By Jaimal Patel
NHSF (UK) London Zone Coordinator
When I think of Hanumanji I think immediately think of the word ‘sevak’ which means servant. He serves Lord Ram unconditionally and has shown this throughout the infamous Hindu holy book, The Ramayana. This year, NHSF (UK) London and South Zone focused on Hanumanji as we believe he has great qualities such as being strong, fearless, loyal and always willing to help others – qualities that all students should pursue.
At the NHSF (UK) Annual General Meeting in March 2014, both zones decided to create a new and unique concept for Bhakti as we wanted to move away from the traditional NHSF (UK) Bhakti events. Deep thought went into what could be done to unite London and South Zone chapters, and bring Bhakti to a grassroots level. This led to the idea of Hanumanji on Tour. For two years this idea was something I had wanted to implement and both teams agreed that it was the way forward for both zones. It was simple, Bhakti events are organised by the chapters and we attend to show our support as national committee. Each chapter does 11 Hanuman Chalisas, as 11 is an auspicious number and Hanumanji is the 11th incarnation of Lord Shiva. London and South Zone chapters also collaborated and show each other support, creating a strong parivar.
When we first pitched the idea at June Committees’ Day 2014, many committee members were on board and understood the importance of Bhakti. NHSF Queen Mary kicked off the tour in October where they passionately sung the Hanuman Chalisa, which enlightened many. As the tour went on throughout London Zone, Hanumanji’s Murti travelled across London to each event. Each Hanumanji on Tour event incorporated learning and Sewa and as each chapter recited 11 Hanuman Chalisas, there was a sense of unity amongst both zones. The tour has been phenomenal. The effort chapters have put in shows they understand Bhakti and Hanumanji. Each chapter offered prashad to Hanumanji and welcomed him into their university with open arms.
When the finale arrived on Saturday 7th March 2015 at Greenwich Hindu Temple, the community and the students came to together to recite the Hanuman Chalisa 108 times. With early planning and a strong relationship with the Mandir, we were able to have the support of the community. The day started at 8.30am, when chapters arrived and started preparing for the day ahead. Just before we began the 108 Hanuman Chalisa, we performed a Ganesh Puja, which was a wonderful way to start off the day as Ganeshji symbolises prosperity and removes any obstacles to bring in positive energy. An annkut was laid out for Hanumanji and prashad was offered to all who attended. Attendees had the opportunity to offer ladoos to Hanumanji and gain his blessings, which I was proud to see. Students from NHSF Kingston, Royal Holloway, Roehampton and others chapters arrived to sing, and as always, Sadguru Seva Samiti joined us to worship the Lord. The Mandir was quickly bursting with spiritual chanting as numerous people came to worship our greatest sevak, with over 150 attendees all chanting the Chalisa – there was a breathtaking ambience.
Overall Hanumanji on Tour has been amazing this year, with 23 chapters taking part in the tour and in total 326 Hanuman Chalisa’s being recited altogether. Approximately 300 students have attended Hanumanji on Tour events. NHSF (UK) London and South Zone would like to thank all our supporters and particularly the chapters who took part in the tour.
Watch our Hanumanji on Tour 2014-2015 video on the link below: