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Makar Sankranti Utsav in Sacramento -- A report

Makar Sankranti 2005 Utsav was celebrated by the HSS Sacramento Shakha on the 16th of January with great pomp and show. The day also marked Swami Vivekananda jayanti. All the swayam sevaks participated with great enthusiasm. Mananeya Easan Katir ji and our USA zone pracharak, Saumitra Gohkale ji added experience to the festivities. The utsav was an all round activity involving every one from the kids to the tarun swayam sevaks. The atmosphere reverberated with the true sangh spirit. Our Mukhya Shikshika Shubhangi ji and Karyawah Rajesh ji did a wonderful job and maintained order in the activities. An exhibition related to the Tsunami tragedy and the relief work done by Sewa International and RSS was arranged too.

The Utsav commenced with Dhwajarohan by Dhwaj pramukh Rahul. This was followed by warm up and surya namaskar lead by Rasika ji. Of course we know the importance of Lord Surya on the day of Makar Sankranti. This was followed by vyayam yog lead by Rahul ji. It was a sight to behold as the swayam sevaks and sevikas did the vyayam yog in unison highlighting the unity in actions and thoughts of the swayam sevaks and sevikas. The following game session lead by Rasika ji was enjoyed by all the participants. The first timers were amazed at the level of difficulty of the apparently simple sangh games. They appreciated the intellectual and physical inclination of the simple yet effective games. Next was the time for indulging the kids in some art. All of us know kite flying is one of the highlights of the celebration of Makar Sankranti in most parts of India. While the kids made some beautiful kites under the guidance of Divya ji and Tara ji, the tarun were treated to some wonderful Baudhiks by Ishan ji and Saumitra ji. Ishan ji shared his impressions from the 2004 SSV. Ishan ji praised the organized and disciplined training camp held in the picturesque Malibu hill camp site. Saumitra ji gave some enlightening and revealing insight into Makar Sankranti. He gave the scientific perspective of Makar Sankranti and our festivals in general and how they are meant to celebrate the changes in nature. Saumitra ji’s baudhik was interwoven with some real life experiences of great people and some abstract concepts of Hindu Dharma.

This was followed by some subhsitas and sholkas recited by the kids. The visitors were enamored with our Shakha’s Balas reciting sholkas and some Swami Vivekananda’s quotes.

The utsav activities till now had already connected the minds of the participants. However a formal introduction session was done after the Baudhik and art session.

The event concluded with prarthana followed by some snacks arranged by Milind ji and Maslamani ji.

After the utsav all the visitors applauded the efforts of the swayam sevaks in making the utsav a success. However the most important part was the fact that Sacramento shakha had succeeded in attracting nine new families. This is very important for a growing shakha. We all need to make sincere efforts in leading the first of the fours P’s (pick up, pin up, pull up, push up) to the 4th P and contribute to the success of the sangh mission of Hindu Sanghatana. I will like to conclude my summary report with the last shloka of our prarthana –
Twadeya Punya Karyesmin Vishwa Kalyan Sadhake
Tyag Seva Vrutasyayam Kayo Me Patatu Prabhu..

Rahul M Palnitkar

Pictures: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/hss_sac/album?.dir=/adb3&.src=ph&.tok=ph.KLZCBMIyk8AoM

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