NEWARK, NJ (TIP): Over 3,000 people from all walks of life from the US and 14 other countries including India availed the opportunity to get personally blessed by Brahmrishi Sri Guruvanand Swami at the International Guru Poornima 2014 celebration on July 12 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) here, according to a press release issued by the organizers. It was a magical night of bhakti, anand, spirituality and celebration, marked by memorable devotional dance sequences, and climaxing in a powerful, inspirational discourse by Sri Guruvanand Swami, lovingly addressed as ‘Gurudev’ by his hundreds of thousands of devotees around the world.

In his moving discourse which appealed to the heart and met with a hearty applause, Gurudev promised to help pull his devotees out of adversity and to cut their bonds of karma with his spiritual powers and siddhis gained over decades of sadhna. “I have come to awaken you into spirituality lest your life goes waste,” he thundered. He asked of people not big sacrifices but starting with small vows like not losing one’s temper for 24 hours. He also said that he wants to focus on ensuring that Indian tradition and sanskars are kept alive in the second generation NRIs. Gurudev also enjoyed and applauded – as did the audience in the packed hallthe superb dance items. Guru Rachna Sarang, who has her own Academy of Performing Arts, mesmerized the audience with a Ganesh Vandana. Her students’ enactment of Hanuman Chalisa in Kathak style stole everybody’s heart.

Artists enact Hanuman Chalisa in dance form Photo courtesy Diana De Rosa Photography

The grand finale was a Guru Stuti especially composed and dedicated to Gurudev. On July 11 a Bhakti Sandhya with Gurudev was attended by over 1,000 people. Some came from as far as India, Hong Kong, Dubai and Europe. Several people who have contributed to the spread of Gurudev’s programs were recognized at the event. A disciple of revered Yogiraj Devraha Baba, Sri Guruvanand Swami is a perfected master (Satguru) who is also a renowned scholar of Hinduism and Jainism with a deep understanding of other religions. He teaches people to lead morally uplifting and spiritually fulfilling life, which leads to overcoming karmic debts while fulfilling worldly duties.