We were invited to the Kumbha Abhisekam ceremony in a Vishnu Temple in Tamil Nadu, South India. After smarta brahmanas had recited various suktas and performed some yajnas, we were invited on the stage to perform kirtan and speak from the Bhagavad-gita. I spoke about fifteen minutes and introduced the "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" and Back to Godhead magazine in Tamil.
We were well into a second kirtan when all of a sudden people became a little excited and began looking behind us. We turned around and saw a Mayavadi sannyasi with an eka-danda walking up on the stage. He gestured with approval toward our kirtan party, so all the people begin to again enthusiastically chant Hare Krishna with us. I didn't want to stop chanting, for I knew that as soon we stopped they would ask him to speak. But eventually we had to stop. I offered him pranams with
folded hands, and the host immediately announced that we were very fortunate that His Holiness Sahajananda Swami from the Kancheepuram Sankaracarya
Matha was with us and that he would enlighten us with a half-hour spiritual message. (All of us thought, "O, no!! Now some Mayavada rubbish will come out.")
Surprisingly, instead of speaking the Swami started gesturing with his hand, and someone figured out that he was performing Caturmasya Mauna Vrata (no speaking for four months). The host requested us to speak instead of the Swami. Our Madhavananda Prabhu enthusiastically took up the mike and started glorifying the supremacy of Lord Krishna and the greatness of the Vaishnava acharyas, all the while quoting various slokas. Then we all took Bhagavad-gitas and BTGs and announced the day's special offer. Finally we rushed into the crowd for distribution while the brahmanas continued with their Vastu Homam.
The Mayavadi Swami just continued sitting silently like a statue while the devotees blissfully ran around for two hours, distributing Srila Prabhupada's books. Most of the people took at least one copy of BTG, and some took Gitas and SSRs. Swamiji will surely receive a lot of bhakti-sukriti for his silent evening! :)
Transcendental Book Distribution ki jay!!
Mayavadi Mauna Vrata ki jay!!
Srila Prabhupada ki jay!!
Your fallen servant,
Vasudeva Datta dasa