Gokuldham’s Dream Come True
With the blessings of Shri Goverdhan Nathji, Shri Mahaprabhuji, and Shri Yamunaji, October 8, 2017 marked a significant day in the history of Atlanta, Georgia. The time was 1pm and Shreenathji “Pratham Darshan” opened to vaishnavas who travelled from across the USA to observe this historic occasion. A grand project consisting of a beautiful haveli and an auditorium (Jagatguru Hall) was completed, and a new era has begun. This “Dream Haveli” that was conceived 9 years ago is now in place where vaishnavs will have a common place to worship Shreenathji and conduct various cultural activities in their own center for generations to come.
It was a grand four-day festivity, starting with Sharad Poonam Garba and Dandiya on Thursday October 5. The next 3 days’ festivities were arranged at Gokuldham’s new location in Buford, GA. Apart from haveli, tents were built for the occasion to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner from volunteers. More than 4,000 vaishnavs and well-wishers came from far and wide to participate in the festivities. On the second day, a musical program on Friday evening by Shree Sai Dave mesmerized the crowd till 1am.
Saturday started with haveli inauguration rites conducted by Pujyahsree H D H Shashtpeethadishwar Goswami 108 Shree Dwarkeshlalji Maharajshree accompanied by his son and priests who had arrived from India for this purpose. Even the kids enjoyed the spiritual experience and chanting of “Om Swaha.”
In the evening, a Shobha Yatra with Shree Dwarkeshlalji and his son riding on an elephant around the haveli was another first in the USA. Attendees included Consul General Nagesh Singh, Georgia House of Representatives David Clark, Todd Jones, and Pedro Marin, and Mark Reeve (running for State Senate). A Kesar Snan, washing the feet of Shreenathi with “Kesar Water,” was followed by a grand finale firework show observed by more than 5,000 vaishnavs sitting on the beautiful lawn.
The final day, October 8, started with a cultural program: the kids and youth group of Gokuldham gracefully performed various dances, amazing the crowd. The time was coming close for “Pratham (First) Darshan” of Shreenathji in the new haveli, and thousands of vaishnavs went to watch this beautiful and grand darshan. It was celebrated with a splendid Nand Mahotsav where Dwarkeshlalji and his son mesmerized the crowd with their spiritual speeches, and chanting of Lord Krishna bhajans. More than 300 volunteers, mostly young professionals, were felicitated.
Gokuldham started very small in 2009 with a few vaishnavs doing satsang in their own house, then moving to a small space in Global Mall; they have now fulfilled the dream of building a beautiful haveli. Continuing the “Path of Grace,” new initiatives in this haveli will include a dance academy.
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