The day of the inauguration of Gurudev’s birth centenary started early in the pre-dawn hours with sankirtan
lead by Baba Prajnananandaji through the ashram grounds followed by disciples singing the name of the guru. At 5:00 am meditation was held in the newly consecrated Guru Mandir.
was also held in the city of Puri. Hundreds of devotees bracing the hot summer sun joined Baba Prajnananandaji with Kriya Yoga banners. A beautifully decorated chariot carrying the picture of Gurudev followed. After a short stop in front of the Jagannath Temple and Karar ashram the procession ended at the seashore, a place that Gurudev often visited.
The formal inauguration ceremony was held on a beautifully decorated dais against the back drop of the magnificent Guru Mandir with Baba Prajnananadaji Maharaj presiding. The function began with a congregation of several holy parsonages of different orders offering their homage to Gurudev and the lighting of a sacred lamp to mark the beginning of the year-long celebration.
Yogacharya Anil Giridhar of Mumbai gave the welcome address and Dr. Narottam Gaan, a long time devotee of Gurudev introduced the eminent speakers: Babaji Chaitanya Charan Das of Puri, Babaji Ravi Narayan Das of Karamala Ashram, Katia Babaji of Brindavan, Swami Sadhanananda Giri Maharaj of West Bengal and Gajapati Maharaj of Puri. They paid their respect to Gurudev and lauded the dedication of Baba Prajnananandaji to his master which made the Shri Guru Mandir, a tribute to the masters of the lineage and a place of peace and meditation, a reality.
Thousands of devotees assembled on the vast grounds surrounding the shrine listened to their inspiring and enlightening messages. Several books and CDs were released. Devotional music and dances concluded the program which was a memorable spiritual feast.
The remaining four days of the inaugural program followed the same format, with eminent speakers giving tribute to Gurudev followed by devotional singing, Odissi dances, releasing new publications, and more.