So, as I said in my previous day blog, that since, it was almost 2 AM, Kanai Thakur Prabhu announced that it was not compulsory for us to attend the morning Mangal aarti but how can we be in that place and dare miss a Mangal aarti? Most of us were there in the temple hall. J
The first look at Radha Madhav was magnificent. I could bet, all of us fell in love with them. Now, that is what I would call as love in first sight. :)
The Mangal Aarti would start with Radha Madhav and Panchtattva simultaneously, followed by Narsimha aarti and then tulasi aarti.
Mangal aarti would end at 5:30 AM and later we all would chant our rounds. Most of us would chant in the temple hall itself which used to be fully packed. Few also used to go out of the temple and chant in lawns, gardens. Very few would even walk and chant.
At 7 AM, all devotees would gather in the temple hall for the darshan aarti which starts with Narsimha aarti, Panchtattva aarti and Radha Madhav aarti. Later the idol of Guru Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is taken from Radha Madhav Mandir in small chariot which I can say is similar to ‘Palki’. The whole atmosphere was so blissful.
Guru Prabhupada’s idol is first purified by water and given darshan of Radha Madhav, then of Lord Narsimha and then of Panchtattva. The Chariot then is circumbulating all the three deities three times with Kirtans. Then, it is placed before the big statue of Prabhupada for some time and later taken back to its original place. It was so wonderful watching this all and for some time I had totally lost my memory as to who am I and my life etc etc. I was just lost in the celebration of seeing Radha Madhav first thing in morning.
Radha Madhava deities were huge with eight sakhis in the first hall. The deities were in the order of Tungavidya (1st sakhi), Citra (2nd sakhi), Champakalata (3rd sakhi), Lalita (4th sakhi), Madhava, Radha, Vishakha (5th sakhi), Indulekha (6th sakhi), Rangadevi (7th sakhi) and Sudevi (8th sakhi).
In front of this stage of Radha Madhav were kept the imprints of feet of these deities (8 sakhis and Radha Madhav).
One of the senior devotees (Prema Mataji) was standing beside me in the aarti and it was so kind of her to tell me all the details of the temple hall and what is where and all the significance and most importantly what should we pray to whom? That time I realized, what mistake I used to make all these years by just seeing the deity, admiring them for their beauty or way they were decorated. I think this is what all materialistic people like me does. But, that time I understood why Prabhuji used to tell us that it is by ears that you can get the qualification of seeing God. It is by hearing and knowing the glories that you can know the reality and the significance. By seeing, you can hardly know anything.
So, I prayed according to her instructions to the eight sakhis to give me devotional service as they have) and Radha Madhav to never take me away from their lotus feet.
Later, we went to take the sardari of Lord Narsimha who were placed in the first hall perpendicular to Radha Madhav Deities on the left hand side. Sardari is the silver Crown of Lord placed on each devotees head. We also took the holy water offered to Lord’ ‘Tirth Prasad’.
Later, I went to Panchtattva Deities which were in the second Hall in the order of Advait Acharya, Nityananda Acharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Gadhadhar Acharya, and Shivas Acharya. They were huge and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with his hands spread felt as if he is calling us so eagerly and so lovingly to come back to Godhead. Such love was flowing from his form that never felt like going away. I wondered how very stupid am I to leave him and come to this material world – dukhalay!!
Thereafter all devotees take blessings of Guru Prabhupada individually and offer flowers. (Guru Puja).
Srila Prabhupada is placed opposite to Radha Madhav deities in the first hall. The whole morning program ends with enchanting Kirtans and Dance by Devotees at 8 AM.
We were all told to gather in front of Gada Bhavan for breakfast prasadam. Breakfast was from 8 to 9 AM. It has a capacity to serve 1000 devotees at a time. Due to night travel and hectic traveling no programs were there afterwards and devotees were advised to rest and gather again at the same place for lunch prasadam at 2 PM and thereafter to gather at Gada Lawns at 3:30 PM. We hardly took rest as we were highly excited to see a place like that and all our tiredness had vanished seeing the enchanting deities. Many of us took a round of the place and admiring the beauty, peacefulness and most importantly the aura it had!!
After having nice lunch prasadam, we were all excited as now we would be going to different places and hear lectures from very senior prabhujis. As we were gathering in the gada lawn, kirtans would start in the meanwhile waiting for all the devotees to gather. We were then taken to Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir at 4.40 PM. After taking Darshan and paying obeisance to Guru Prabhupada we all assembled at a small auditorium there inside the Samadhi. After some initial announcements, sankirtana etc. there was a lecture by senior foreign Maharaj H.H. Bhakti Vigna Vinashak Narsimha Swami Maharaj.
H.G. Bal Govind Prabhu gave a small introduction about H.H. Bhakti Vigna Vinashak Narsimha Swami Maharaj. He is currently preaching in China. He has also preached KC in Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia. China is the toughest place on planet earth to go and preach. We all here get a cultural background and we are conducive to practice 4 principles and chant. But Maharaj goes and preaches on the land where there is opposition from every single atomic particle from the environment. There is opposition from government, social culture but besides all these, he has successfully collected a group of devotees who come every year at the Gaur Purnima festival to Mayapur. Also, Maharaj is very famous for his teaching as a bhakti shashtri and bhakti Vaibhav teacher. He is one of the initiating gurus in Iskcon. He comes every year to Mayapur from last 8-10 years for his teaching work. Hence we were very happy and fortunate to have his association and listen from him. Thus, we welcomed him by loudly chanting “Haribol” 3 times. :)
The lecture was on Mayapur. I shall try my best to transcript it.
H.H. Bhakti Vigna Vinashak Narsimha Swami Maharaj first thanked us and said that he is more honored to be able to address the devotees from Pune. I have been coming to Mayapur every year in this time of the year from last 8-10 years for teaching work as Mayapur is very dear and important place to all devotees of Iskcon. Prabhupada describes it as the headquarters of the international society of Krishna consciousness. Before Gaur Purnima, there would be an annual meeting and Prabhupada told all the temple leaders and temple managers come every year and attend. They would talk together and discuss how to organize the preaching work for this society.
We should understand why world headquarters is here is Mayapur Dham?
Mayapur Dham is not different from Vrindavan Dham. Just like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is non-different from Radha and Krishna, Mayapur Dham is non-different from Vrindavan Dham. Mayapur Dham is Avadharya Dham. Krishna is purushottam. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Avadharya avatar. He is the most merciful of all the incarnations. He has come to deliver the mercy. So, we can get the greatest mercy here in Mayapur as Lord’s Mercy overflowing.
In Vrindavan, Prabhupada told us one should be very careful not to commit offences. In Vrindavan, you get lot of opportunity, lot of purification by doing devotional service. So, whatever service we do in Vrindavan, we get 100 times of benefit what we would get in other places. Prabhupada warned us that in Vrindavan, if you commit offence, you get 100 times reaction. It is very serious. But in Mayapur, this is not the case. Mayapur is the place of mercy. Even if you lie down and go to sleep at night, you get the benefit of offering obeisances.
Just like in chanting the holy names of Krishna, there are offences to be avoided; but in chanting the Panchtattva mantra there are no offences. So, this is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishna would kill the demons but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu converted the demons in to devotees. So, this is the significance of Mayapur Dham – a place of mercy – greatest mercy.
Prabhupada brought the devotees to India in 1971 and he wanted to secure land in this land of Mayapur. He felt that his god brothers are suspecting that they didn’t want him to get land here. There were restricting. However, there came a chance where one Mohammed (Muslim) was willing to sell a land and so Prabhupada sent two of his leading disciples – Tamal Krishna Goswami and Baldev Mathan Swami Maharaj. The two of them were sent to purchase a land on behalf of Prabhupada. Prabhupada gave money in cash to Tamal Krishna Goswami. Now, at this time in Bengal devotees were a lot of naxalites. There was a lot of killing and plundering, very dangerous and Prabhupada was giving money to these foreigners to come out here to Mayapur which was in those days was really jungle. Prabhupada himself showed them how to carry money, to wrap it in the cloth and tie it in the dhoti.
Prabhupada was so happy when they returned to Calcutta and said the land is yours!! Prabhupada was so pleased and he congratulated them. So, you see that in the beginning when you enter through the gate, there is a small Bhajan Kutir known as Prabhupada Bhajan Kutir where Kirtan goes on for 24 hours round the clock now. This was the original place in Mayapur where the devotees along with Prabhupada resided and where they began their worship and began preaching in this area. So, it was 1974 the same here when they opened a Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan.
Prabhupada asked the devotees in Vrindavan to come for a festival (gaur Purnima) at Mayapur. This was the first festival for Iskcon devotees. Those days to come to Mayapur, there was no proper road. There was no road at all. It was mostly sand. Srila Prabhupada told us that Bhakti Vinod Thakur had a vision that in future that there would be a great city here and the centre of this city would be a temple i.e. the Vedic Planetarium. Prabhupada wanted that we shall develop it. He described the deities that he wanted to worship, Radha Madhav with his eight sakhis and Panchtattva were to be there. He gave all the basic instructions for the temple. In the beginning it was very simple. We had 1 building which is now known as Lotus building. The deities and the temple room were in the basement of the lotus building. So, all the programs everything was in the basement. All the devotees used to stay in the lotus building and Prabhupada would also stay here i.e. Prabhupada’s original room when he comes to Mayapur.
Prabhupada really liked Mayapur very much. Sometimes he would be travelling in America and then suddenly to his secretary he would say let’s go back to Godhead. Let’s go back to Mayapur. He would stop travelling and come back to Mayapur.
So, Prabhupada was very concerned, very important part of Prabhupada’ s visionary work was to establish the nice temple in Mayapur Dham for the worship of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and for the inspiration of the devotees all over the world, to build the desires of Bhakti Vinod Thakur, Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur. The Mayapur Dham has become more and more popular in recent years. We are seeing now the temple beginning after so many years. Because of the communist party ruling in Bengal, we were always trying to negotiate with them to get the permission to put up the building but they would deny for temples as they would say there is no need of any more temple. They would always discourage us. But, only recently when the government changed we got the permission for the temple and begin to fulfill the desire of Bhakti Vinod Thakur.
Mayapur Dham is the heart of our KC movement. All the pastimes of Lord Krishna are in Vrindavan and the same places are also here. There are 9 islands (Navadwip) and Mayapur is situated in the centre of the lotus. Around Mayapur there are these 9 islands representing the 9 processes of devotional service.
Bhakti Vinod Thakur had initiated the preaching work here. Because there was a controversy as where is the actual birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? If you go to Navadwip, there is one temple there and they would say this is the temple here where Mahaprabhu appeared. But Bhakti Vinod Thakur researched in all the shashtras, Chaitanya Mangal, Chaitanya Bhagwat, Chaitanya Charitamrita and all other scriptures in relation of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his associates. After all the study he understood that Navadwip could not be the birth place. It was impossible. So, he researched and researched and was able to find out it was Mayapur, actually over here where he was able to see from his own home some illuminated pictures from this area. So, he came over and investigated. He found a deity of Lord Vishnu which was worshipped by Jagannatha Mishra (Lord Chaitanya’s father).
Hence, all of this helped to confirm that Mayapur was the actual birthplace. Bhakti Vinod Thakur brought Jagannatha babaji over to this place and when he came here he jumped and danced in ecstasy. Then it got confirmed that this is the actual place of birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So, Bhakti Vinod Thakur came ahead to build a temple at this place but it was not easy as there was opposition as in this whole area most of the residents are Muslims. Bhakti Vinod Thakur had to go and personally begged to people in Calcutta to donate so that a building could be constructed. Thus, a small building Yogpeeth was built.
Our spiritual grandfather Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur (BSST) as a young man used to reside at the Yogpeeth and he would manage it on behalf of his father. He was also doing a huge austerity at this time. He made a vow to chant many lakh times the holy name and at some point he was just living under an umbrella and eating practically nothing. But, then he got encouragement and they were inspired by his spiritual powers and wanted that he should go forward and preach. This person became his disciple and encouraged him in giving up the austerities and to go out and preach and in this way there were able to develop the Yogpeeth. Then later, of course Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur disappeared from this world and then there were so many god brothers coming up with their own thing and hence we see so many Gaudiya math coming up in this area of Mayapur Dham.
Prabhupada was very discouraged over the fighting going on and arguing who should get what property and what land etc. Prabhupada felt preaching is more important than going to the court and fighting for bricks and stones. As a result he brought his disciples, followers to this place and with their help he was able to purchase this land here in Mayapur. So, in the beginning it was slow and simple and not a lot to show. But, Prabhupada encouraged us to preach. When people would come here and visit this place, they would all appreciate the simplicity and the beauty of this holy place. The spiritual power which exists in this holy dham is not like any other place.
Prabhupada would reside here particularly in Gaur Purnima festival. He would encourage the devotees and wanted when they would come to Mayapur, devotees should be engaged in hearing and chanting. Hence, they would organize different seminars for hearing and discussing. So when Prabhupada came here he saw that devotees are not taking part in the classes but just coming and sleeping. He was concerned and said better they plough the fields. We can understand Prabhupada’s mood. He wanted everyone to engage in devotional service according to their psycho physical nature.
So, we also have a lot of land around here and Prabhupada wanted that we also grow some food here and be so much self-sufficient. So here there is so much land and many devotees have their houses and gardens and they grow so nice vegetables and greens come up so easily as the soil is so rich and so nice since it was the Ganga basin. Grow vegetables, flowers etc. This is Krishna Consciousness. Utilizing everything for Krishna. So, Prabhupada envisioned that the devotees would be able to do like that.
At that time many refugees would come up from Bangladesh and Prabhupada would give them shelter if they would engage in KC. Prabhupada didn’t deny them the opportunities in becoming a devotee. Bengali ladies helped in making yarn. Prabhupada wanted that we make proper use of the cows and bulls. He was not in favor of much machinery. He wanted to use what is naturally available for the service of Krishna. Hence cows are protected in Mayapur – Goshala.
Eventually Gurukul also began here at Mayapur. Children of the devotees would come in the gurukul. Prabhupada had established gurukul in Dallas, TX. But there was so much trouble from the authorities, government. They didn’t like the way we were educating the children. There were so many difficulties to organize a school in western countries. And so, Prabhupada said let the children all come to India. In Vrindavan and Mayapur, we shall have our gurukul and none shall object. There we shall educate children to be good Vaishnava.
So, Prabhupada enjoyed the gurukul boys and many of them were also initiated by Prabhupada when they were still young boys. Prabhupada would accept them, initiate them. So, Prabhupada enjoyed so much seeing the devotees happily engaged in the service of Krishna here in the Dham. In Prabhupada’s time, we had small Radha Madhav made up of brass. So, Prabhupada began encouraging us in the beginning. You can’t do everything at once. It takes time but Prabhupada laid the foundation of everything. He started the installation process. In those days, we had very few Indian devotees. Most of them were foreigners. Very less Indian people were joining our KC movement. Prabhupada was concerned and said educated class of people is not joining our KC movement. Hence, I am so glad to see so many educated classes of people of Pune and other cities are now taking KC. I am sure it is very pleasing for Prabhupada to see that now so many educated people are coming forward.
Once I was in Thailand and one man said to me there that all the devotees in India are rich and educated and once you are rich and educated you can join Hare Krishna!! J Of course times have changed J
‘Rich’ means spiritually richness and Education means spiritually educated. That is KC which is the real spiritual wealth.
Prabhupada had asked his disciple Ambarish Prabhu that his service was in Mayapur. Ambarish Prabhu was a rich man and so Prabhupada had requested him to use your money in developing Mayapur. So, Ambarish Prabhu is regularly coming to Mayapur and putting his time and money in developing Mayapur and with the beginning of the construction of new temple (Vedic Planetarium), he is playing a major part in financial support.
Another reason, why Mayapur is that we get lot of manpower in Mayapur for the service of Krishna. We have a lot of devotees in Mayapur. There are many devotees who take their buses all over India especially Assam, Bengal, UP and distribute our literature. And once or twice in a year, they return to Mayapur to take part in the festivities. There are a lot of people available here in Mayapur for the service of Krishna and KC movement.
Prabhupada also understood that for all these Bengali people and many come from Bangladesh also, it is natural for them to be KC as they have been brought up with Kirtans and bhajans. So, they are naturally KC devotees. Prabhupada also saw that Mayapur is a place where devotees could come and be trained up and then sent out all over the world for preaching. This is happening now with the departments we have in Mayapur like the Mayapur institution of higher education. These different programs are helping to educate devotees and send them out to educate different parts of the world for preaching work. There are number of devotees staying here and working for MIHE and they are also go to their countries and facilitate the bhakti shashtri and bhakti Vaibhav courses there. I just came back from Calcutta with a devotee who was returning from Middle East and he was teaching bhakti shashtri there. Like this Mayapur is also giving mercy to other parts of the world in the educational programs. This all is in line with Prabhupada’ s mood. He wants his devotees to be nicely trained up to know the philosophy.
Chanting and dancing is also very important. It purifies us. This is what we can get highest out of the temple in Mayapur. With nice Kirtan it is much easier for us to remember Krishna. Remembrance of Krishna is very natural here at Mayapur Dham. Japa or Chanting is also very natural at Mayapur. We will find it much easier to do japa here. Other places people sleep late at nights and then they can’t get up early in morning. In Mayapur, after 9 at night you don’t find too many people awake. Most people are inside and asleep not watching TV.
In Mayapur, people are all getting up by 3:30 AM in morning. People are going around and ringing the bells. At 4.30 Am, you go in the temple room and it is a shock to see the temple spect. Any other place, I know when I go to temple room at 4:30 AM, I am the only one. None else would be there. And if someone is there, it shall be a shock. But in Mayapur, it is amazing that the big hall is full of devotees. This is Mayapur. It is natural in this place and people come from far and wife to Mayapur specially this time of the year from Diwali to Gaur Purnima.
At the time of Ganga sagar also, so many pilgrims come, so many buses. They all make a point to come to mayapur. It is a part of their tour. People come and are appreciating the darshan, deities, the atmosphere and of course all are getting benefit of Mayapur dham. So, coming to the holy dham is not to take a bath. It is for a cow or an ass.
What is the real purpose in coming to the holy dham?
Real purpose of coming to the holy dham is to hear and to associate with the devotees residing in Dham. This is the most important part in coming to the holy dham – to get that association and hear from the devotees who are residing in this dham. So, while you are here in this dham, you have an opportunity to meet people such as H.H Bhakti Vijnapurna maharaj who might be residing here continuously from last 35 years leaving his place at Kolkata. He is running the gurukul. He is very pure and saintly person and I am sure you will be taking the opportunity to go and see his gurukul and how is he running the gurukul. He also has a school for girls, training the girls also to be ideal vaishnavis. He is very enlightened by the nature of the dham.
Another enlightened person you would like to meet is Sankarshan Das who is over in Swaroopganj. He is a relative of Srila Prabhupada. He runs the aarogya centre (Ayurvedic treatment). The healing centre. This was given to us by the Swami Shivananda people as they could not maintain it. We give dental treatment and free medical treatment etc. There is also a school there. He is been living there with his wife. They are very dedicated and renounced people doing service for Srila Prabhupada.
Usually, the prime Time is during the gaur Purnima. At that time, we have is parikrama. We learnt that Jiva Goswami had gone on parikrama as a young man before going to Vrindavan. Parikrama is going around all the holy places of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in the association of Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda personally took Jiva Goswami round all the islands of Navadwip and told him all the pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So Jiva Goswami, Lord Nityananda, they took the time to go around all these holy places. Bhakti Vinod Thakur also encouraged us that we should develop this parikrama and by doing so we shall also become qualified to go back to godhead. The most wonderful experience is going on the parikrama and singing the wonderful songs of Bhakti Vinod Thakur which describes the different Lila of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You can actually see the words of these songs in these places and feel everything in relation to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Of course, when we enter the holy land we should first go and seek permission from Chitrapal (Lord Shiva) who is at the Yogpeeth. We have to seek his blessings to go and see this holy land. Without his blessings we cannot enter this holy dham. This is the procedure. You should go tomorrow and get the blessings of Lord Shiva and this way you can enter the holy dham.
This place where we are siting is Prabhupada’s pushpa Samadhi. His actual Samadhi is in Vrindavan. Prabhupada left his body in Vrindavan and some flowers were brought here for this Samadhi. Just opposite, we have the Samadhi of Tamal Krishna Goswami. He was an intimate disciple and secretary of Srila Prabhupada. He left his body in the year 2002. He was actually the second disciple to leave the body. The first one was Gaur Govinda Goswami Maharaj. He left his body in Mayapur on the day of Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur. He was here for the yearly meetings and when he was residing in one of the rooms and remembering Jagannatha Lila, he left his body. His body was later taken to Bhubaneswar and his body was put Samadhi there. Here is the pushpa Samadhi. Another disciple like Sridhar Swami came to Mayapur and left his body here. Just as Prabhupada wanted to leave his body in holy dham, his disciples are also doing the same thing – coming to Mayapur or Vrindavan and leaving their bodies.
Holy dham is the place for devotional service. We can begin our devotional service or we can get so much benefit. We can make spiritual advancement very quickly in the holy dham. So, this is the easiest place to get the mercy. This is the place where it is all mercy – Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is giving the mercy freely to all of us. We just have to take the advantage of this mercy by just merging ourselves in the activities, hearing and chanting. Don’t miss a moment of any activity. Take part in every activity. Whenever you get a chance, go to temple room and see the deities, hear the Kirtan, attend the aarti. Hear the classes. So, many learned devotees reside here. Take their association. So, it is a wonderful opportunity to become Krishna conscious.
So, many people tell me that after they went to Mayapur, their life is changed. I was at Calcutta for few days preaching there and so many tell me that they became devotees after coming to Mayapur. They come to Mayapur for a day tour, some visit but their lives would change when they see the deities, hear the Kirtans, see the devotees, they cannot remain the same. So, this is the power of Mayapur dham. I don’t think you can go back to Pune the same after coming here. You have to take back the spirit of Dham with you.
There was a sanyasi in Vrindavan who was residing in Vrindavan and Prabhupada said why are still here? I thought you would be going to places preaching. He said No, Prabhupada, it is nice here, to chant and do other activities. Prabhupada said no, you have to give the dham to others. So, this should be our mood. We come here to the holy dham, we get purified, enlivened. We should go back and give the same mercy, spirit to others. What other disease can we get here in Mayapur - Only Krishna consciousness, right? J
Prabhupada wanted everyone in his lifetime, at least once to come to this holy land of Mayapur. Devotees take so much trouble; spend so much money to come. Devotees come from South America, Russia, Africa, China and you can see some are also living here in Mayapur. There are children from these places who study in Mayapur. Parents are willing to make that sacrifice because they understand it is so powerful. It is so worthwhile. So, this is all about Mayapur dham. There is so much more to be said. I shall leave it to you to understand the real glory of the dham. Not just with your own eyes but with your ears, senses we can perceive the glories of the dham.
Later, he asked if there are any questions.
Q) How to retain the motivation after the Mayapur visit?
A) May be you come back every year. May be you shouldn’t go away. May be you just stay here? May be you should keep in touch with the mood of Mayapur dham. J Why does the inspiration go away? We must be doing something wrong in something that is not involved in Mayapur dham. We need to keep ourselves KC by doing regular activities, good sadhana. You need to maintain the same habit of getting up early in morning and going to bed early. Keep the same standards. Why we can’t do it? It is because of our own weakness of mind. We have to be firm, need to have stronger desire. We have to push ourselves a little bit. We should put our efforts trying not to get back to the rot again. As we are chanting our rounds early in the morning here, also try to chant the rounds early in the morning when you go back. Try to keep the similar schedule. Don’t let yourselves to be influenced so easily by maya. There is no difference. Prabhupada said, “I am always in Vrindavan. I may be sitting here in New York but my heart is always in Vrindavan”. So, we should keep Mayapur, Vrindavan in our heart; the same consciousness. We can develop the Mayapur, Vrindavan atmosphere in your own home. It’s possible. It just takes our own effort, our own desire to practice Krishna Consciousness. It is easy for us to slacken off. That tendency can be there. But, if we keep going, then Krishna will help. He reciprocates. Krishna says ‘As you surrender, I reward you accordingly’. It may be difficult for us in the beginning but gradually it becomes easier. Get inspiration from senior devotees. We can get the mood of Mayapur, mood of Krishna consciousness. You might have a family and a job but that is not a problem. Even, Murari Gupta was a grihastha. He was an Ayurveda doctor. He is both - Material and Spiritual Doctor. J So, like this we have to just make a little bit effort in the beginning. Gradually it becomes natural. Don’t let yourself to go to pieces. Try to keep the standard up. Don’t give in to the television, to internet. Try to keep yourself absorbed. Devotional service should be unmotivated and uninterrupted.
Q) It is said that Mayapur is non-different from Vrindavan. How do we understand and appreciate this practically?
A) We have to accept what is said in the scriptures. All the places of Vrindavan are also found here in Mayapur. Everything!! There is a Govardhan Hill and Radha kund established at the Saraswati math. All of these places are here. They have to be revealed to us through great devotees like Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur, Srila Prabhupada. We have to see the dham through their eyes. They are pure. They can see Krishna. They can see dham truly. We can see the holy dham through their vision. They are explaining to us the glories of these places. By their divine words, we can understand what Mayapur dham is and how is it non-different from Vrindavan dham. The spiritual potency is here in the dham. For non-devotees, the dham is covered. They cannot see the dham. There would be a covering over the dham. But for a devotee, a pure devotee at heart can see the dham. Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur, one evening he described that he went upside and he came back and said that I saw Mahaprabhu, Nityananda and associates having Kirtan. He was able to see all the pastimes taking place within the holy land. He could see the Kirtan, hear it. He met them, met all the devotees. These bthings are possible for the pure souls. So, understanding the dham is hearing about it from the words of these self-realized souls as they experience the holy dham. We are coming to visit the holy dham to learn more the glories of the dham and to develop our consciousness. Then it makes more meaning to us when we read the scriptures. Then we remember yes, I went there and I saw this etc. In this way, the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya become more real to us.
He said that when there will be time to go, none would want to go. This is the common experience. We don’t like to leave Mayapur and so have to take it in our heart just like Krishna is in our heart and Krishna never leaves Vrindavan and so, Vrindavan is in our heart. Similarly, Mayapur is also in our heart. The more we see this Mayapur dham, more we love Mayapur dham, more our heart will be purified and more we can understand the glories. The best thing in Mayapur dham is the harinaam sankirtana.
Hence, Maharaj ended with such lovely Harinaam Sankirtana. I got lost in just first 2 seconds while he played the Kartals; what to talk about the whole Kirtan!! We all instantly started dancing. It was indeed blissful.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare!!
After the lecture, there were few important announcements about accommodation, medical facilities, doctor etc. and daily schedule at Mayapur which like…
4.30 a.m. – Mangal Aarti
5.20 a.m. – Chanting
7.00 a.m. - Shringar Aarti
8.15 a.m. – Breakfast
9.15 a.m. – Visit to nearby places by walk / Bus / Boat (Gather at Gada Lawns)
2.00 p.m. – Lunch
4.00 p.m. – Assemble at Gada Lawns
4.30 p.m. – Evening Session
8.00 p.m. – Dinner
9.00 p.m. – K. C. Rest