Founded by Swami Omkaranandaji, Badarikashrama is a spiritual and cultural center that hosts daily worship, Sunday services and special events promoting Vedic culture and spiritual values. It provides a peaceful atmosphere to worship and ensures sanctity to visitors through many religious, cultural and educational programs. Badarikashrama was originally dedicated on Mother’s Day in May of 1984, and every year the ashrama celebrates its anniversary with cultural programs and a group worship of Sri Satyanarayana Swami.

This year’s celebrations span two days of cultural and spiritual programs. On Saturday, June 8th, the festivities begin with a presentation by the ashrama’s children’s school, Balasamskara Kendra. The students will perform a play explaining what they have learnt at Badarikashrama. A Karnatik instrumental concert with Susheela Narasimhan on the violin, his son Raghav Narasimhan, and senior student Durga Ganesh will follow this. Natarajan Srinivasan will accompany them.

The afternoon starts with an odissi dance performance by the Nataraj School of Dance’s Artistic Director Sima Chakravorty, followed by aarti and mahaprasad. Rita Sahai and her senior students perform Hindustani vocals accompanied by Pradosh Sarkar on tabla.

The afternoon continues with a panel discussion on the topic “atmano mokshartham jagadhitayaca” –for one’s own salvation and the service of humanity. Panelists include Swami Tattwamayanandaji from the San Francisco Vedanta Society, Swami Prasannatmanandaji from the Vedanta Society in Berkeley, Suman Shah, math professor at Laney College and Sargam Shah, former English professor at UC Berkeley. The two Vedanta Society sanyasas have both made an exceptional mark in the community with their discourses on Advaita Vedanta Philosophy and their involvement in the 150th Swami Vivekananda Birthday celebrations. They are certain to draw everyone into a deep understanding of the topic.

The day will close with a sitar concert by visiting artist Susmita Banerjee on sitar accompanied by Jerry Baar on tabla. A student of Sukhraj Singh Jhala Saheb, in her early years she studied under Nikhil Banerjee. She plays in the style of Maiihargharana.

Sunday, June 9th begins with Hindustani bhajans by Rita Sahai and her students. She began the Samuhika 108 Sri Satyanarayana Swami puja and katha—a tradition for 25 years. Through the years many devotees have joined with Swami Omkaranandaji in the Sri Satyanarayana Swami puja and have experienced the uplifting serenity of this divine worship. The puja is performed anually as part of Badrikashrama’s annual celebrations for the health, peace, spiritual and mental welfare of all the participants.

With a variety of activities suitable for the whole family, the ashrama ensures that the unique and ancient cultures are taught to the future generations in a western environment.

June 8, 9. 10:30 a.m. -5 p.m. 15602 Maubert Avenue, San Leandro.(510) 278-2444. badarik@pacbell.net. www.badarikashrama.org.

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...