By Acarya dasa, All-India Padayatra leader
Padayatra reached the large and colorful Gujarati city of Rajkot on February 5, 2021. Rajkot ISKCON temple president Sriman Vaishnavseva dasa, a disciple of Mahavishnu Swami Maharaja, loves padayatra. He has followed the AIP since it entered Gujarat and arranged the grand welcome for us at Dwarka on completion of our sixth round of India. He sent two devotees to padayatra who have been walking with us since Dwarka and also welcomed padayatra in the town of Khambaliya on the way to Rajkot. In a village on the outskirts of Rajkot Vaishnavseva and thirty congregation devotees greeted the padayatris on our arrival and he invited city dignitaries to welcome us when we reached the Rajkot temple. He also ensured that local newspapers published a report of our arrival. I have been connected to Vaishnavseva since 2011 and he always keeps inspiring and supporting us.
We stayed at the temple for three days and every evening from 7.30pm to 8.30pm Krishnananda dasa and I were asked to share padayatra stories and realizations. In the city we attended pandal and house programmes at many places and were invited to Vaishnavseva’s house where we were offered prasadam. We also went for a programme at Ashok Bhai’s house. Another great well-wisher of padayatra, Ashok Bhai keeps helping and supporting us whenever we are in need. All three days in Rajkot were like a festival for us.
Wherever a programme was held Vaishnavseva would glorify our spiritual master, Lokanath Maharaja who started Padayatra India and continues to advance padayatra worldwide, declaring that “Lokanath Maharaja is a great inspiration for me.” He keeps waiting for padayatra and is always longing for padayatra to come to his house. He said, “The deities at my home – Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra – also wait for padayatra, especially for meeting Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar.” Vaishnavseva has also taken sankalpa for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada to start a padayatra from Rajkot to Dwarka after Gaura-purnima.
Jai Srila Prabhupada.
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