Untold Stories and Experiences
Name: Smt. Sruthiji
Experience: As I close my eyes to think about my experience in Sahasra;bdi Sama:ro:ham, the first thing I hear is the pleasant chanting from ya:ga sa:la reverberating in my ears. They filled the air with vibrant sounds as if they are pumping in positive vibes. The nose and eyes are filled with the yajna dho:mam as if there is a spray of natural vaccine killing all the variants of COVID and its relatives. The sight of ya:ga sa:la is nothing anyone has ever seen before, with 115 ya:ga sa:laa:s where yajnam was conducted in1035 kundams and 2 Ishti Sa:la:s where different Ishti:s were conducted every day. Swamiji explained that there were 4 different mandapams – Bho:ga Mandapam, Pushpa Mandapam Jna:na Mandapam and Thya:ga Mandapam. The ya:ga sa:la:s were surrounded by hundreds of desi cows which reminded me of my grandam’s “village” where I spent many childhood summers.
Most of our time was spent in ya:ga sa:la as we started the day there with meditation from 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM. Performing japam in the divine presence of HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji along with thousands of devotees in ya:ga sa:la is just inexplicable. The one hour would just pass by in a heartbeat and the heart filled with divinity, positive thoughts, and unlimited strength. The meditation experience was sweetened by the gentle music of veena played by Sri Phani Narayaaji. Now, all my upa:sana of Perumal is accompanied by the background music of veena. After the meditation, there was a:ra:dhana and the beginning of the morning yajnam, followed by afternoon pu:rna:huthi. After a
short break, yajnam would continue again in the evening concluded by purna:huthi for the day.
There was sumptuous prasa:dam available at all times with so much variety and tasteful treats and delicacies. Above all, the folks who were serving would always say “Jai Srimannarayana” every time they serve you, very humbly. I have been to several conferences in my life from around the world but this spiritual retreat is “out of this world” not only purifying my body but also my mind and me (Soul).
Sri Narendra Modiji dedicated the Statue of Equality to the world on Feb 5th. What an astonishing view of the Statue of Sri Ra:ma:nuja! I have visited the largest sitting statue located in Hong Kong in one of my business trips. It’s a bronze statue on top of a mountain. However the divinity we feel when we are in front of the 216’ Ra:manuja is superior to all. The warm smile, beautiful intricate details of Ramanuja, the vibrant golden glow is mesmerizing and a crowd-pulling feature. The tears fell through my eyes when I first saw the exquisite Laser show – the soft heart of Ramanuja explained in the pleasant voice of Swamiji is just heart touching! It reminded me of A:ndal’s “Ku:da:rai..” pa:suram, where Perumal attracts not only the devotees but even those who are passive towards HIM. Similarly with advanced technology, Swamiji is attracting everyone in the world to the path of devotion connecting the current world with our rich ve:dic history. I was awestruck when I first saw the 120 Kgs Golden Statue of Ra:ma:nuja. Two eyes were just not enough!
The idea of building the divine 108 divya desams itself demonstrates the kind heart of HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji to make it easy for the devotees to visit all the temples in one place. Only HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji can line up peruma:l in all his divine forms in one place for us! This is nothing but parmapadam brought down to earth. We were fortunate to participate in the prathishta:s of the temples. There was beautiful music played by the Sannai group during the prathishta:s – all the navaratna ki:rthana:s by Thyagaraja were played by them with perfection!
During afternoons, there were several programs conducted by professional and amateur artists in the pravachana mandapam, including the daily po:ja. The size of this stage was bigger than the football stadium and for most of the days, it was completely full where visitors enjoyed the bliss of the different programs.
Overall, it is not an easy feat to put together such an amazing event with three major pillars –Sri Lakshmi N:ra:yana yajnam of 1035 kunda:s , Statue of Equality, and 108 Divya De:sams. We know what a herculean effort this is just by reviewing some mind-boggling metrics – 5000 ritviks, 7000 police, 10000+ volunteers, and lakhs of devotees and visitors. It felt like the entire world was part of the event and the entire sky was made as a mandapam. We all know of JET WORLD but this felt like a universal event conducted by JET UNIVERSE under the aegis presence of HH Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji who has invited not only the Prime Minister and other political and spiritual delegates of the country, several NRIs from across the world, but also all the 33 crores of devatha:s , and GOD himself in his 108 divine forms.
Name: Srinivas Reddy
Role at the event: Yashoda Hospital Camp – Head Coordinator
Place of interview: Medical Camp
Story: Srinivas Reddy garu is the main coordinator of the medical camp which has doctors and nurses working round-the-clock tendering to the devotees, visitors, and government employees who are visiting the event. Doctors from Yashoda, Osmania, and Primary Health Centre enthusiastically rendered their services to nearly 100-150 patients who visited today. Srinivas garu feels very privileged to be part of such an auspicious occasion and wishes for good, positive times ahead.
Name: Dr Vishweswara
Role at the event: SRS temple complex Guide
Place of interview: Statue of Equality Temple Complex
Story: Vishweswara garu is a Neuropsychologist from Mancherial district. On learning about the statue of equality project through elders, media and elsewhere, he wanted to contribute his part in any capacity. After visiting the statue and the temple complex, he was left in wonderment by the mesmerizing beauty. With a determination to spread the word about such a marvel to the public, he now volunteers as a guide and spreads deep knowledge about the temple and Ramanujacharya’s history along with a big group of 90-120 volunteers which in a true representation of equality consists of people from different regions, states, caste, and languages.
Gaddam Srinu of Baasha Samskruthi Vibhagam, Medchal said the joy experienced by him and his team was indescribable. He was appreciative of the facilities provided by JET, Hyderabad. His team performed Gondu, a dance form of the Ko:ya clan. They dedicated their last twenty years to preserve this art form and presented a flawless performance in Divya Saketham.
Kola Rani and Kola Swapna from Nagarkurnool with their 40 member team performed ko:la:ttam– a group dance using colourful sticks. With a pure desire to offer ko:la:tta kainkaryam to Sri Ramanujacharya, the team felt it was super blessed to be able to present its dream-come-true performance. Even as their feet tapped to the rhythms of ko:la:ttam, they said they felt the vibes of the holy maada-veedhis of Tirumala.
“The Lord Sri Rama atop the land of seven hills is no different from Bhagavad Ramanuja who stands tall here, our divine experience is just the same!” said Kola Rani.
Vashi Kumar, Suman, Sai Kumar from Seva Dal, Nalgonda said they were able to witness the mission statement ofBhagavad Ramanuja, viz. ‘all are equal in the eyes of the Supreme God’.
The magnificence of the statue of Sri Ramanujacharya seems to have touched the heavenly planets!
Name: C. Lakshmi Prasad
Designation:: Director, Telangana State Fire Department
Place of interview:Fire Control Room
Story: Lakshmi Prasad garu is the Director of Telangana State Fire Department and is overseeing the fire safety operations from the Fire Control Room situated here at the premises. Speaking about the potential hazards, Prasad garu mentions about the flammable material at the Ya:gasha:las, the bamboo huts, liquified petroleum gas used for cooking, cow ghee being used for ho:mams, and even the cars in the parking lot if their battery misfires. To help with the safety, there are a total of 40 vehicles and 362 fire officers stationed around the event working 24×7. Every Ya:gasha:la has a fire extinguisher and a fireman is assigned for every 9 ya:gasha:las. When asked about the event, Prasad garu was full of praise and mentioned that such a project will be a Pride of Telangana. In his opinion, pure cow ghee used for ho:mams will have a positive cleansing effect on the environment and will elevate the spiritual energy. This is one of the biggest events he has overseen and he is looking forward to ensuring a zero-incident event.
Name: Shri Venkataramana Jonnalagadda
Role at the event:Artist
Place of interview:Ya:gasha:la
Story: Venkataramanagaru is a second-generation artist and devotee who has been religiously performing at every Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru’s event dressed in different avatars – Narsimha swamy, Anjaneyudu etc. As a kid he would tag along with his father who used to attend Pedda Jeeyar Swamyvaru’s events at Tirumala Brahmotsavas, Yadagirigutta, Badrinath etc. After his father’s demise, Venkataramana garu followed his father’s footsteps and has been doing this with great devotion and dedication since 2013. When asked about his favourite part of the event, his eyes lit up as he mentioned about the Ramanuja Statue. ‘It is one of the wonders of the world’ he says. An event of such a magnitude and scale can only be possible by someone equally great, such as the Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru.
Name: Dr. Vibhavya and team
Designation:: JIMS Medical Hospital Doctors
Place of interview:JIMS Homeopathy Centre near Ya:gasha:la
Story: Smt Dr Vibhavya garu is the Assistant Professor of Practice of Medicine Department from JIMS Homeopathic College and Hospital. Speaking about the importance of Homeopathy, Dr. Vibhavya garu mentions that any issue, either an acute or a chronic disease can be treated by Homeopathy: right from Diabetes, Hypertension, Renal stones, to even the current ongoing Covid-19 pandemic etc. She is supported by her team of 6 internees who are consulting nearly 50-60 patients every day from 9am – 7pm .
We spoke to Dr. K Aloha, an internee in the team who has been studying in the JIMS College from her Under Graduation. It was in her first year of college that the foundation stone of the Statue of Equality was laid! She is fortunate to witness the event right from Day 0 – Upon returning from her camping duties recently, she visited the Statue complex to have a look and was totally taken aback! She could not believe that such a great project was possible to build in the first place, and too within such a short span! On a lighter note, she was reminded of a Baahubali movie set but 100x times bigger! She was also impressed by the arrangements – food arrangements, volunteers, police staff, etc. everyone working in complete coordination and dedication to make the event a grand success. When asked about what ‘Equality’ means for her, she narrated an incident from her college days when Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru talked about how in every human there is a divine spirit which is why we should treat everyone equally – the words stuck with her and resounded well with the theme of ‘Equality’!
Story: “Exhaustion, an aching back on a hot day, my tailoring job during a peak business season in my village – nothing can stop me from doing Acharyaseva.”, says S.Saroja who puts muggu (traditional artwork with rice flour on muddy ground) in front of homa kundas every day.
She travelled 30 km from Kasreddipalli, Bellampalli mandal, Mancherial district to do her bit towards this noble, divine cause.
Saroja draws around 15-20 muggus, undeterred by the distractions around her. Her focus is so great that the best of geometry is reflected in her muggu
The Supreme Lord definitely accepts devotional service of such humble people with pure intentions.
Designation:: Drinking Water service volunteers
Place of interview:NearYa:gasha:la
Story: In the scorching sun and sweating from the heat from the ho:mams, water is the closest to an elixir for all the devotees. We spoke to the volunteers who took on the responsibility to serve water and quenching the thirst of thousands of devotees. Volunteers are working in two shifts of 8am – 3pm and 3pm – 10pm. There are multiple stalls distributed all over the Ya:gasha:las, so that water is always within walkable distance for everyone. Pushpalatha garu, 67, who was volunteering in the afternoon shift has been an active member of Vikasa Tarangini from a very long time enthusiastically participating in numerous events organized by Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru over the years. For this event, she has either brought along or spread the word to her entire family, cousins, relatives, neighbours, almost every person she knows – such is the dedication! Kanyakumari garu, 60, who was also in the same shift mentions that before this responsibility, she was working in the Pravachana Mandapam, helping with the flower’s decoration. She too is a follower of Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru from a very long time.
When asked about the event, all volunteers singularly proclaimed it be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’ and something that could be possible only by Swamy varu with the blessings of Sri Ramanuja.
Name: S Sundar Ramacharylu
Role at the event: Ruthwik volunteer / devotee
Place of interview:Ruthwik Dining hall
Story: S Sundar Ramacharylu is an engineer by profession hailing from Bhadrachalam. He has been following and attending every Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru’s event in Bhadrachalam from 10-15 years. After learning about such an auspicious and grand event, he and his grandmother, Smt. Aandhalu garu wished to witness it in person. Sundar garu fought with his boss to get leaves and attend the event for the entire 2 weeks. And he does not regret his decision one bit! He remembers a similar event which was conducted by Swamyvaru in ’94 in Tirumala which his father attended, but this time the event is even bigger! Talking about the greatness of Ramanuja and his ideals, he is amazed by the beauty of the Statue of Equality! Further, in these days where not everyone has the time and patience to travel to Divya Desas, the chance to visit all the 108 Divya Desas in one place is what he considers as a unique and special point of the Statue complex. He wishes for a great success of the event and considers himself very fortunate to be part of such an occasion.
Story: “Smt.Lakshmi from Rajamahendrapuram untiringly serves water to every thirsty person in Ramanuja Sahasrabdhi event. True to her name, love is writ large on her face even as she encourages the seeker to take yet another sip of water
She saw HH Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji in Rajamahendrapuram 15 years ago. At the very first sight her husband and herself were convinced that His Holiness Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji is the living Bhagavad Ramanuja and their Acharya. The same night she was blessed with a dream in which HH Swamiji appeared asking the couple to take Sama:srayanam. The duo wasted no time and within 24 hours they were initiated into Sri Vaishnavism.
Smt. Lakshmi nurtures just one desire in her heart. That His Holiness Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji appear again after 1028 years, that she may, under Swamiji’s aegis just one another time be blessed to serve water to people only to please her Acharya.
An epitome of unblemished faith, Smt Lakshmi. Salutations!!
Name: Shri. Leela Parayanadas
Designation: ISKCON organization member and devotee
Place of interview:Statue of Equality
Story:Shri. Leela Parayanadas garu is an ISKCON, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, organization devotee. Hailing from Tirupati, he has been serving in ISKCON from the past 22 years! Speaking about this auspicious event of Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi, Leela garu talks about the importance of ‘Guru’. ‘Follow in the footsteps of Guru and your pains will vanish’ he says. Ramanuja acharya was a great guru who was ahead of his times – he was a great social reformer who spread the idea of ‘Equality’ and treating people equally irrespective of people’s caste, gender, and social status. To honour such a great Guru in the form of this great statue and temple complex is very apt.
Speaking about the event, Leela garu mentions that he was pleasantly surprised by the scale of the festivities. He feels that such a grand event was possible only by the great Kings of the past and such an event could not be possible again in the Kaliyuga! When asked about what he feels the best part of the event – he says that the gesture of remembering and extending the invitation to people from various walks and from every corner of the country is a true testament to the theme of ‘Equality’. He is also impressed by the clever idea of Swamy varu to provide accommodation to Sadhus and Ruthwiks in the nearby villages so that they can spread the word and enlighten people from surrounding areas about the event and Ramanuja acharya’s ideals too! Taking care of minute details like providing cots and beds for people to relax after lunch, drinking water stalls and restrooms located at convenient locations all over makes it a well-planned and coordinated event!
He will continue to be part of celebrations for the next few days and wishes for God’s blessings on all of us.
Name: Shri Akshay Ramanujadas
Designation: College Professor
Role at the event: Transport team
Place of interview:Thadiyaradhana
Story: India is a country where ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ is sincerely practiced. The same applies to the Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham event where dignitaries and devotees are visiting from various corners of the world. Taking care of our guests is a great privilege and Swamyvaru has always stressed that all arrangements should be up to the mark for all the guests. Striving for the same in this event is Shri Akshay Ramanujadas garu who has been given the responsibility of ‘Dharmacharya Swagatam’ i.e., taking care of transport, accommodation and food services for the great saints who are travelling from all over the country to the event. Some of the acharyas he received in the last couple of days include Swami Govinda Dev Giri, Trustee of Ram Janmabhoomi; Jeeyars from Tamil Nadu and Acharya Purushas who administer Sama:sryanams.
On personal front, Akshay garu is a 28yr old Sanskrit lecturer in Vasavi Group of Institutions, Hyderabad teaching students from grades 8th – 12th. His family migrated to Hyderabad several years ago from a place called Bundelkhand in North India. He has known Swamyvaru from nearly 20 years. His grandparents invited Swamyvaru to inaugurate a Venkateswara temple which was built on their lands and that’s when he first came across Swamyvaru and has been following and volunteering ever since. When he learnt about this event, he even went to the extent of putting down his resignation papers as he was not getting leaves from his managers to attend the event! Few of his peers and friends are also volunteering at the event and they too have resigned from their jobs – such is their devotion and dedication!
When asked about the event, Akshay garu had a simple answer: ‘Naa bhuto naa bhavishyati’ i.e., something that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! A yagnam is effective when it is done exactly as prescribed in Shaastras – such knowledge and expertise is possessed only by a handful of people in today’s world of which Swamyvaru is one of them. An event of this scale is therefore very hard to replicate anywhere or anytime else.
He has not yet gotten a chance to explore the Samatha: Moorthy but wishes to have a detailed tour once the event is successfully completed and even wants to get his students to visit as a day outing!
Story:“The experience is beyond words to see everything come together. It is a miracle, being in person and experiencing the conceptuality is amazing” – Murali Guggirala, JET USA.
HH Swamiji’s dream has come true and whatever we saw virtually we now see it in real. Just wow!! It is once in a lifetime opportunity. I am elated beyond words. I had to leave my parents alone at home. As mother is the first guru – I was in a conflict whether or not to travel. Now I feel I took a good decision by Acharya’s grace – Madhubala, C.A
This large scare ya:gam was executed very well – Mrudhula, JET USA
This is my Vaikuntham! I came here directly. I did not even go to my mother’s place -Sunitha Ramakrishna , JET USA.
This event never happened before and it is a wonderful experience. Blessed to be part of sahasra:bdhi celebrations along with Go:shti with Acharya and the Supreme Lord –Prasanna, Houston, JETUSA.
Name: Shri Shatagopala swamy
Role at the event:Thadiyaradhana incharge
Place of interview:Ruthwik Thadiyaradhana
Story:Serving food for such a huge number of devotees and guests who are attending the event is a herculean task which involves great coordination and planning. We spoke to one of the in-charges at Ruthwik Thadiyaradhana, Shri Shatagopala swamy garu to get his perspective. Shri Shatagopala swamy garu is an expert in this field and has been serving for nearly 51 years! He hails from the sacred town of SriRangam in Tamil Nadu and was working as a government employee when he first met Pedda Jeeyar Swamyvaru. Pedda Jeeyar Swamyvaru encouraged Shatagopala swamy garu to preserve the rich traditions and ‘sampradayams’ of the past and serve the people and the God. ‘Money will follow but traditions are more important’ were the words of Pedda Jeeyar Swamyvaru which made Shatagopala swamy garu to give up his job and work for Swamyvaru.
He was part of various programmes under both Pedda Jeeyar Swamyvaru and Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru. He travelled to US, Germany, and many other countries along with Chinna Jeeyar Swamyvaru between 1995 – 2000 after which he took a break. However, whenever there is a program, such as this, he packs his bags and comes right away to serve. As per his estimates, he served food for 2cr people cumulatively over his lifetime! Fondly referred to as ‘Mavayya’ by everyone in the kitchen, Shatagopala swamy garu talks about the importance of having the right food habits – things such as taking a bath before a meal, washing legs before entering the house, etc. which are now being told were already followed by our ancestors many centuries ago. Also, with the increase in use of chemicals, preservatives, etc. in the food there is an effect on human health with various diseases and infections spreading which were not present in the past.
When asked about this event, Shri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi, Shatagopala swamy garu feels very fortunate to be a part and is very happy that Ramanujacharya’s principles and ideals are being spread. He wishes for a great success and believes that there will be a great positive change due to the Yagnas not just here but all over the globe!
Story: I would like to share my opinion on seeing the drone pictures over yagna sala’s n it seems to be Garuda Alwar coming from vykuntam to sriram nagar to worship lord Ramachandra Murthy with his fallowers. So beautiful . Yagna sala’s top portion seems like head of Garuda pakshi n below are his spreading wings.
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