Monday, Mar 23 1998
Jayapataka Swami Traveling and Preaching Diary
22nd March 1998
I start writing and my computer froze on the train.
I swam over to the other beach areas a few hundred meters upstream. There my disciple Nimai Chandra from Malaysia went in too deep and started to panic. Sanatan Yogi das saved him just in time. This is one of my main concerns. Devotees should be very careful to not put themselves into danger while swimming. I want everyone to reach back safely to the shore so that they can preach and practice Krishna consciousness vigorously.
At some place, a sumptuous breakfast of paneer, pasta and kitcharis along with fried papadams ships in to satisfy the devotees. We had a class in the temple after prasadam. I explained something about the mahatmya (glory) of Kanai Natshalla Dhama, about the time Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited here and what happened and how the temple was given to ISKCON. At the end of my lecture, His Holiness Subhaga Swami entered and we all greeted him, chanting his glories. We gave him a seat on a chair and we completed our talks about Kanai Natshalla. After my class, the devotees bathed the lotus feet of Srila Subhaga Swami Maharaja. Then he insisted that they bathe my feet. Thereafter, Subhaga Swami gave a Hindi talk to the local villagers and together we gave out maha-prasadam sweets there to everyone.
I went over to the ancient tree and resting place of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We saw the ruins of the ancient bricks that were stuck inside the rims of the tree. Some crystal-embedded rocks were attractive. I was chanting japa and discussing with about ten devotees. Then I gave a personal darshan to Bhaktin Anita from Croatia underneath the tree while all of the other devotees were looking on. Then some Nama Hatta devotees from the nearby Suryapur village came and I discussed with them about kula-gurus and qualification for initiation and siksha. Marichi das asked me to go and take some rest. I did so after meeting a local Life Member (a motorboat and launch owner) with his family.
The devotees were cooking a massive prasadam in a large tent. Things were really cooking up around the air! After my nap, I went to the Ganges. Everyone else sat down and took prasadam at that time. When I reached the Ganges, only Pankajanghri das and two other devotees were there. Pankajanghri Prabhu asked me if I had taken some rest. He said that I was falling asleep in the morning when I was chanting Jaya Radha Madhava. It reminded him of Srila Prabhupada since he saw that sometimes His Divine Grace appeared to fall asleep momentarily but he would always keep up with the beat. Pankajanghri das said that I stopped playing kartals when the devotees were responding but somehow woke up when it was my turn to chant. I have realized how tired I was.
I just took a quick dip in the Ganges. I went back up to see how the devotees liked prasadam. Everyone really liked the prasadam and said that it was a sumptuous feast. Mahamaya devi dasi said that she had been on Vraja Mandala Parikrama and said that she had found this prasadam was opulent and nice.
I took prasadam with Subhaga Swami Maharaja, and some other devotees. We had darshan of the beautiful Radha Kanayalal Gauranga Mahaprabhu Deities. Gauranga Mahaprabhu is simply beaming to see all the devotees. I discussed with Bhakti Purushottama Swami and Subhaga Swami Maharaja ways of getting to and from Kanai Natshalla and the upcoming programs. I decided to write all these things down and start the diaries up again. While I am writing this, the devotees outside are having a massive kirtan, they are really chanting ecstatically.
Some devotees come and report to me that Pankajanghri Prabhu has become completely overwhelmed with bliss and during the kirtan he was bouncing off one devotee to the next. They showed me the video how the devotees went wild in the kirtan before Radha Kanayalal and Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Here I am dictating this diary and missing out the ecstasy.
Just completed the evening program. The pandal was packed with thousands and thousands of people. They were all quiet and respectful. On my way to the pandal, one man laid on the road and tried to touch my feet. I jumped back. Then he cleared the way. When I was walking, someone shined the light on my eye and I couldn’t see. Then the next thing I knew was I smashed my foot on some stone or root on the ground. It ripped off part of my toe. It was bleeding. The people that were around were chanting “Krishna! Krishna!” Some devotee came and started squeezing my toe to stop the blood but it was painful when he was squeezing it. Then everyone crowded around and held my foot up to see what happened while the blood was gushing out. Some matajis started screaming. A local doctor who is aspiring to be initiated came and did some immediate first aid treatment. They put some different creams, wrapped up the toe with bandage. But some blood was coming through but it more or less stopped bleeding. Then I was thinking how every step is a danger. Padam padam yad vipadam na tesham. We want to be free of troubles in the material world but we cannot hope for that. Every step there is some danger.
I got to the program. There were so many bugs flying around the lights. The devotees were there giving talks. Abhinandana Nitai, Anusuya Gopi devi dasi from Sydney, Anita from Croatia, Prana Gauranga from New Vrindaban, and many others there were speaking telling the thousands and thousands of villagers who were present why they should practice Krishna consciousness, how their realization that without Krishna consciousness there was no happiness. I gave a 20 minute talk. Everybody responded and chanted with me. They promised that they would all be chanting Hare Krishna. I tried speaking in Hindi but they started calling out to speak in Bengali. After me, Subhaga Swami went to speak and I limped back to the house. I was asked to do interviews but it was almost 10 PM by now. So we put off the interviews for initiation to tomorrow.
Thus ends the Jayapataka Swami Traveling and Preaching Diary for 22nd March 1998.