Sīmollaṅghana: A Divine Experience
By Smt. Vijayā Naḍkarṇī (Mumbaī - T͟hāṇe Sabhā)
The concluding day of the auspicious two-month Chāturmāsa period is observed as Sīmollaṅghana. This falls on the day after Anantha Chaturdashī (Bhādrapada Shukla Pūrṇimā). Derived from the words सीमन् (boundary) and उल्लङ्घनम्(crossing over). Sīmollaṅghana implies crossing over the boundary afterhaving stayed in a particular place for the Chāturmāsaperiod. Sādhaka-s offer the Vayaktika Sādhanā-s undertaken by them during Chāturmāsa at the Feet of the Devatā-s and Guruparamparā, with a prayer of gratitude for their successful completion. Forgiveness is also sought for any mistakes in the performance of their sādhanā-s.
Pūjana by H.H. Swāmījī
On this day, in the early hours of the evening,H.H. Swāmījī arrives at a riverbank closest to the place where He has been observing Chāturmāsa (River Indrayāṇī at Kārlā this year, 2022). A beautifully decorated paṇḍāl is set up and preparations for the Pūjā-s are made beforehand. First, Swāmījī performs 'Shrī Gaṇesha Pūjana' followed by 'Ādi Shaṅkarāchārya Pūjana'. Watching these Pūjā-s is a divine experience for the sādhaka-s who gather from far and wide for this special occasion. After the pūjā, the sādhaka-s present join Pūjya Swāmījī in chanting the ' Shrī Daks͟hiṇāmūrti Stotra'. A Bhaṭ mām then recites one of the chapters of the Shrīmad Bhagawadgītā.
Thereafter, H.H. Swāmījī proceeds to the river where 'Gaṅgā Pūjana' is performed. Reverence to the rivers is an important part of our tradition, and no pūjana is complete without 'आवाहनम्' to the sacred rivers. This is our way of paying tribute to nature.
After the Ārati, Pūjya Swāmījī proceeds to a boat for ' नौकाविहार'. The boat is decorated with flowers and Swāmījīsails across the river to the opposite bank. The Bhaṭ mām-s, the President of the Shrī Chitrāpur Mat͟h Standing Committee, and the Convener of that year’s Chāturmāsa accompany H.H. Swāmījī in the boat. Watching our Guru waving enthusiastically from the opposite bank provides sādhaka-s with the warm assurance-"I promise to ferry you across this saṁsāra." The river valley reverberates with bhajana-s asPūjya Swāmījīreturns to the eager sādhaka-s who welcome Him with 'Jaijaikāra-s' and chants of 'Hara Hara Mahādeva.'
H.H. Swāmījī then returns to the Mat͟h, and as the stars slowly begin to make their appearance, the sādhaka-seagerly await the ShobhāYātrā.
H.H. Swāmījī ascends a Ratha that is beautifully decorated with flowers and lights, and to the beat of drums, the procession embarks. Melodious bhajana-s are sung by the sādhaka-s, children and elders alike. Looking at H.H. Swāmījī, we realize "देवगुरुरूपेणयेता". Swāmījī's radiant smile fills our heart with joy and bliss. When Pūjya Swāmījī waves His hand towards us, we perceive the ever-present Āshīrvāda and Prasāda of the Gurushakti being showered on us. Sādhaka-s offer flowers, fruits and Ārati to the Gurudevatā.
The procession then returns to the Mat͟h and H.H. Swāmījī alights from the Ratha where He is welcomed with a Pūrṇakumbha Swāgata. A Dharma Sabhā and Shrī Pādukā Pūjana ensue. Despite the long procession, sādhaka-s feel invigorated andare brimming with enthusiasm to listen toH.H. Swāmījī's Āshīrvachana. Swāmījī's assuring words that everyone's sādhana has been placed at the Lotus Feet of our Parama Guru and the Guruparamparāelevates us to a higher level.As we chant the Dīpanamaskāra, we sincerely pray for guidance from Swāmījī that we may continue to make progress on the spiritual path.
KoṭiKoṭi Pranāma-s to H.H. Swāmījī and to our Divine Guruparamparā.