Atlanta, GA: Gaudiya Vaishnava Association (GVA), is a not-for-profit spiritual organization founded by His Divine Grace Bhakti Swarup Tirtha Maharaj. GVA conducts various programs throughout the year in the Atlanta area to promote peace, harmony and spiritual betterment of the community under the spiritual guidance of His Divine Grace. The 2013 Fall Festival commenced with Deepavali & Govardhan puja celebrations and came to a completion with the Johns Creek Ratha Yatra and Gita Jayanti celebrations.
Deepavali is celebrated to mark the killing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Shri Krishna. It is also celebrated to denote the return of Lord Shri Rama to Ayodhya after the war with Ravana by lighting rows of lamps in the streets to receive the Lord. The victory of good over evil is the significance in celebrating Deepavali, also commonly referred as Diwali. On November 3rd GVA celebrated Deepavali, the festival of lamps with their congregation and guests with grandeur. Children made rangoli decorations and lit diyas around the altar. A variety of sumptuous Prasadam was served to everyone who attended the program. Later in the evening children enjoyed the splendorous fireworks displayed in spite of the cold weather.
November 4th was another important auspicious day for all Hindus. The King of Heavens, Indra, out of his wrath and envy towards Lord Shri Krishna ordered the Samvartaka to inundate the village of Vrindavan with incessant downpours, thunderstorm and lightning. In order to teach him a lesson, Lord Shri Krishna protected all the citizens under the Govardhan Hill by lifting the hill with His little finger for seven days. Indra finally accepted the supremacy of the Lord, offered his obeisances and begged for forgiveness. This glorious day is celebrated as Govardhan puja. GVA members prepared a big annakut to denote the Giri
Govardhan hill and beautifully decorated it with many kind of sweet dishes resembling rocks, trees and grass. It was astounding to see a mini replica of the hill at Vrindavan Dhama brought before our eyes. Everyone enjoyed the sweet treats distributed during these celebrations.
GVA organized the 4th Annual Ratha Yatra on December 7th as part of The Johns Creek Founders Day Parade in the Johns creek area. Lord Shri Jagannatha, Shrimati Subhadra devi and Lord Shri Baladeva were carried on a well decorated palanquin through the parade route. It was amazing to see that the cold weather did not stop the people from witnessing the parade and above all get the blessings of the Lord of the Universe. The GVA youth team were holding the banners and dancing while the others were singing. Johns Creek city Mayor Mr. Mike Bodker thanked GVA, the only Indian organization for participating in the parade 4th time in a row.
Last but not the least to mention, GVA observed the Advent of Bhagavat Gita on the 12th of December. More than 5000 years ago Lord Shri Krishna spoke this great scripture, the Bhagavat Gita to his disciple friend Shri Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. This day is celebrated as Gita Jayanti. GVA members along with the guests read the verses from Shri Bhagavat Gita and listened to the discourses given by His Divine Grace B.S. Tirtha Maharaj.
Ecstatic Hari nama kirtans filled the air and tasty dinner prasadam was offered to everyone. GVA regularly conducts home programs including Shri Bhagavat Gita reading and Hari nama sankirtana in and around the Atlanta area in addition to the weekly satsang conducted in Alpharetta. Chanting of the Lord’s holy name is the only way for deliverance in this Kali yuga and reading the Bhagavad Gita brings about peace to the mind, soul and body. Interested families are welcome to contact GVA at 1-888-9GVA-USA.