Monday, Mar 23 1998

Location: Kanai Natashalla, West Bengal, India

Jayapataka Swami Traveling and Preaching Diary

22nd March 1998
Kanai Natshalla

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.

Hare Krishna.

Thus ends the Jayapataka Swami Traveling and Preaching Diary for 22nd March 1998.

Thursday, Mar 12 1998

Location: Mayapur Gaura Purnima Festival

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,
Jayapataka Swami

Thursday, Jan 22 1998

Location: Malaysia

Short but nectar, Srila Acaryapada 4 hours in Malaysia

Dear devotees,

PAMRO. AGTSA! AGTSP!

Arrival

Yesterday Srila Acaryapada visited Malaysia for only 4 hours. We went to receive him at the airport, he smiled very sweetly and talked a little bit with everybody. It always amazes me, how after long trips in planes and many days without sleeping or rest properly he always have such a wonderful sense of humor and such a friendly and fresh mood! He looked skinnier and healthier too. The devotees organized a program in Ravi Locanana’s prabhu house, a nice house near by the airport. He organized his tickets first, distributed nice coconut sweets to everybody, had some short personal talks and went to take a shower and prasadam. He asked everybody if someone wanted to have a personal darshan, so some devotees took the opportunity. After he came out and salute all the just arrived devotees in a personal way, he got such a surprise when he saw Kaivalya mataji between all the Malaysian faces, she just came from America with her husband and children. They have been with Srila Acaryapada just one week ago in Alachua. He was very expressive and sweet with her.

After he gave a class, it was not so much time left because his flight was leaving soon, so he asked what did they want him to speak about. I was praying internally that he speaks something to be out of illusion, to be able to remember Krishna in all circumstances. But somehow or other I didn’t say anything. However I guess he heard my prayers, because by Krishna’s mercy he gave such a wonderful short and to the point class about the dualities of material life that keep us in illusion and how the only eternal duality, the only real duality is Krishna and His servants. Never changes. Well, it was short, but so enlivening and ULTRA SUPER ECSTATIC!!!! It was exactly what I needed to hear!!

He was here just for a short time, however he charged the batteries of everybody and like always he made everybody happy. It’s so ecstatic!!! Wherever Srila Acaryapada goes make the devotees experience such wonderful feelings of peace and happiness. He is so pure, happy and powerful. With his presence and words puts everything into proper perspective and order. We are so fortunate to have such a great personality as our protector!!! ALL GLORIES TO SRILA ACARYAPADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!