11-3-98 Jayapataka Swami Traveling Preaching Diary
Camp: ISKCON Sri Mayapur Festival---Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir, India.
Every Town & Village - Jayapataka Swami Traveling Preaching Diary March 11th, 1998 at Sridham Mayapur.
The Sri Mayapur ISKCON Gaura Purnima Festival is continuing blissfully. During Mangal Arotik both the Radha Madhava & Panca Tattwa Temples are filled with devotees!!! It is amazing to see and be with thousands of devotees chanting and dancing in bliss!
I chanted my japa in front of Panca Tattwa Deities, since they are open until 6 AM. When Their Lords curtain closed then I turned around and chanted to Srila Prabhupada’s murti. Many devotees, maybe hundreds, are chanting nearby me.
Guru Puja on Lotus Roof at 6:30AM was initially a bit unorganized today. The devotee who arranges prasadam had gone to Calcutta. Danavir Swami came for the first time today. He was a bit shy. It was his first guru-puja outside of his Vyasa Puja’s. Bhakti Vrajendranandana Swami came to help give out the prasadam and accept worship on behalf of the Guru-Parampara including the present day ISKCON gurus. Finally prasadam was arranged and things went smoothly after all.
Today’s English class was given by Bhakti Caru Swami. I had to give Bengali class so I was missing that nectar. When I went into the Bengali class space the kirtan party was playing a very rhythmic beat on the mridanga drums and it inspired me to dance with the rhythm. Soon everyone got up and danced and the whole room was filled with raised hands and ecstatic faces. Marici das somehow captured the whole thing on his video. Later he showed me. Quite interesting how spontaneous everyone was for kirtan.
Jumping on the carpet caused dust to rise. I already had a cough so when I sat down to give class I could hardly breath. The bliss of chanting didn’t warn us of this problem. Looks like they should clean the carpet better!
The morning session included training for congregational group discussion. Kaunteya das did the main facilitating and I supervised and also helped. He did well and everyone liked the program.
After the congregational preaching workshop I met various devotees outside the auditorium/class room in the samadhi. One very nice devotee informed me how she had recently been through some great trauma due to personal reasons. Her guru had sent her to Mayapur for the festival to enliven her. She told me that she felt she was a new person and the parikrama and festival had totally enlivened her. I encouraged her that how fortunate she was that her guru was taking so much personal care of her spiritual life. She thanked me for my encouragement and expressed a desire to stay in touch with me.
I wanted to get right back to my room, but it took almost 2 hours to reach since every few steps I would meet someone and a discussion ensued. Mayapur Festival is like that. You can’t walk even ten meters without meeting some wonderful devotee and discussing about Krishna consciousness. It is our worldwide transcendental convention! As Srila Prabhupada said—the “United Nations of the spiritual world.”
Today we had lunch with Bhanu Swami, and Virabahu Prabhu. The lunch was an Italian style cooked by Vijaya Radha dd and Kaivalya Sundari dd with help from Bhaktin Indira. It was very nice. After the lunch we kept on discussing with Virabahu Prabhu until 4PM. I missed my afternoon nap. We discussed the South American Zonal situation for considerable time as well as various issues of Krishna consciousness philosophy.
At 4:30PM I got my hair buzzed off and got ready for the evening class.
Today's class was on Lord Nityananda Prabhu!!! After reading some Nityananda Tattwa from Caitanya Caritamrita, I discussed his childhood pastimes in Ekacakra Dhama. His meeting with Sridham (Abhiram Rama das). His pastimes with Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadwip Dhama. Then I read from Caitanya Bhagavat about his pastime of breaking Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sannyas danda. There were many questions and answers about this.
Tonight is a special reception for the disciples of the spiritual masters who didn’t come to the festival who had personally asked me to encourage their disciples. I had invited the disciples of Their Divine Grace’s Indradyumna Swami, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Hrdayananda Goswami, Krsna Ksetra Prabhu, and Bhakti Bhusana Swami. While things were getting readied I quickly had interviews with a few devotees until 7:30PM.
There were almost 150 devotees gathered. It seemed when I asked who was which guru’s disciple that Indradyumna Swami had around 60-75 disciples there, Tamal Krishna Goswami had around 15-25, Hrdayananda Goswami had around 40+, Krsna Ksetra Prabhu had around 12-15, and Bhakti Bhusana Swami had around 10-12 disciples present.
I explained how I was feeling separation from their gurus as they were so together we could share this festival in separation. At the same time since I am their Guru’s Godbrother and servitor it was my great joy to welcome them to Sri Mayapur, even though belated, and to assure them that in case they needed any help of any kind I was always disposed to help them.
I read out some letters from various gurus and messages that were sent to me. The disciples liked it very much. I told some pastimes I had with the different gurus and some of their great qualities. They asked me questions about their gurus and I replied. In this way things were very open and close. We stacked up a 7 layer dry-fruit and nut cake high into the air. Some carob and nut balls were contributed by a disciple of Hrdayananda Goswami. Then some group of disciples asked for a group photo. so one group of disciples after another gathered around me and posed for a photo. Actually it was a mini-reunion for them also. Some of Hrdayananda Goswami’s disciples from Australia and never met their godbrothers/godsisters from South America! After all the photos were taken and everyone was crowding around I began serving out the cake pieces. Somehow everyone got one piece.
Actually I also told the assembly how there is a kind of “Love War of Cakes” going on between Indradyumna Swami’s disciples and my disciples. In Riga, Latvia his disciples came with gigantic cakes as an offering to me. So when Indradyumna Swami reached Riga, Latvia my disciples offered him a large frosting covered cake. Now this is the third battle. I have served 7 layer fruit-cake to Indradyumna Swami’s disciples in Mayapur!!!! I hope my disciples will offer my godbrother guru’s some nice offering like a cake or preparation that they like in my name as my disciples out of respect. In this way our War of Love for the Vaisnavas through cakes and sweets can melt the hearts of all the Vaisnavas!!!!
So I am trying to serve Indradyumna Swami, my Guru-Godbrothers and their disciples any way I can. I am glad my disciples are helping me to serve my godbrothers and establish our ISKCON is a universal family of devotees.
This night I had two rounds to finish. So I walked on the roof chanting until the doctor came. My chest is filled with mucus. I have a wheeze for the first time in many years. So Satrugna das had me inhale steam vapor with various essential oils in it. It cleared up my chest a lot so I could sleep normally. I am eager to get healthy so I can do the Mangal arotik puja again to the Deities which I haven’t been able to do for a couple of days.
This is today's Diary at Sridham Mayapur.
I hope this finds you blissful and healthy in Krishna consciousness.
Your ever well wisher,