A weeklong Ramayan yagya is being conducted at the Bhuvaneshwar Mandir in Ozone Park, Queens, New York to commemorate the 70th birth anniversary of Shri Prakash Gossai of Guyana. Gossai-ji is the founder of the Bhuvaneshwar Mandir. It was founded in 1984 in Brooklyn and relocated to 101 Ave and 86th Street in Queens. Gossai-ji is enormously popular among Indo-Caribbean people in the Caribbean and the diaspora as well as among Hindus and non-Hindus of several countries. He studied and visited India multiple times. Gossai-ji was a leading exponent of the Ramayana. He had a huge following globally. He was an outstanding singer of bhajan music and had won a competition on Bollywood songs in Guyana before his migration to New York in the early 1980s.
The entire week of discourse at Bhuvaneshwar with three different Pandiits presiding at each of the seven sessions is dedicated to Shri Prakash Gossai who was fondly referred to as “Guruji”. The discourse is on the Ramayana.
The yagya started last Monday evening April 24 with nightly sessions thru Saturday evening and will conclude on Sunday morning on April 30th.
Glowing tribute was paid to Gossai-ji by a visiting pandit from Guyana on the Friday evening observance of Sita Jayanti (Navami) April 28. The presiding learned pandit visiting from Mahaica Creek compared the life of Goddess Sita with the activities of Gossai-ji. He said Sita Maa represented the ideals of love, compassion, and perseverance. She was born out of the soil, he related. “We must till the soil, cultivate and sow the right seeds to reap the real fruits of love. Cultivate the mind with pure thoughts We must plow the mind with cleanliness so that love spreads”.
He added: “That was the message of Guru-ji Shri Prakash”. He urged devotees to “put teachings of the scriptures and of Goddess Sita into actions”.
Prakash’s son, Acharya Arun, presided over the ‘ground’ service at the mandir. He is following in his father’s footsteps and also has a huge following.