Jharna-Kala Anniversary Celebration and More
- Monday, November 19 is the 38th Anniversary of Sri Chinmoy officially starting his artwork that he named `Jharna-Kala', or `Fountain-Art'. Although he had dabbled in the arts earlier in his youth, his first painting in this new project was a beautiful rose. He painted this along with some other paintings in his hotel room during a visit to Ottawa, Canada.
Ever since then and some thousands of paintings and millions of drawings since, this auspicious date is celebrated all over the world by his disciples, friends and admirers who genuinely appreciate his artistic endeavors and derive much inspiration and benefit from his artwork.
On Saturday evening,Nov. 17,in New York City we celebrated this Jharna-Kala Anniversary along with a few other auspicious anniversaries. The official name of our celebration was:
`Mantu-da and Hriday-da's Birthdays, Jharna-Kala Anniversary and Thanksgiving Fete.'
The Tent at Aspiration-Ground which was just installed a week ago was fully decorated now due to the hard work of many individuals for over a week. There are many Jharna-Kala prints hanging on the walls along with beautiful photos of Sri Chinmoy in front of some of his paintings as well. Beautiful lights and decorations as well as many colorful flower arrangements make this environment a veritable garden of Paradise. This celebration also was an inauguration of this most beautiful and comfortable venue which will serve all winter long as our meditation and function hall; our spiritual home.
The schedule of events began around 4:00 pm with Chai tea, herb tea and hot apple cider accompanied by small delicious treats to welcome the early comers. The soulful singing of Vedic Fire informally began the program at this time. Then we had some meditation and recordings of Sri Chinmoy chanting followed by the Invocation.
The Bhajan Singers performed some Mantu Bhajans, Kali Bhajans and Jharna-Kala Bhajans most beautifully. The audience joined in the last Kali Bhajan, "Kali Ma Amar".
Alu Pie was then offered as a special Prasad which we took from the stage in front of Gurus chair next to the realistic 'cut-out' photos of Sri Chinmoy and two of his brothers, Mantu and Chitta. Guru used to buy these tasty potato treats to celebrate birthdays of his family members and other very special events.
A huge Thanksgiving meal was then offered outside under some of the tents in the driveway. Many people worked very hard to offer their own contributions to this delicious and very filling feast. This traditional Thanksgiving feast is officially celebrated next Thursday in the U.S. and at another time in Canada. It serves to remind us of the gratitude we should feel for the harvest of the recent growing season, just as our forefathers did when this `new world' was being formed and developed.
The performances began during the meal with musical and singing groups soulfully entertaining us. There were also some creative and upbeat performances such as Paree's Group. The singers all came up wearing colorful hats and bow-ties and sang a very catchy song about this particular Anniversary Celebration. It was their version of a `sing-along', so we all joined in singing with them until they had the whole tent cheerfully participating.
The words were as follows:
"It's a Jharna-Kala party!
A festive night of paintings bright!
An art display, the Bhajans play,
The perfect date to celebrate Mantu's birthday!
There's Vedic flames and lots of games
And food on the way,
As we move onto Srinvantu
And Databir's play.
So grab some chai and pumpkin pie,
We're living in gratitude-sky!"
Some of the other singers followed by offering some rounds of two of Guru's many Jharna-Kala songs. We sang Jharna Bhati and Jago Jharna Jago in two part rounds.
Then the plays began. First Databir and Salil created an illumining as well as amusing production called, `The Golden Boat'. With cast of about ten characters the play included themes relating to Hurricane Sandy (the recent destructive storm that swept through the Northeast of the U.S. wreaking havoc especially in the low lying coastal areas), the Wizard of Oz (a classic film masterpiece about a young girl searching for her real home), and Jharna-Kala and the Golden Boat, both spiritual themes relating to Sri Chinmoy's Path. The ending was the singing of Guru's `Smile my Soul, Smile' song.
There were some other plays to follow such as Palash's troupe doing a very funny rendition of one of Guru's stories about a poet who wanted to become published and recognized for his talents. Bhasata's troupe performed a soulful play with Jharna-Kala birds as the characters.
We watched a very nice video of Guru soulfully painting some larger paintings mounted on easels as he sang `Bhulite Diyona' and had the audience singing some songs as well. This was followed by a large Prasad. There were offerings by many individuals and groups of people celebrating the holiday, friends' birthdays or anniversaries as well.
By the time all was said and done it was almost midnight, which meant that this soulful and joyous celebration lasted about eight hours! It was quite a memorable way to spend the evening here in Jamaica, New York, as we celebrated these auspicious occasions.
- Thank you Arpan as always for these fantastic function reports.
Your descriptions are so clear that I feel like I am there experiencing it.
It's truly an inspiration for those of us who are not there!