Saibaba temple of Queens to hold Ek Yatra on July 28

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Shree Shirdi Saibaba Temple in Flushing, New York announced its activities in the centenary year of the Maha Samadhi of the Shirdi saint, to be held in mid-October, at a press meet, on July 14.

“Aside from the regular puja activity and aarti, we have several events lined up. We have Guru Purnima and the Maha Samadhi festivities, which are the main events on the temple calendar,” Shiva Haran, president of the temple, is quoted saying in a press release.

The Palki Yatra, renamed as the Ek Yatra this year, will be held on July 28.

The remainder of the schedule is as follows:

July 22: Ganapati Puja and other forms of worship
July 23: Mantapa Puja and Pancha Sookta Parayana
July 24: Hanuman Chalisa and devotional singing by the Simon Benjamin group
July 25: Swarna Pushpa Archana and bhajan by Harish Chandra and family
July 26: Dattatreya Moolamantra Havan and music program by the Sriranjani Haran group
July 27: Sai Satya Vrata Katha and Veena recital by Saipranati and Saipranavi
July 28: Palanquin Procession and bhajan by Ghulam Mirashi and Tapan Modak

Narasimha Rao Bonda, chief coordinator of the Ek Yatra, explained the significance of Guru Purnima and other programs.

“The re-enactment by a 20-member troupe of the Chavdi Procession, which began when Saibaba was in his human form more than 100 years ago, is the highlight this year. All these eight years, when the Palki Yatra was launched in 2010, we have taken out in a procession the utsava vigraha of Saibaba in surrounding streets. Some musicians will also form part of the procession this year,” he said.

This year the temple expects a gathering of up to 1,000 for the Ek Yatra.

“Next week we will convene a meeting of volunteers group and chalk out the exact procedure of the Yatra and related activities. We will announce during the Ek Yatra the details of a major fundraising event marking the centenary celebrations of the Maha Samadhi,” he added.

The fundraising program is scheduled for October.

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