On March 9th 2014, I got the great fortune of attending the Abhishek of Lord Sri BalaJi at ISKCON NVCC, Pune. The event was broadcasted and I also received the SMS about the same a couple of days in advance. My daughter Amoha, was especially excited to be part of this program as she loves to see the abhishek of their lordships.
On the day of abhishek we reached temple early around 4.30 AM and attended the mangal-arati at Sri Sri Radhavrindavan Chandra temple. After mangal-arati I started to chant my daily rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra, while Amoha was eagerly waiting for Lord Balaji’s abhishek, after finishing her couple of rounds. At 6:00 AM we reached Lord Balaji’s temple, where the ambience was quite festive. Many pujaris were busy in preparing for the planned fire sacrifice and the abhishek of Lord. The fire sacrifice would be performed in a beautiful straw hut, which was especially made for this purpose. Soon the fire sacrifice began with few pujaris performing various rituals meticulously.
At the same time few other pujaris were still busy in arranging various paraphernalia for the much awaited abhishek. Various ingredients like Milk, Curd, Honey, Fruit Juices etc. were being kept in a beautiful formation in shining brass kalashs. Each kalash had a colourful cloth and a coconut beautifully placed on it. The abhishek table was placed outside the altar of Lord Balaji with utsav murtis of Lord Balaji, Sri Devi, Bhudevi, Andaal and Sudarshan.
By 6:45 AM the fire sacrifice was in its concluding stage and all the paraphernalia for Abhishek was also ready. Finally, the Abhishek started at around 7:00 AM. All the vigrahas were first smeared with some turmeric paste, followed by a water bath. And then their lordships were lovingly bathed by many pujaris with Milk, Curd, Honey and Fruit Juices of various colours and tastes. The abhishek went on for around 30 minutes amidst the chanting of Hare Krishna. After the abhishek, devotees were eagerly waiting for the Charanamrita of their Lordships, which was available in enough quantity that even I managed to get 4 glasses to drink and a bottle filled for my wife at home, who was unable to come due to medical reasons.
The festivity was in the air with everyone relishing the tasty Charnamrita and Prasad having blissful smiles on their faces.
Around this time HG Ram Sevak Pr gave us some Maha-Prasad fruits and cloth used during the Abhishek. I felt blessed beyond my expectations. Amoha also was delighted on receiving the Maha-Prasad.
The whole experience reminds me of the words from Srimad Bhagvad Gita verse 9.2 – “…, and it is joyfully performed”. These celebrations give us a first-hand experience of this fact spoken by Lord Krishna about the process of Devotional Service. How fortunate are those souls who are given this opportunity of being part of such Joyful exchanges of love between Lord and his devotees and I’m grateful for their Lordships allowing me to part of the same. I look forward to be part of many mores such celebrations, Krishna Willing.
Hare Krishna !!!
-by ParamSundar DAS