EkadasaRudram simultaneously would result in the chanting of the Rudram 1,331 (121×11) times – completing a MahaRudraYaaga.
Nov. 13, the first day of Yaga started by offering prayers to Lord Ganesha through GanaHoma to remove all obstacles and complete Yaga successfully. This was followed by ChandikaHoma to Lord Durgadevi. The morning session culminated with ManyuSuktaHoma and offering Purnahuti. The assembled devotees actively participated and partook prasada. The evening session commenced with Pooja by Sri Sri SugunendraThirthaSwamiji to Lord Venkateshwara. At the same time the Acharyas were getting ready to perform LalitaSahasranama to Sri Lakshmidevi. The devotees traditionally dressed in silk sarees numbering more than 150 assembled in the grand tent erected for this purpose. The assembled priests performed the homa with traditional devotion and dedication. The guests of honour for the day were Dr S Yegnasubramanian, renowned scholar and recipient of Dharmatma title by SringeriJagadgurugalu and Dr M D Puranik, President VHP of Karnataka. Swamiji blessed the gathered devotees narrating importance of LalitaSahasranama.
This was followed by Swamiji honoring the day’s guests with glowing tributes to their contributions to Sanatana Dharma and Society. Dr Yegnasubramanian highlighted few points from Soundaryalahari of AdiShankara describing the appearance and power of Goddess. Dr Puranik also addressed devotees and appreciated efforts of Sri Swamiji in establishing religious centers in US and abroad. The day finished with thirtha and prasada in traditional Udupi style with sumptuous variety of food. The devotees left to their homes recollecting the day’s events and looking forward to next day’s festivities
The day of Maharudrayaga finally dawned upon us on Nov 14th, 2015. The day started early in the morning with Abhisheka to Lord Venkateshwara. This was followed by Ganapati homa. This set the stage for the commencement of Maharudra Yaga. The yaga was led by renowned scholar Sri from India. Sri Janardana Bhat of Udupi Puttige Math accompanied him with several other scholars. The first activity of the day was Ritwikvarnam by initiating the assembled Ritwiks with vastram and other items to commence recitations. The MahaRudrasankalpa followed this with Pratishtapane of 121 kalashas. After Mahanyasa the Rudrajapam started with dedication by the assembled ritviks. We had close to 100 ritviks from Arizona, California, Utah, and Canada & last but not the least India. The crispness and synchronized way in which Rudra was recited filled the hall with reverberations. The morning session wrapped up around 1pm in the afternoon with traditional prasada to ritwiks and devotees.
After a brief rest, the ritwiks started the next phase around 3pm in the afternoon. EkadashaRudrabhisheka was performed at this time. The rhythmic chanting of verses filled the air and it was music for listeners. The dedication towards chanting definitely must have pleased the Lord. The trishatiarchana to Lord Shiva followed Rudrabhisheka. The second day activity ended with Mahamangalarathi and thirthaprasada. Devotees mind was so engrossed in the religious event they left the place looking forward to the final day of activities.
Maharudra Yaga was the highlight of concluding day Nov 15th. In a large HomaKunda specially erected for this purpose in temple premises, the Yaga was headed by Sri Prasannachar of Udupi PuttigeMatha. Around eight priests sitting around the HomaKunda led the devotees in yaga performance. Chanting of – by assembled ritviks rendered the air with mellifluous sound and devotees were seen praying to the Lord with folded hands. Then came the final moment everyone was waiting for, viz., Purnahuti. In the august presence of Sri SugunendraThirthaSwamiji of Udupi Puttige Math the assembled ritviks offered the homa to Lord. As if to acknowledge that Lord has received the offerings in Homa there were rain showers. Swamiji blessed the devotees with his Ashirvachana. Swamiji drew a nice analogy of both Hari and Hara staying in mountains and hence they are in Mountain state. Swamiji also mentioned that devotees can now have the darshan of both Lord Narayana and Lord Shiva in Phoenix. He also highlighted the fact that this Yaga was conducted for the first time by SRCF in United States for world peace, prosperity and happiness of mankind. He also acknowledged the commitment and dedication of Ritviks who had come from all over US and India.
This was followed by Abhisheka to Lord Rudra with sanctified water from 121 Kalashas that was established on first day of Yaga. Swamiji then honoured all the ritviks. The program concluded with Mahamangalarathi, Theertha and Prasada. An elaborate sumptuous meal with sweets and other delicious items was prepared by temple staff.
We are indeed blessed to be in this far away land and have an opportunity to be part of Maharudra Yaga. We sincerely thank Sri Sri Sugunendra Thirtha Swamiji for giving us this opportunity. Teams of volunteers ensured that each activity was executed flawlessly. We would also like to thank all the sponsors, City of Tempe officials and the Police department for their continued support.