Centenary Celebrations
 GuruMaharaj Sri Swami Chidananda

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2)      Atlanta program ( July 3 & 4 )

By Ravi R Ponangi


Atlanta, GA: Atlanta community with partnering associations, viz., Chinmaya Mission Atlanta, Hindu temple of Atlanta, Gandhi foundation of USA, Siddhi Vinayak temple, Global Mall and other partnering institutions celebrated birth centenary of Pujya Swami Chidanandaji. Chidananda Saraswati was President of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. He is well known worldwide as a yogi, jnani and spiritual leader. He succeeded as President of the Divine Life Society in 1963, after the death of his predecessor, Sivananda Saraswati, who founded the Society.

 Swami Adhyatmanandaji is visiting different cities across America in connection with Chidananda Centenary Celebration Tour 2016 to USA, Canada & UK. Pujya Swami Adhyatmanandaji has commenced his tour on June 22 from Chicago. Swamiji was in Atlanta for two days on July 3&4 and spoke about Swamiji in four different events organized by local communities. Swami Yatidharmanandaji who served swami Chidanandaji for long has also participated in these birth centenary celebrations.

Swami Adhyatmanandaji released a booklet “Divinity–Chidananda Thy Name” commemorating the birth centenary of Pujya Swami Chidanandaji. Chidananda Sevashram brought out this booklet which displays the life and teachings of Swamiji in pictures and words. An impressive documentary was shown on the saintly personality of Pujya Swami Chidanandaji. A very popular quote of Pujya Swami Chidanandaji, " Real happiness comes out of peace.  When the mind is tranquil and serene, peace, bliss, wells up from within you. You do not have to manufacture happiness, for it does not lie outside of you.  True happiness is right where you are sitting. You are yourself happiness. Happiness is your essential nature."  Swami Chidananda​​​

Swamiji spread the Divine Life message far and wide, not only in India but also in countries outside. He inspired others through the practice of self-discipline. He practiced a non-denominational, universal form of yoga. He often led Satsangh (group chanting) that named and elevated all of the prophets and sages of all of the world religions equally Lord Jesus, Ahura Mazda, Lord Buddha, etc.  << More>>


By Ravi R Ponangi
Atlanta, GA: Chinmaya Mission Atlanta organized a triple colorful celebration commemorating the birth centenary of three stalwarts of India, viz., Swami Chinmayanandaji (1916-1993), founder Chinmaya Mission, M.S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004), legendary musician and Swami Chidanandaji (1916-2008), successor of Swami Sivananda, founder of Divine Life Society. The birth centenary celebrations of trio were held on Sunday, July 3 in Chinmaya Niketan, Norcross in the holy presence of Swami Adhyatmanandaji, President of Sivananda Ashram, Ahmedabad. Swamiji was in Atlanta for two days as part of Sri Chidananda Birth Centenary Celebrations Tour to USA, Canada and UK. Other dignitaries present on the occasion are Acharya Dr. G.V. Raghu, Acharya Gita Raghu both are Acharyas of Chinmaya Mission, Prof. Ram Sriram, President of Carnatic Music Association of Georgia and Swami Yatidharmanandaji of Chidananda Sevashram, India. << More>>

Acharya G.V. Raghu explained his experiences with Swami Chinmayananda that started in 1989. The next speaker, Acharya Gita recalling Swami Chinmayanandaji’s contributions to world, she shared some of the YouTube snippets of Swamiji.

 Dr. Ram Sriram who is well known mridangist and founder president of Carnatic music association of Georgia spoke about Bharat Ratna M.S. Subbulakshmi. He briefly explained who she was and how M.S. Subbulakshmi became great.

Clippings from the lives of Swami Chinmayanandaji, M.S. Subbulakshmi and Swami Chidanandaji were shown. Swami Yatidharmanandaji of Chidananda Sevashram, India in his brief message explained how he began his monastic life as a disciple of Swami Chidanandaji in Divine Life Society in Rishikesh. Recalling his interactions with Swami Chidanandaji, he said that Swamiji explains in small things. They appear to be small but have great impact on the lives of listeners. 
 Then Swami Adhyatmanandaji released a booklet “Divinity–Chidananda Thy Name” commemorating the birth centenary of Pujya Swami Chidanandaji. Chidananda Sevashram brought out this booklet which displays the life and teachings of Swamiji in pictures and words.
Recalling his meetings and interactions with all three stalwarts, Swami Adhyatmanandaji said that being with Swami Chinmayanandaji, M.S. Subbulakshmi and Swami Chidanandaji, each moment is an education. M.S. Subbulakshmi’s simplicity, the humbleness, generosity, commitment, dedication and devotion to music was unparalleled. She was so simple. 

Talking about Swami Chinmayanandaji, Swami Adhyatmanandaji said Swami Chinmayanandaji’s commitment, dedication and devotion was all to binding India.  Swami Vivekananda said so give me a hundred of youth, I will change the face of India whereas Swami Chinmayananda has created hundreds of youth to change and bring cultural heritage and vedantic lore to that very core of India. Swami Chinmayanandaji has inspired, inducted and created gems of monks around the globe doing wonderful things.
Reflecting on the life of Swami Chidanandaji, Swamiji said all these stalwarts did so much tapas, so much of renunciation, so much of sadhana. Because of that we are here enjoying this glory. The root is sadhana. They did tapasya for the welfare of humanity and how they conducted themselves without trace of personal ego. Their absolute dedication to the services of others and with ultimate humility.

 In his vote of thanks, Acharya Dr. G.V. Raghu, president of Chinmaya Mission Atlanta said we are grateful to the whole afternoon remembering the great luminaries so that we all get inspired, especially we are happy and blessed with the presence of Swami Adhyatmanandaji. This is a unique day of sharing stories about three great stalwarts and their legacies. Speakers at centenary celebration reflected on Swami Chinmayananda, M.S. Subbulakshmi and Swami Chidanandaji and their enormous contributions to their own traditions.
Celebrations concluded with the devout and mellifluous singing by Hema Nagendra accompanied by Anjaneya Sastry on Tabla of M.S. Subbulakshmi songs delighted the hearts of one and all present.


By Ravi Ponangi

Atlanta, GA: The Gandhi Foundation of USA (GFUSA) celebrated the 240th Independence Day of United States of America on Monday, July 4 with patriotic fervor in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

This year’s Chief guest of July 4, His Holiness Swami Adhyatmanandaji, President of the Sivananda Ashram, Ahmedabad kicked off the celebration by rendering Bapuji’s favorite song “Vaishnava Janato”. Then dignitaries present, Mr. D.V. Sing from the consulate General of India in Atlanta, Greg Pridgeon, former public official of city of Atlanta, Pujya Swami Adhyatmanandaji and Pujya Swami Yatidharmanandaji from India paid rich tributes, reverence and homage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and ancestors of America who have given up their lives for freedom of America.

Addressing an impressive gathering who gathered around Mahatma Gandhi statue, Pujya Swami Adhyatmanandaji in his brief message said that we are celebrating July 4th today. Look back in 1976, it was in Philadelphia, Mr. Ferguson drafted a letter to the king of the Britain, we want independence. He was aware of it that it was difficult. You are permitted to enjoy, you can have fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions etc., you can have colorful cloths, but don’t forget the sacrifices of our ancestors who have given up their lives for our freedom. We salute them. Long Live America!!! We are at the feet of Pujya Bapu Mahatma Gandhi and at the door step of no less than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. historical site. They stand for nonviolence, stand for purity, stand for character, stand for unity. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in July 4 lecture, said let the last man be respected. Swamiji urged the community rejoice but never forget the sacrifices which our ancestors have done.

Swami Yatidharmanandaji, Mr. D.V. Singh from Consulate General of India in Atlanta, Greg Pridgeon, former public official of Atlanta, Prof. Uma Mujumdar, a researcher on Mahatma Gandhi also addressed the well attended gathering. Dignitaries and attendees participated in a peace walk from the Mahatma Gandhi statue to King crypts and paid homage at the crypts.

Earlier, Antony Thaliath, executive director of GFUSA welcomed the guests. Subash Razdan proposed vote of thanks. The event was concluded with rendering of both American and Indian National Anthems.

American Independence Day is annually celebrated on July 4 and is often known as "the Fourth of July". It is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. Patriotic displays and family events are organized throughout the United States. Most cities in the USA celebrate July 4th with parades, carnivals, fairs and concerts ending with spectacular firework displays. Many people display the American flag outside their homes or buildings. Many communities arrange fireworks that are often accompanied by patriotic music



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