Every Hindu strongly desires that he should visit the holy city of Benaras at least once in his life time, because Benaras is described with holy names like Mokshapuri and Anandavanam. If anybody stays in the Holy City for three days, it is said that he would get punyam equal to pertaining to an Aswamedha Yagam or 10 Rajasuya Yagjnas.
Elders say that devotees should stay in the holy city for nine days which is symbol of individual life in womb of his/her mother for nine months. Every inch of Benaras, the sorrounding air and every atom is holy because of Lord Siva, the holy river Ganga’s incesently flows there between two banks Varuna and Asi; that is the reason why the city acquired the name Varanasi .
Pujya Sri Paripoornananda Saraswathi took along with him 650 devotees to Benaras and conducted the Spiritual Conference. Maha Chandi sahita Rudra yagam, Lakshavathula, Kamala Vathula Vratas, Nakshatra Japas, continuous recital of the diety’s names and Spiritual discourses. To conduct all these things in a grand manner is not an easy thing. It requires perfect planing ability to perform it and above all, good man-power to do thing perfectly. Though Swamiji is 34 years old, He has all the abilities required above. He has the experience of a 70 year old man. When once He takes a decision He scruplously puts it into action with the devine blessings of the Goddess Iswaryambica. People of East Godavari remembers with pleasure how Swamiji provided delicious food to 10 lakh devotees during the Krishna and Godavari Pushkaras.
We boarded the Tirumala Express on 22nd October 2005, and by 10-30 a.m. on 24th October 2005, we reached Benaras. We were lodged in Mumuksha Bhavan, Marvadi Bhavan and Udipi Bhavan. Mumuksha Bhavan is located in Assi Ghat, it provided lodging and other facilities in four ways. Generally Dandi Sanyasi’s are lodged in Eswar Math, Vedic students in Vedavedanga Mahavidyalaya. Such devotees as desired to spend the evening of their lives in Benaras are lodged in Athithi Saala. (Guest House). Ordinary pilgrims get accomodation in the name of Paryatak Awas. All the rooms are full equipped with modern aminities. Temples of Lord Vinayaka, Radha and Krishna, Siva Panchayatan and the temple of Adisankara are located here.
Yaga Saala :
We use to wake up at 5 a.m. listening the music. The Nakshatra Japa homas which used to start at 7 a.m. went on till 3 p.m. We used to have our Breakfast between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. After that we took part in the recital of the Lord’s Name. We used to have our Lunch between 12 noon and 2 p.m. Satsanga started at 5.30p.m. after we had rest for a while Speech by Sri Dhulipala Mahadevamani and Swamijis Anugraha Bhashana used to take place before end of the day. Vehicles were arranged at nominal rates, for the devotees to go and see holy places. Sri Dhulipala Mahadevamani who came from Rajahmundry used to inspire us with his lectures on Siva Puranam, Tripurasura Samharam, Lalitha Parabhattarikavibhavam. Mahakameswari Kameswara Kalyanam etc., We used to forget ourselves and live in a different world when Sri Dhulipala Mahadevamani enlightened us on various Spiritual mantras. He used to chant mantras and explain their meanings. Pujyasri Swamiji thus provided us a golden opportunity to listen to Siva Puranam in the holy city of Benaras
Lakshavarti Vratamu :
During this programme about 30 Lakshavarti Vratam were performed at the rate of 4 per day. In the morning pious Brahamins chanted the Maha Sankalpamu at the Ganga and performed Rushipanchami in which the devotees participated actively. As a part of which the devotees stood in the water of the Gangas and took bath 108 times, amidst the chanting of the mantras by the Brahmins the celestrial experience of the devotees during this time is indiscribable.
The next item of the programme was to purify women devotees so that they will be rid of all the sins they might have committed since they attained puberly. Mandaparadhana took place at 6 p.m. after ending the fast that the devotees had undertaken generally. There are two parts in the Lakshavarthi Vratam they are 1. Rushi Panchami vrata and 2. Lakshavarthi Vratam thus four pavilions were there with two each for the Rushi Panchami Vrata and Lakshavarthi Vratam. Holy rice of different colour were spread on the ground which was covered with a white cloth.
In the pavilions of Rushi Panchami all the seven Rishis besides Yamuna and Arundhati were invoked, sodasopachara pujas were performed. The presiding Diety of this Vratha is Lord Lakshmi Narayana. On the four sides of the Chief Diety were installed Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Ganapathi. The Pavilion shone brightly with 32 Kalasha’s of the Asthadikpalaka’s 12 presiding diety of the month, mother at the sky and Urdhavapurusha. All the above dietieswere invoked and sodasopachara pujas conducted with the lightened after Udyapana, the devotees took care to see. Thus they continue to give light by adding about a Lakhs cotton threads. Cow’s Ghee, was poured incecently and gave a pleasent flavour by giving not only light but also purity.
Sahasra Kamalavarti Vratam :
It is hearting, that for only Rs. 20000/-, the vrathas were performed in a perfect manner in the midest of the chanting the veda mantras by brahmanas. One important feature of this programme is that Swamiji presented new clothes in the beginning to all the participants and blessed them. Thus Sri Swamiji played the part of the parents of the devotees. A devotee remembered that though Swamiji is a man, by worth he has the meternal heart in him.
All mendicants were assembled on 30th October 2005, in Mumuksha Bhavan and Swamiji himself presented them dakshina and tambulam on behalf of the devotees
Elders say that if any one in the dynesty gives a cow in charity, the entire dynesty will attain salvation. It is like offering substitute like money etc., in this connection. Swamiji got the holy Kapila Cow to which Sodasopachara pooja was done, they went round the cow and gave the holy animal in charity. The devotees felt extremely happy for they had the opportunity of performing Godanam not at any place but in the holy city of Benaras eventhough the Brahmins chanted the mantras had drove it scrupulously. All the devotees were asked to medicate on their parents and lecturers before begining the programme. All the rituals were performed as ordered by the sastras uncompramisingly. On 27th Oct, 2005 about 100 students of the Vedas belongs to Mumuksha Vedavedanga Mahila Mahavidyalaya were entertained with feast, kheer, poori and curry were specially prepared to make the Guests feel homely.
Nakshatra Japam :
Japas were performed everyday to the three presiding deities of the stars on each day. In the beginning individuals who were born under these stars, used to worship Lord Vigneswara. Then they used to perform Ekadasa Rudrabhishekham with Mahanyasam. Men and women in large numbers used to perform, to their satisfaction, Abhisekham to Lord Siva. Afterwards, homam was performed in the Yagasala to these stars and the respective planets; it was followed by Poornahuti. The process continued with Laksha Bilwarchana and Neerajana Mantrapushpam in the Temple of Lord Siva. The idea behind these Japas is to eliminate the evil effects of the planets of individuals. The aim of these Japas is to see that those individuals will have peace and happiness in their lives.
Meeting of Vedic Scholars :
A meeting of Vedic scholars of the city was held at 5 p.m. on 28-10-05 for three hours. The vedic scholoars chanted Sukla yajurveda, Krishna yajurveda and Samaveda in accordance with the Northern Indian Tradition. Infact it was a feast to the ears to listen to the vedic chanting. Students learning the vedas belonging to Sreepeetham also chanted the vedic mantras were received the blessings of the scholars; they were all honoured in a fitting manner.
Akhanda Naama Japam :
Uninterrupted recital of Lord Siva took place on the 1st of the month which happened to be Deepavali. All the devotees are divided into 12 groups. Each group used to recite the name of Lord Siva which is called the Pasupatha Mantram. Thus we sat in Sthirasana in Kasi in the temple of Lord Siva and recited the name of Lord Siva with great devotion.
Birthday Celebration of his holyness
Sri Paripoornananda Saraswati Swamiji
On 1st November, of every year the Birthday of Swamiji is celebrated in Kakinada and He is falicitated at a meeting. This time it happened to be celebrated in Kasi and a wonderful programme was held from 3 p.m. onwards .
In Benaras there is a Gurukulam with the name Panini Kanya Maha Vidyalay, as the name indicates; all the participants were girls. The girls came to Mumukshu Bhavan accompanied by the principal Smt Medhadevi and Lecturer Smt Nandita Sastry. The Girls exhibited their talents for 2 hours and all the viewers felt extremely happy. If any individual obtains scholary knowledge in one particular veda, he is respected and called Ganaapaathi and Veda Moorty. These girls were learning all the four vedas. They chanted the mantras relating to all the vedas the singing of Samaveda which is musically nature and the appearence of Omkara gave immense pleasure.
ater Bhajans were performed with musical instruments like tabla, tamboora and harmonium. A girl exhibited her Dhanur Vidya, with bow and arrow. She aimed at the ball hanging with a delicate thread and the ball fell down; she exhibited releasing the arrows with her mouth and later with legs laying down on the ground in dhanurasan. We were told that the girls were well versed in Karate and sword fighting. The age of these girls was between 9 to 16, they make the saying true that there is nothing that girls cannot do; By practicing vedic recitation, archery, sword fighting and getting mastery in music and literature in this kaliyuga, they looked like replicas of the Holy Goddess.