Yoga Bharati in Dharma and Yoga Fest
Yoga Bharati sponsored Raja Yoga Track in Dharma and Yoga Fest (DYF) conducted by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Sunnyvale Hindu Temple and Fremont Temple at Mission College Santa Clara on Sept 14th as a commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. More than 12,000 people attended the one-day mega event with 8-9 parallel tracks. Shri N.V.Raghuram, the chairman of Yoga Bharati presided over Jnana Yoga Track and also spoke in Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga tracks. About 25-30 Yoga Bharati volunteers helped in YB Booth duty, parking, food serving, registrartion, Hindu theme park and various tracks. Yoga Bharati youth helped with registration, laughter yoga session for Yuva track and videoing the event. The highlight of DYF was that a great number of mainstream Hindu and other spiritual dharmic organizations participated wholly in the event.
- Yoga Bharati chairman Yogashree N.V.Raghuram spoke in Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga tracks
- Yoga Bharati youth dressed up as Swami Vivekananda and participated in Ganesha festival parade.
- At Raja Yoga track Yoga Bharati presented a 45 mins Stress Management session that was received very well.
- Kids Yoga Formation dance contributed by Yoga Bharati kids choreographed by Madhavi.
Raja Yoga Track - Raja Yoga track was inaugurated by dignitaries of Center for Spiritual Enlightenment – Rev. O’Brian and Rev. Sundari, Samskrita Bharati’s Shri Govinda Rao, Yoga Bharati’s Ashwini and Savita on behalf of the president of Yoga Bharati – Shri Anil Surpur who decided to provide support to DYF volunteers while the event was going on. Yoga Bharati presented a 45 mins Stress Management session. The session was conducted by Ashwini Surpur and Savita Joshi. The event was received very well. This was followed by an awesome Kids Yoga Formation dance contributed by Yoga Bharati kids choreographed and organized by Madhavi. Yoga Bharati kids not only performed a wonderful yoga formation dance, but they said Swami Vivekananda quotes with no paper in their hands. It was awesome to listen to Swamiji’s words through these little ones.
- “Let the bell that tolled this morning be the death knell to all fanaticism.“ ;
- “The greatest sin is to think yourself weak”
Many more such quotes were said and they were cute. Our youth Suchit Ullagaddi and Akshaya Sekaran also became Vivekananda for Ganesha festival parade. Chinmay Surpur conducted a laughter yoga session at the youth track.
Savitha Nanjangud, the Youth Program Director of Yoga Bharati attended Raghuramji’s talk on Jnana yoga and said she was totally blown away and blissful.
A peep into Hindu Theme park showed how joyous the entire room was and how much the kids were enjoying, walking into the marriage track, one would be taken to celebratory atmosphere of Indian marriage, peeping into youth track and one would listen to various speakers and dances, some involving our Yoga Bharati folks. The entire atmosphere at Dharma and Yoga Fest was beaming with a fun filled seriousness. Yoga Bharati teachers Jolly Bose and Sushma Shrivastava were in a beautiful Bengali dance at the youth track. It was wonderful to see M.C Yogi getting married and taking blessings from everyone. The couple seemed to be happy to get married (again) in Hindu way. At youth track, David Frawley spoke in his usual eloquent style regarding Hinduism as it applies to youth. He talked about what was the state of affairs regarding Hinduism a couple of decades ago and what it is now. He said people were ashamed to call themselves Hindus in America. Now being a Hindu is cool because of the affluence, intelligence and rich colorful heritage that Hindus are associated with. He said that the state of Hinduism in India is still bad and people have yet to be proud of their heritage there. He asked the youth to take this culture further, he described how Hindus see divinity in everything – the wind is Varuna for us, the mountain is Shiva for us and everything is divine for the Hindu. As he was talking a Ganesha procession was going on and he chanted “Jai Shri Ram”
The final event I attended was a wonderful Bhajan concert by Gaura Vani. This was an icing on the cake! It was the ultimate blissful frenzy experience with men and women competing to dance for the bhajan song – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna…. Hare Rama, Hare Rama… . Gaura Vani is a mainstream American. He grew up listening to Bhajans as his parents were also into it. At the age six, he went to India and studied in a Gurukul in Vrindavan where he studied Sanskrit and Bengali Bhajans.
While all this was in parallel tracks, the main program was the icing on the cake. MC Yogi made us all dance with joy! Some of us – Yoga Bharati volunteers were in the front grass area, dancing, as he rapped. The entire experience was youthful and blissful. Bhakti was indeed so much fun!
The evening program began with dignitaries speaking at the diaz including Hindu Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. It was a short speech, but inspiring. The booths at DYF displayed a number of spirited spiritual organizations and the great work they are doing in different fields of yoga and dharma. It was heart warming to see Dharmic activities as showcased by Dharma and Yoga Fest (DYF).
The most important of the events in the evening was Krishna Leela. The kids were lively, happy and cheerful in spite of the long day and they gave the most heart touching entertainment to all of the packed audience. Anuradha Paudwal’s Bhajans followed this program and soothed the excited crowd with her best rendition of Bhajan concert. Kudos to all the Yoga Bharati volunteers for supporting Dharma and Yoga Fest! This event is a stepping stone for a great movement of East meeting the West as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda.