New Ekachakra Dham The devotees

June 5th, 2001

New Ekachakra Dham

The devotees left last night, but my mind is still very much thinking about the program.

The best part of the festival: One gets to actually live what one hears about. We hear about how one attains the mercy of Lord Nityananda by humbly serving the Vaishnavas with sumptuous prasadam, and we actually experienced the mercy of Lord Nityananda by humbly serving the Vaishnavas a feast of many varieties of chira soaked in yogurt and condensed milk.

Two days of constant chanting, hearing, and serving had such a visibly uplifting effect on the devotees that my mind has been reeling since the festival with ideas how to expand and continue such programs. Devotees need a presentation of Krishna consciousness that is engaging for their minds and hearts, which represent their ideals, which offers them an opportunity for encouraging devotional service, and finally, which inspires them with a sense of devotional community. I pray that our attempt was successful.

I want to help develop such a facility at New Ekachakra dhama. Urugaya and Giri-Govardhana are also enthusiastic. This morning, we discussed practical ways to eventually expand the facilities to accommodate the festivals such as a retractable awning for the porch, a speaker system for the house, and the development of the patio downstairs. He also suggested the land across the stream over the stone path as a possible place to construct a hermitage for my studies and to base my preaching, if the resources become available.

I remember watching Srila Prabhupada pacing outside his room in Dallas in 1975. The GBC man at the time was respectfully seeing that Srila Prabhupada was not disturbed. He told me that Srila Prabhupada would often simply be meditating on how to spread Krishna consciousness. I remember telling one fairly respected sadhu in Vrindaban, who chanted at least one lak (64 rounds) a day, about Srila Prabhupada’s daily activities?how he would sometimes give three or four preaching programs a day, how he would wake up early to translate, how he would answer so many letters, and how he was constantly traveling around the world. The sadhu, a bhajananandi, looked puzzled and wondered out loud how Srila Prabhupada made time for his own personal bhajan, since to him, bhajan meant chanting and meditating at least eight hours a day. He then said to me respectfully, “His preaching was his bhajan.”

From the time I arose this morning my mind has been absorbed in plans to develop the preaching and community of devotees in the Northeast. Today, beyond my basic practices, my preaching was my bhajan.

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