Akhanda Nama Sapthaham at Pandharpur
7th January 2019- 13th January 2019
On 26.12.2018, our Guru Maharaj announced that a nama saptaham was going to be organised for seven days, in the Akhila Bharatiya Padmashali Hall in the holy kshetra of Pandari, known as Bhooloka Vaikunta.
Shri Janabhai mami announced all necessary precautions in view of the intense cold in Pandari.
Several devotees reached Padmashali on the first day itself (6.1.2019). Sri Guruji arrived ahead of everyone, seemingly to welcome all!
That night piping hot dinner had been arranged. After dinner, Sri Guruji spoke briefly about the ‘mahima’(greatness) of Pandari, the story of how Bhanudasar retrieved Vittalan from Hampi and so on.
For any sadhana to be realised, it has to be done continuously for seven days. Hence, Sri Guruji instructed that everyone should chant the nama with ‘shradhdha’(sincerely) on all seven days.
The mahamantra chanting started at 6 a.m each day and concluded with Kaliyaiyum Bali Kollum, (Sri Guruji’s keertan that extols the greatness of the mahamantra), at 6 in the evening.
Steaming hot coffee, tea, milk,etc were provided at all times, besides breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner alongwith ‘masala paal’(spiced milk)- different varieties of each meal were provided. Who else but our Guru Maharaj could have given all the devotees who had come, the feeling of being in their mothers’ homes?!!
7.1.2019 (Day 1)
Around 4p.m ,as advised by Sri Guruji, Kanya sisters took the devotees for divine darshan of Vittalan, Namadevar’s home, Gorakumbhar mutt, Narahari Sonar mutt, Mallikarjuna temple and described the greatness of all those places.
Around 6.30 p.m, we went, doing nama keertan, alongwith our Guru Maharaj, to the banks of the Chandrabagha river. Sri Guruji sat in a boat on the banks of the river, and said that sitting in a boat, brought memories of Komabhai and briefly narrated the stories of Komabhai and Koormadasar. Later, chanting nama with our Guru Maharaj,we returned to our lodgings.
8.1.2019 (Day 2)
On the second day, around 10.45 in the morning, Sri Sri Anna arrived and blessed the nama saptaham. He enjoyed the nama till 12.30 p.m and then left. It was a pleasant surprise to all to see Sri Sri Anna return to the Padmashali around 5.30 p.m
Sri Sri Anna did ‘shravanam’ of the nama till poorthi at 6p.m and also did ‘pradakshinam’ of the divine image of Vittalan kept there. After 6 p.m Sangeethaji, Kanya sisters and Jananiji sang abhangs composed by Sri Sri Anna. There is a lovely ‘sannidhi’ (sanctum) for Vittalan and Rukmini at Padmashali. Sri Sri Anna performed ashtotra archana and harathi for the divine couple with his own hands. After Sri Sri Anna left, we went with Sri Guruji to the house of Namadevar. There, we sang some abhangs of Namadevar. Then, Sri Guruji did a brief and beautiful pravachan with some bhajans, on some happenings in the life of Namadevar. There was Vittal keerthan for a while. We then went to a place called Kaalyaasivada with Sri Guruji. The divine padhukas of Pandurangan are kept there. After their darshan, Sri Guruji beautifully explained the greatness of that place. We all returned to Padmashali for dinner.
9.1.2019 (Day 3)
Every morning at 5.30, Tiruppavai was rendered at the Vittalan ‘sannidhi’(sanctum) in Padmashali.
At around 4 p.m we went to Gopalapuri, in autos so well organised by Smt. Janabhai mami.
Smt. Sakkubhai’s home has been converted into a huge temple in her memory. The temple has a separate ‘sannidhi’ for Sakkubhai’s parents too. The ‘sannidhi’ of Sant Janabhai and Vittalan is underground in a ‘nilavarai’(underground room/cellar). We also had the ‘baagyam’ (good fortune)of having darshan of Janabhai’s vessels, stoves, the flour-grinding mill in which Janabhai ground flour with Vittalan. Sri Guruji narrated Sant Sakkubhai’s lifestory in a beautiful and moving manner.
From there, we went to a place called ‘Vishnupaadham’(Vishnu’s Feet).
Sri Guruji explained the greatness of that place in detail. When Sant Banudasar retrieved Vittalan from Hampi and brought him, thousands of sadhus gathered at Vishnupadam and sang and danced and welcomed them. This is the place from where the famous abhang ‘Dhanya Dhanya He Nagara’ originated. Water was taken from the Chandrabagha river flowing there, and given as ‘prasad’ to all.
From there we went to ‘Thakpeeth Mandir’ located behind the Vittal Mandir. The idol here makes you wonder if it is indeed the ‘Moola Pandurang’(main deity)! It is said, that Lord Panduranga, for the sake of a devotee called Ramabhai, came to her house and partook wheat flour dissolved in buttermilk offered by her. The vessel with the impression of Lord’s palm is still there. All the devotees got the ‘baagyam’ of touching and worshipping the palm impression of Vittalan on the vessel which was held by Sri Guruji in his hands. Sri Guruji held the vessel on his head and did Vittal keertans for sometime.
Then, as the final satsang of the day, all of us went to the Sirvalkar mutt. Palm manuscripts handwritten by Sant Tukkaram are preserved there. The manuscripts were open and shown to Sri Guruji. After darshan of Sant Tukkaram’s hand-written works, we returned to Padmashali for the night.
10.1.2019 (Day 4)
The shower of nama, started as usual, in the morning after Tiruppavai rendering. In the evening we visited a place owned by the government. The lifetime events of Pandari bakthas were very beautifully depicted as colourful images and ‘relief’ sculptures. Sri G very beautifully and briefly narrated the story of each baktha. We left that place(the construction of which is yet to be completed) and reached the ‘samadhi’ (tomb)of Sant Kamal. Here, the samadhis of Sant Kabirdas and Sant Kamal and their ‘padhukas’, their tanpuras and other possessions have been preserved and kept. Their greatness was explained in Hindi in detail by the person who does the ‘pooja’ there and this was beautifully translated in Tamil for us by Shri Ramaswamiji of our satsang. We then returned to Padmashali for the night.
11.1.2019 (Day 5)
After the rendition of Tiruppavai in the morning, Gajendra Stuthi was chanted. In the wee hours of the morning, we were bestowed with the rarest bagyam of participating in nagara sankeertan with Sri Guruji in the streets of Pandari. It can be said that the majestic roar of the mahamantra by Sri Guruji and the devotees in front of the Mahadwar in Bhoo Vaikuntam would have definitely reached real Vaikuntam!! In the Garuda Mantap inside the temple, Guru Maharaj danced to the mahamantra keertan, lost in bliss. Men,women are all equal when it comes to Bagavan. He’s the only purusha. We are all his premis.So also, Sri Guruji asked all men and women present there to chant the nama and jump.
After exiting the temple, we circumambulated the temple chanting nama. In every ‘sannidhi’ in the outer boundary, mahamantra was chanted. Nama also echoed in a small temple for Prahlada located on the way.
Once we reached the Namadevar step in the Mahadwar, Sri Guruji ordained certain devotees to continue chanting the mahamantra and started singing abhangs. The streets of Pandari through Namadevar step, Chokamela samadhi were drenched in abhangs showered by Sri Guruji. Guru Maharaj rolled down in the street in front of Mahadwar, saying that the abhang said all must roll on the sand/dust touched by a mahan’s feet.He roared out majestically to all gathered, in a state of ‘bhaava’ to do the same and we all rolled in the sand in the shelter of Shri Guruji.
Following this, singing CHANDRABAGHA SENDRIDUVAAI MANAME(a Madurageetham by Sri Guruji) we went with Sri Guruji to the banks of the river. All the devotees were made to sit in two rows facing each other, and Sri Guruji sprinkled water from the Chandrabagha on all our heads with his own hands. In the Mohini Avatar, Lord Vishnu served amrit only to the devas. Assuming the human form of our Guru Maharaj, out of his sheer compassion, he showered the holy water on one and all. With heads bowed we thanked our good fortune.
We then returned to Padmashali for breakfast. Nama chanting continued throughout the day. In the evening, Sri Guruji spoke about the greatness of Dehu, Alandhi and Sajjanghat and full of compassion announced that whoever wished to visit those places in the next two days could do so.
12.1.2019 (Day 6)
The devotees who wished to visit Alandhi, Dehu and Sajjanghat left early in the morning with our satsangis Rangaji and Purnimaji. The sweet chanting of mahamantra started in the morning after rendering of Tiruppavai. By this time, several devotees from various countries and states joined the yatra.
After breakfast, our most compassionate Guru Maharaj sent all the new comers, under the able leadership of Janabhai mami to the places visited in the first four days.
In the evening, Sri Guruji sent the devotees to the temple and for shopping by themselves. That night, after dinner, Smt. Iswaryaji, a devotee from Muscat, very beautifully rendered abhangs. As the residents of Padmashali were rendering keertans at that time, not wanting to disturb them, Sri Guruji left the premises saying we should go out. While walking on the streets, his eyes fell on Gorakumbher mutt and we entered it. Once seated there, Sri Guruji very beautifully and soul-stirringly narrated the life history of Gorakumber. Later, we returned to our lodgings.
13.1.2019 (Day 7)
Throughout the day, there was an incessant shower of mahamantra. Devotees who had come from several places participated eagerly.
At around 4pm , our Satgurunathar began the nagara sankeertan with the divine image of Vittalan which had been kept in the pooja there . The keertan procession moved inch by inch around the four streets of Pandari. The Ladies and children of our satsangh did ‘kolattam’ in the blessed streets of Pandari.
Once the procession reached the Mahadwaar, Guru Maharaj started dancing, lost in bliss. The locals wondered if this was how it must have been in the days of Sant Namdev and Gnaneswar. Lots of residents of Pandari came and prostrated repeatedly before Guru Maharaj and participated in the nama keertanam. It can be stated without doubt that the sounds of nama echoed in Vaikuntam. At around 6pm, the nama saptaham shower came to an end.
Gurunathar blessed the families of all devotees who participated in this vaibhavam with idols of Vittalan and Rukmini.
This internationally acclaimed mahamantra nama saptaham, in Pandari which is called Booloha Vaikuntam, came to a Sweet successful end.