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Dandvat Pranam to all devotees.
I was in Hyderabad for this year's Rath Yatra celebrations. It is very beautifully organised by the Hyderabad temple. Its a one day function - they take their lordships on Rath to a venue, do a program there, distribute prasadam and then disperse.
I was in the Rath Yatra procession. At one point, we were walking very close to the rath. I went ahead trying to catch some maha prasad being thrown from the rath. I had my saree pallu out. In front of the rath, there were some police men walking with the rath and trying to manage the crowd. One policeman saw me with my saree pallu out and understood that I want prasad. Seeing him, I started to move away. He was carrying a small carton. He took out one vanilla ice cream cup from the carton and put in my pallu!!!!!!!! I could not believe it. I was so pleasantly surprised!!! I went back to him and asked for a couple of spoon sticks and then we shared the ice cream.
I am still thrilled at the incident. It has also given me a lesson - how I became sooooo happy to receive a free gift from Jagannath, that same way I should accept when I have to give a free gift to Jagannath some day and not question and complain when I face any pain. It also taught me that the way I became happy with the free gift of a small cup of ice cream, if we do something for the lord simply for Their pleasure, and without thinking I will get good results out of it, it will make Them also happy. So we should not confine ourselves to only chanting our committed rounds everyday or be set in doing our designated seva everyday. We should do something extra to please the lord, just for His pleasure. That will please Him. We should not expect anything, not even spiritual growth. We should expect only to please the lord.