ANAHEIM, Calif. — “Shivling Pran Pratishtha Samaroh,” organized by the All World Gayatri Pariwar’s Los Angeles branch under the auspices of ShantiKunj, Hardwar, was held at the Gayatri Chetna Center here during the day of Somvati Amavashay July 4.

A Shiv Puran Katha was held July 1-3 with the celebrations of the main event July 4 commencing in the morning with the “Kalash Yatra.”

More than 200 women carried the sacred Kalash, Javaras, Gayatri Mantra Lekhan books and Shiv Mantra scriptures on their heads and went around the vicinity for 45 minutes to bring awareness to the community. The colorful procession was led by saints and officials with Indian and American flags.

Dr. Chinmaya Pandya, pro vice chancellor of SDPV at Shantikunj, conducted the ceremony of installation of “Shivling,” or “Mahakal Sthapana,” and performed the “Dus Snana” to wash the Shivling.

Ten pious ingredients were showered on it and clothes, “samagri” and “prasad” were offered. The second step was the “Pran sanchar” while Pandya meditated to summon the cosmic energies of the Sun and Shiva into the Shivling.

After the Shivling’s aarti, the devotees went to the new adjoining building, which has been purchased for expansion of the activities of the Gayatri Center. Pandya inaugurated the building and new library by poojan and ribbon cutting.

The library has thousands of books written by Gurudev Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharyaji, who has authored more than 3,200 books with translations of the four Vedas, Upanishads, Bhrahaman Granthas with scientific explanations of the Dharma, the duty toward self, society and the world at large.

This was followed by 51 “Kundi Yagya” and “GuruPoornima Pujan” for which a large pavilion, called the “Yagna Shala,” was created, with saints seated at one end to instruct the devotees regarding rituals on the “agni kund” placed before them.

Pandya was the main speaker and in his discourse he covered the concept of Gayatri Pariwar, which is to nurture a large growing family that constantly strives to think and do right.

His emphasis was on the power of positive thought and the need for action through service and love, all of which he illustrated with anecdotes from the life of Gurudev.

He also spoke on the benefits of the smoke of the “yagna.” Bhajans and mantras were sung by RajKumar Vaishnav on keyboard, Omkar Patidar on vocals and Pushkar Singh Raj on tabla.

The “Purnahuti” ritual, melodious chanting of Maha Mrutunjayay and Gayatri Mantras was followed by Maha Prasad.

Mahesh Bhatt, coordinator of the Gayatri Consciousness Center, told India-West that there were 750 devotees on that day to participate in the rituals.

They have been preparing for this event for three to four months and all rites have been planned in coordination with the headquarters in ShantiKunj, Hardwar, he noted.

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