Five lakh people visit the 5th Hindu spiritual and service fair in Chennai
HINDU Spiritual and Service Foundation organised its Fifth Hindu Fair from February 19 to 24 at the AM Jain College Grounds of Meenambakkam in Chennai. The objective of the Fair was to showcase the service activities of diverse Hindu spiritual organisations and exemplify the Hindu philosophy of Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha (one can attain salvation through service).
The Fair was inaugurated by Former Deputy Prime Minister of India Shri LK Advani in the presence of Swami Ashutoshananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, Swami Omkarananda of Chidbhavananda Ashram, Theni, Shri N Gopalswami (retd IAS and former Chief Election Commissioner) and Shri S Gurumurthy, Chartered Accountant and Columnist and other organising members. Smt. Sudha Raghunathan, Carnatic singer rendered her invocation song.
Shri LK Advani in his speech revealed that a suggestion had been made to the President Pranab Mukherjee that he should approach the United States Government to hold a special function in Chicago, where Swami Vivekananda delivered his stirring speech at the World of Parliament of Religions in 1893, jointly with the US President Barack Obama and speak about Swamiji’s life and philosophy.
Around 200 Hindu and spiritual organisations including Ramakrishna Mission, Sri Satya Sai Baba Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Sringeri Math, Art of Living, Swaminarayan sect, All World Gayatri Parivar, Arutperunjothi Vallalar Charitable Trust, and service organisations like Sewa Bharati, Samskrita Bharati, Rashtra Sevika Samiti, etc participated in the Fair. Hindu religious boards of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala namely the Travancore Devosthanam Board, Andhra Pradesh Hindu Religious Endowments Board, Karnataka Hindu Religious Endowment Board, Tirumala Tirupathi Devosthanam Board of Tamil Nadu, Singhvi Jain, Sourashtra Gujarati Mandal, etc. participated in the Fair. Various organisations distributed pamphlets describing the services rendered by them.
Prasadams were distributed at the stalls of Sri Chamundeshwari Temple Board, Sri Kanteshwara Temple Board of Nanjangud, Sri Mookambika Devi Temple Board of Kollur, Kukke Sri Subramanya Temple, Sri Niminshambadevi Temple Board, Ganjam, Sri Balashankari Temple Board, Bangalore, Sri Yoga Narasimhaswamy Temple Board, Melukote. Various Prachar Rathams from Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Ratham of Kurnool, Sri Kalahastiswamy Ratham of Kalahasti, Sri Kanipakka Varasiddha Vinayaka Swamy Ratham of Chittoor, Sri Kanakadurga Temple Ratham, Vijayawada, Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Koil Ratham, Vizag and Viveka Ratham of Vijayabharatham attracted large visitors of the Fair.
Prominent communities which participated in the Fair included Reddy Elaingar Peravai, Mudaliyar, Tamil Nadu Nair Service Society, Devendrar Thannarva Arakkattalai, Vanniyar Varalatru Ayivumayiam, Kongu Vellala Gounder Pervai, Tambras, Viswakarma Pedam, Tamil Nadu Saiva Vellalar Sangam, Sourashtra Samooga Nala Pervai, Nagarathar Nattukottai Chettiyar and Hindu Nadar Magamaical.
Competitions were also held on various subjects including Rangoli wherein 1,000 students from 66 schools participated enthusiastically. Free medical and eye camps by notable hospitals like the Hindu Mission Hospital, Chettinad Hospital, Sankara Eye Hospital, Isha Foundation were organised in the Fair.
Spiritual Fair witnessed Kadri Gopinath’ Saxophone, Namasankeerthanam of Shri Muralidhara Swamigal, Srinivasa Kalyana Utsavam by Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, Yaksha Gaanam by Kumara Vijaya Prasanna, Kuchipudi Dance, Dance-Drama by various school children, recitation of Veda Parayanam, Tiruarutpa, Thevaram, Thiruppavai, Divya Prabandam, Bhajans, Harikathas, Skits, Jalatharagam, various traditional arts like the Rukoothu enthralled the visitors. ‘Smile’ organised a dance-drama by blind children. Gayatri Parivar organised Gayatri homam and japam. A seminar on ‘how to protect cows’ at Gaushalas were also organised.
Sanatan Dharma Tree—a tree depicting the civilisation and culture, eternal and timeless,—that inspires and witnesses the institutions by the Vedic saying Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha in the spirit of ‘together we serve’ attracted huge visitors. Shri La.Ganesan of BJP, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan of BJP, Shri Kumari Ananthan Ex-Congress MP, Princess Gopika Verma of Travancore Samasthanam and Shri Muralidhara Swamigal were some of the notable visitors to the Fair. It is reported that on an average five lakh people visited the Fair. Visitors appreciated the efforts taken in organising the stalls and felt great satisfaction in visiting the fair. (VSK Chennai)