Seewa & Kamla Ramcharan returned from their adopted residence in New Jersey, USA and joined with family, friends, and devotees of the Barataria Vishnu Mandir of 9th Street, Barataria to host a Bhagavat Puran Yagya. Started on Sunday August 20th and terminated on the August 27th, the officiating pandit at the Yagya was Navin Omadath Maharaj, the recently elected President of the Pandits’ Parishad of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha. Reading of the Shrimad Bhagavatam was done three times daily-9 am to 11 am; 2 pm to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm.
The Shrimad Bhagavatam tells of the exploits of Sri Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, who destroyed several demonic leaders including Kans and his henchmen and guided the Pandavas to victory over the Kauravas. Sri Krishna is also credited for giving to mankind the Bhagavad Gita which is a foremost text to guide seekers to a better understanding the world and find oneness with their divine nature.
Bindool, a resident of Barataria and a past President of the Mandir, said that the mandir had a packed congregation during the 7-9 pm session every night. This response is in no small way because of the excellent delivery of Pandit Navin Omadath Maharaj. Accompanied by a bhajan group, the katha is delivered with the accompaniment of music and bhajans. A graduate teacher, Pandit Navin hails from a family of pandits who have been serving dharma for decades.
Mohan Prahalad, a resident of Barataria and a devotee of the mandir, said that the land for the mandir was donated by the Dass family. This gesture attracted other families and devotees who raised funds and erected the mandir. Also providing murtis to the mandir was Deosaran Rampersad and family. Both Bindool and Mohan recalled that the mandir has hosted Bhagavat Yagyas annually for several decades. “As little boys we used to break school to attend the Bhagavat,” said Mohan.
“The efforts of the Ramcharan family have brought the Hindus in Barataria together,” said Bindool. He recalled that Barataria has also been the home of several Indian orchestras and renowned musicians including Harry Mahabir and Narsalloo Ramaya. Barataria and San Juan were also renowned for Chowtaal and Bindool recalled being the youngest member in a group led by Ramdeen Chootoo that toured Suriname in the 1970s.
Bindool was high in praise of the Ramcharan family for taking the initiative to host this Bhagavat Puran Yagya and remains hopeful that other families with the resources would step forward to sponsor future Bhagavats to keep Hindu dharma alive in Barataria.