The best moments of 2022 at RKT Dallas reflected the deep emotional and spiritual connect that the DFW community and the worldwide devotee congregation has formed with the temple, since it was first inaugurated in 2017. Like the Kalpavriksh, RKT Dallas is the gift that never stops giving. In the centennial year (2022) of Jagadguruttam Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, by his grace, RKT Dallas as the JKYog US headquarters, played a key role in expanding Swami Mukundananda and JKYog’s mission exponentially. It gained international admiration for its efforts from Australia to India, Middle East, Europe, and America. It is leading the way in preserving Indian culture and spirituality with a team of hardworking volunteers who visualize, plan, and execute world class programs for the mental, physical, and spiritual upliftment of all. As we celebrate Makar Sankranti in 2023, stepping into a brand-new year of propagating Vedic wisdom to many more people worldwide, let us inspire ourselves to strive ever more sincerely by reminiscing some beautiful memories from global events with Swami Mukundananda, key spiritual/educational offerings, visits by renowned personalities, and festival celebrations at RKT Dallas.
Devotees were privileged to celebrate Jagadguruttam Diwas on 14th January, honoring one hundred years of Jagadguruttam Shri Kripaluji Maharaj’s transformational impact as the topmost spiritual master of the world in the last five thousand years. They lovingly performed Charan Poojan and Abhishek of Shree Maharajji as the kirtan team sang his nectarine compositions. Devotees worldwide joined the LIVE broadcast to uplift their consciousness and soak in devotion during the divine celebrations. Swami Mukundananda shared little known pastimes surrounding Shree Maharajji’s journey to accepting the title of the fifth original Jagadguru, that everyone relished greatly. View glimpses of this momentous occasion here.
Goda Krishna Kalyanam – Wedding of Kodhai and Shri Krishna
RKT Dallas is not just a temple for devotees of Radha Krishna from Northern India. As the community embraces the pan Indian population, it honors devotional traditions from all parts of India – this is what distinguishes it from other temples in the region. One such tradition is the wedding of Kodhai (Goda Devi) and Shri Krishna.
Goda Devi is Mother Earth incarnate (Lord Vishnu has two consorts – Sridevi or Mother Lakshmi and Bhoodevi or Mother Earth). Goda Devi’s wedding to Shree Krishna is celebrated with great fanfare in Southern India. Found under a Tulsi plant by a temple priest called Sri Vishnuchittar, she was named Kodhai and brought up with great love and care. Kodhai’s foster father had Vatsalya bhav towards Lord Vishnu and would bless him like a parent, thus earning him the moniker of Periazhwar or elder to the deity. Kodhai fell in love with Lord Vishnu and desired to marry only him. As a little child she wore a garland that had been prepared for the Lord, putting it first on herself and then offering it to him. Her father found a strand of hair and admonished her. A new garland was offered to Lord Vishnu but it slipped and fell! Later Lord Vishnu appeared in a dream to Periazhwar and ordered him to offer only the garland that Kodhai wore. Understanding the divine implication Periazhwar took his beautiful daughter and offered her as a bride to Lord Vishnu at the Ranganatha Swamy temple in Srirangam. Kodhai’s most fervent desire came true as she was united with the Lord of her heart, becoming a divine saint or Azhwar.
There are 12 Azhwars or Tamil Vaishnavite saints who are a crucial part of the Bhakti movement – expressing sentiments of selfless longing, devotion, and service to Lord Vishnu in their works. Kodhai also called Andal, Nachiyar, or Goda Devi is the only female Azhwar. As a bhakti saint she composed 30 Tamil devotional songs collectively titled “Tiruppavai” which are sung in the Margazhi month (December) in Southern India. She also composed 143 hymns called Nachiyar Thirumozhi. Thus in the most auspicious month of Dhanurmaas, Kodhai’s devotional compositions are sung each day of the month, culminating in the divine wedding of Kodhai to Lord Vishnu or Goda Krishna Kalyanam on Makar Sankranti day.
Devotees celebrated the divine event with great fervor observing all the traditions – kirtans, garland exchange, families of the bride and groom meeting and exchanging gifts, Vedic rituals and of course dancing and partaking in a divine feast! View glimpses of this beautiful wedding here.
Swami Vivekmurti and Swami Veddarshan Visit to RKT
Revered spiritual personalities from BAPS Swami Vivekmurti and Swami Veddarshan graced the Radha Krishna Temple as ambassadors of Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the founder of the world-renowned BAPS religious and community organization which has established temples and propagated Sanatan Dharma worldwide through the selfless service of millions of volunteers. Coincidentally, BAPS too, is celebrating the centennial anniversary or Shatabdi Mahotsav of Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, a transformational spiritual figure of the century who is admired by all from the Dalai Lama to Tony Blair (former UK Prime Minister). View Glimpses of their blissful visit here.
Sanskriti – Youth Extravaganza and Awards Ceremony
The Dallas chapter of JKYog’s Sanskriti International event, hosted an array of exciting contests for youth in digital, literary, performing, and visual arts. From chess to public speaking, singing, dancing, painting, and many other enticing events, DFW youth got the opportunity to display their talents and gain performance opportunities in bigger audiences. View glimpses of contests here:
The event culminated in a grand award ceremony attended by proud parents. View glimpses of award ceremony here. Sanskriti is an example of how RKT Dallas is preparing the ground for the next generation of Indian American youngsters to sustain cultural and spiritual traditions.
Thyagaraja Aradhana and Satsang
RKT Dallas organized the popular South Indian devotional music festival called Thyagaraja Aradhana, celebrating Bahula Panchami, the day of ascension to the divine abode of renowned music composer/ saint Thyagaraja who wrote many nectarine devotional songs for Lord Rama in Telugu. Carnatic music enthusiasts performed Thyagaraja’s famous Pancharatna Kritis – five kirtans in various Ragas consisting of various poetic and musical adornments of traditional Carnatic music. The performances were accompanied by violinists and mridangists. The event was well attended by music lovers. View glimpses here.
International Women’s Day Celebrations and Awards Ceremony
Since 2021 RKT Dallas has been commemorating International Women’s Day (Mar 8) organizing special expert panel discussions to address gender issues, raise awareness, and promote gender equality. World renowned personalities have graced the event in the past such as renowned social worker Padmashri late Dr. Sindhutai Sapkal, international authority on Ayurveda, Dr. Smita Naram and United States Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Accomplished women in various fields are recognized with awards by Swami Mukundananda and JKYog for their contributions. In 2022, Purple Heart Recipient, Iraq War Veteran and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Senator Tammy Duckworth delivered an opening message. The International Conference on Forging Gender Equality in the 21st Century featured rousing and insightful talks by renowned scientists, social workers, entrepreneurs from India, South Africa, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. They shared their life stories, perspectives, and practical solutions to the unfortunate yet prevalent scenario of gender bias. #BreakTheBias was the theme for International Women’s Day 2022. You can read about the full event here.
Holi Celebrations, Meet and Greet and Dallas Holifest 2022
Bollywood music director and devotee of Swami Mukundananda, Harry Anand joined in the grand Holi celebrations with Holika Dahan. A special meet and greet was organized for the community on the occasion. Rounding of Q1 was the highlight of the Holi celebrations - the sizzling Dallas Holifest – Harry Anand and Bollywood singer Shalmali Kholgade performed live songs, that ignited the audience’s enthusiasm. People danced with great energy, throwing colors of Holi on each other. It made for some gorgeous visuals. Look here.
Grand Inauguration – Center for Indian Culture and Education
The DFW community came together in a delightful celebration of Indian culture and spirituality at the Phase 2 Inauguration of the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas - JKYog Center for Indian Culture and Education. The 3 Day extravaganza which was also graced by several Texas state officials – Allen city Mayor Ken Fulk issues a proclamation. The highlight of the event was Swamiji’s heart touching, tear inducing narration of the lifetimes of three illustrious saints who made significant literary contributions to Indian culture through their devotional compositions and musical accomplishments - Sant Haridas, Sant Ravidas, and Sant Soordas. Various Vedic ceremonies were performed, and the public thronged the event. Read more here and here. The CICE inauguration was JKYog’s crowning achievement in the centennial year of Jagadguruttam Shri Kripaluji Maharaj establishing an epicenter for cultural and spiritual education in DFW and the USA. Catch some glimpses here and here.
Walk for Education and Healthcare Supporting Jagadguru Kripalu University and Hospital
JKYog’s global fundraising initiative supporting Jagadguru Kripalu University (JKYog India Headquarters) and Jagadguru Kripalu Naturopathy Hospital - Walk for Education and Healthcare was inaugurated with much fanfare by Swamiji. Swamiji along with hundreds of devotees kicked off the fundraiser formally with a 5K Walk. Team Dallas and Team Houston devotees shared their inspiring fundraising stories. Eventually the Nanban foundation matched donations from devotees worldwide taking the final amount raised at the end of 2022 to over $1 million! Catch some glimpses of the walk and blissful picnic here. Learn more about how you can contribute to Swamiji’s mission for the underprivileged here.
JKYog International Festival of Yoga
JKYog International Festival of Yoga has touched and inspired thousands of hearts in an unprecedented way since its inception 8 years ago. From Jun 15-21, 2022, worldwide Yoga and wellness enthusiasts were fortunate to once again from benefit from inspiring talks by world renowned spiritual leaders, doctors, alternative/integrative medicine, yoga, and wellness experts. JKYog was honored to welcome esteemed spiritual luminaries, Pujya Swami Chidanananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Swami Sarvapriyananda of Ramakrishna Mission, Pujya Bhaishri Shri Rameshbhai Oza of Sandipani Vidyaniketan and JKYog founder Swami Mukundananda to deliver profoundly uplifting messages for the world yoga community. Texas state officials, visitors and devotees joined Swamiji in releasing hundreds of balloons to celebrate the spirit of unity in recognition of the 2022 theme of the International Day of Yoga, which is Yoga for Humanity. Mayor of Allen, Mr. Kenneth M Fulk, read the Proclamation that applauded the Radha Krishna Temple for hosting the JKYog International Festival of Yoga 2022. He declared it to be a valuable opportunity that united the local and global communities, fostered increased health awareness, united all individuals with a common goal, and promoted peace and harmony. Special carnival for children and a health fair featuring prominent doctors in the DFW metroplex were organized – both events were highly appreciated. Insightful QnA sessions of Swami Mukundananda with Allen City Mayor Ken Fulk and Amy Gnadt (President AISD Board of Trustees); with youth and with Bollywood Music director Harry Anand (on “The Power of Thoughts”) provided multifaceted viewpoints on Yoga, Bhakti, and wellness for all. They were highly anticipated and well attended. Each day of the Festival of Yoga featured melodious kirtans by various Kirtan groups including the Art of Living and Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas. The blissful, devotional chants featured beautiful fusion music that delighted the hearts of music lovers and Bhakti yogis alike. Harry Anand’s scintillating Bhakti Fest concert catapulted the joy and energy of the attendees. Read more about the various informational sessions and lectures by renowned spiritual masters here.
JKYog Family Camp Week with Swami Mukundananda/Rath Yatra Mahotsav
The JKYog Spiritual Retreat and Family Camp 2022 with Swami Mukundananda was SHEER BLISS! Each day outdid the previous days in the amount of devotional joy experienced by attendees. Devotees got the golden opportunity to celebrate Radha Krishna Rath Yatra in the centennial year of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj and were invigorated as they watched Swamiji dancing ecstatically amid rapturous Kirtan. Chappan Bhog was offered to Shri Maharajji with great love by all the devotees and devotees took part in loving Jhulan or swinging of Shri Maharajji. The nectarine Kirtans deepened the sadhana of the devotees. Above all Swamiji's blissful lectures on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 and the esoteric Gopi Geet captured the hearts of listeners. Each day would end with Swamiji and the devotees running around the hall dancing and swaying to ecstatic Hari Naam Sankirtan!! The much-awaited JKYog Idol enthused and entertained the retreat participants. Online and in person attendees shared their heartfelt Bhajan offerings during Mehfil. Each day devotees shared devotional treasures they discovered at the Family Camp. Children and youth also enjoyed fun activities and presented their learnings through posters and skits on Vedic philosophy and divine pastimes. They were presented awards by Swamiji. Devotees enjoyed a delightful picnic and parikrama with Swamiji: they played several outdoor games that generated much excitement and enthusiasm among adults and children alike. Attendees adored Swamiji’s playful and active persona as he egged them on during tug of war and other games! He also graciously served the devotees food during the picnic. Harry Anand presented a Bhajan for Swamiji. It was an unforgettable experience for all who attended worldwide and the best retreat ever. At the JKYog Family Camp 2022, the JKYog Youth launched for the first time ever, a fundraiser, Merch4JKU in support of Jagadguru Kripalu University initiatives for education and healthcare, showcasing T-shirts and various decorative items. Youth club attendees contributed to creating beautiful plaques with quotes by Swami Mukundananda in support of the fundraiser. They managed to raise $5000 in under a week at the family camp! This initiative was a collaboration by JKYog Youth across multiple states. Dynamic youth club members Niharika Warty (TX), Kartik Chokkavarapu (VA), Soham Patel (NC) delivered a presentation to the retreat audience sharing more information about the inspiration behind the initiative and how youth across the nation can participate.
Catch beautiful glimpses here: Lectures, Kirtan and Interactive Activities, Mehfil, Rath Yatra, Jhulan Leela, Chappan Bhog, Radha Krishna Abhishek, Youth and Bal Mukund, Picnic, Harinam Sankirtan, JKYog Idol.
BAPS Spiritual Personalities Visit RKT – Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shatabdi Mahotsav.
Several spiritual personalities were warmly welcomed with great respect by the devotees of RKT Dallas. Devotees gathered around to hear words of wisdom from the revered spiritual personalities. The saints blessed the temple priests. All the saints offered homage to the Sita Ram, Radha Krishna deities and Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj deities. Volunteers gifted Bhagavad Gita commentary by Swami Mukundananda to BAPS. RKT Dallas issued a letter of felicitation for the Shatabdi Mahotsav of Pramukh Swami Maharaj on behalf of the temple community. Catch wonderful glimpses here.
Guru Purnima Celebrations
A 3-day grand celebration of Guru Poornima was conducted – the occasion was particularly special as it was the Guru Poornima celebration in the centennial year of Shree Maharajji. Devotees offered Bhog with love to Shree Maharajji and expressed their gratitude in video messages. Swamiji delivered a live lecture and offered a kirtan. Shree Maharajji’s Charan Poojan, Abhishek and Aarti were performed. Devotees participated in a special Antakshari based on Maharajji’s kirtans. Everyone relished beautiful kirtan compositions of Shree Maharajji sung expertly with great bhaav by the RKT Dallas Kirtan team. Attendees contemplated on the divine wisdom of Shree Maharajji’s lectures.
RKT Gives Back – Supporting Allen Public Library
At the July 12 City of Allen City Hall Council Meeting, Radha Krishna Temple, Allen TX presented a check to Library Director Jeff Timbs, donating $10,000 to the Allen Library Endowment Fund (ALEF). Radha Krishna Temple donated the funds towards the upcoming Allen Public Library expansion. Catch glimpses here.
Sundarkand by Shri Atul Purohit at RKT CICE
Shri Atul Purohit is a devotional music singer, and one of the most well-known voices today in Gujarati Folk Music (Garba). He is famous for his Sundarkand renditions. He is a living legend with whom Navratri celebrations are synonymous. RKT Dallas was privileged to host a Sundarkand Path conducted by none other than Shri Atul Purohit in the divine presence of Swami Mukundananda. The event was thronged by the DFW Gujarati community. A packed CICE hall was lost in the mesmerizing devotional rendition of Sundarkand. Swami Mukundananda expressed his appreciation. Shri Atul Purhot ji also offered his homage to the deities of Shri Sita Ram, Shri Radha Krishna, and Shree Maharajji.
Catch glimpses from the event here.
Grand Worldwide Janmashtami Mahotsav
The festivities at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas, JKYog USA Headquarters drew thousands of people each day who thronged every open corridor and hall. Krishna Leela by the RKT Dallas theater group, Krishna Leela displays, Swamiji's nectarine address captured the hearts of devotees. The temple was resplendent in festive decorations. Swamiji’s Janmashtami address at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas Janmashtami Mahotsav celebrations inspired devotees to develop a close connection with Shri Krishna and increase their love for Shri Krishna. He described the five types of blissful relationships one can develop with Shri Krishna - Shaant (that of the subjects towards their king), Dasya (servant of Shri Krishna), Sakhya (friend of Shri Krishna), Vatsalya (parents of Shri Krishna), Madhurya (seeing Shri Krishna as the beloved). Janmashtami Day featured a beautiful Abhishek of Bal Krishna by Swami Mukundananda. Ecstatic kirtans kept the audience devotionally inspired throughout. The event reached its climax when Baby Krishna was welcomed amid a packed hall with hundreds of devotees eagerly awaiting their beloved Lord. Swamiji broke out into a spontaneous dance and threw candies into the audience. Children received special Janmashtami gifts. Read more about the event here.
Life Transformation Program with Swami Mukundananda
Life Transformation Program at Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas featuring Yoga, meditation, discourses by Swami Mukundananda on “Science of Happiness”, was packed with people across the United States relishing the nectarine wisdom and bliss showered by Swamiji. Devotees thronged the special morning walk, Satsang and breakfast with Swamiji, often using the opportunity to clarify their doubts. Allen City Mayor Ken Fulk was also present. Catch glimpses here: Morning Walk, Yoga, Lecture and Kirtan
JKYog Dallas Retreat with Swami Mukundananda
Hundreds of devotees relished Swami Mukundananda's concluding lectures on Chapter 7 of the Bhagavad Gita - Jnana Vijnana Yog. Swamiji stressed the importance of using adversities as opportunities for growth instead of becoming dejected and demoralized by them. He said that when a plane takes off, at first it is surrounded by the darkness of clouds and with further thrust it breaks through the cloud barriers into the dazzling brightness of day. Similarly we too must inculcate the quality of grit in the spiritual journey - pressing on when difficulties seem to press us downwards.
During the heart melting Radhashtami celebrations, Swamiji highlighted that Radharani is Yogmaya personified. Using the power of Yogmaya God keeps himself hidden from the souls and performs various divine pastimes. Further the souls themselves are shrouded in Maya. So even though God is seated within our hearts as the soul of our soul, we do not realize His presence or feel His bliss. Only when we surrender to Him, does He reveal Himself to us removing Maya and bestowing Yogmaya. Little Radharani was welcomed with beautiful Kirtans as devotees poured their hearts out singing, clapping and dancing in love for the divine mother, without whom the divine father Shree Krishna is incomplete. Swamiji delighted Dallas devotees during the enchanting picnic and Mehfil with energetic dancing. Participants presented cultural items in devotion to God and Guru. The Jeopardy game based on Bhagavad Gita enthused and enlivened all the attendees. Youth and children benefitted from specially tailored programs. Blissful Yoga, pranayama, subtle body relaxation and meditation was a deeply rejuvenating experience.
Sharad Purnima 2022 – Jagadguruttam Shri Kripaluji Maharaj Centenary
Devotional emotions ran high at RKT Dallas, as the devotees gathered to honor Jagadguruttam Shri Kripaluji Maharaj’s spiritual legacy on his 100th birth anniversary. Everyone performed Charan Poojan, Abhishek, and lit lamps in honor of Shree Maharajji. A grand Bhog of 108 items gave attendees the opportunity to express their loving sentiments for their beloved Gurudev. Soulful Guru kirtans and temple Aartis immersed everyone in the nectar of Bhakti. Children and youth also participated enthusiastically. Several distinguished personalities also attended the festivities.
Worldwide Diwali Mahotsav 2022
Diwali Mahotsav from Oct 21-25 united the DFW community in a glittering 5 Day Celebration. October 2022 was declared as Diwali Month by Allen City Mayor Ken Fulk. Swami Mukundananda's message of overcoming the inner demons of pride and ignorance with divine knowledge touched the hearts of the diverse audience. Thousands of people thronged the 5 Day Grand RKT Diwali Mahotsav from Oct 21-25, 2022, at JKYog US Headquarters Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas . Many fortunate souls attended the celebrations in Swami Mukundananda 's divine presence online. READ MORE HERE
The Grand Wedding – Tulsi Vivah (Tulsi Mata Weds Shri Krishna)
Close on the heels of the glittering Diwali Mahotsav, the DFW Community celebrated the last festival of the great Indian festival calendar in style – Tulsi Vivah or the divine wedding of Tulsi ji and Krishna Swaroop Shaligram ji. Dallas devotees were blessed to celebrate the festival in the divine presence of none other than Bhakti Saint Swami Mukundananda. The stupendous arrangements by the volunteers to create a divine wedding ambiance, from decorations, devotional Kirtans, Dandiya dancing, Haldi, Mehndi, Sangeet to elaborate wedding rituals, delightful wedding banter, and a sumptuous feast, ensured that everyone felt like a part of joyous celebrations. READ MORE HERE
Book Launch – Golden Rules for Living Your Best Life
National Bestselling Author, Swami Mukundananda unveiled the very first hard copies of his new book Golden Rules for Living Your Best Life! Attendees worldwide were treated to a delightful interactive session based on the book, ably conducted by RKT Dallas Temple Volunteers. Swamiji shared key insights for a well-balanced life addressing many common lifestyle concerns and providing a glimpse of how his latest book “Golden Rules for Living Your Best Life” equips readers with lifehacks for easy implementation. Watch the full session HERE.
He expressed a crucial point: Life does not come with a manual. People think that they need to wait years to amass the knowledge to live a fulfilling life. However, nothing could be further from the truth. This book contains insights culled over multiple decades, from his career as a preacher providing spiritual succor and solace to millions, and from his own unique life experience. It is an offering of love from his side for people to catapult their quality of life and manifest their potential.
Catch event glimpses HERE.
Bhagavad Gita Summit – Celebrating Gita Jayanti
Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas is celebrated the anniversary of Shree Krishna’s greatest gift to the world – the Holy Bhagavad Gita at the BG Summit by bringing together Vedic scholars, academicians, devotees, and spiritual aspirants under one roof.
The event featured a grand opening ceremony keynote by Swami Mukundananda, daily talks by esteemed speakers, special sessions for children and youth, and an incredibly special closing ceremony with BG Samuhik chanting of seven hundred verses on December 4th along, concluding keynote and poornahuti. Guest speakers included Pravrajika Divyanandaprana, Dr. Jon Radwan, Pujya Swami Aparaajitaanand, and Dr. Nitai Sevini Mataji. Worldwide Gita enthusiasts relished the different perspectives of the speakers regarding applications of the Bhagavad Gita, in daily life and the spiritual journey.
Give/Get and Swamiji’s Angel Campaign Launch
JKYog's amazing race to $5M by December 2023 for world class education and healthcare for underprivileged millions. A grand fundraiser - Give/Get Campaign - in support of global spiritual leader, JKYog Founder Swami Mukundananda's mega project - Jagadguru Kripalu University and Hospital was successfully launched on Dec 17, in Swamiji's divine presence, with hundreds of people volunteering to become Swamiji's angels of service! Many people expressed their sincere gratitude to Swamiji. This event was the most beautiful conclusion to an extremely dynamic year of expanding JKYog’s mission worldwide. Watch glimpses HERE: