Mayapur Tomorrow we will leave.

January 19th, 2001


Tomorrow we will leave. I plan an easy day. I therefore saved for today the visit to Nandana Acaryas house as it is right next door to ISKCON and takes only a few minutes to walk there. We have a short kirtan and read from Caitanya Bhagavat about the first meeting of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda at the very spot we are now sitting. No time to waste. We quickly cross the road and then cut across the fields for a quick bath in the Ganga. Still, we are running late for our next program. We rush off to Srila Prabhupada?s rooms to meet Jnanivas Prabhu, ISKCON?s head pujari, to hear about the Deities in Mayapur and his personal association with Srila Prabhupada.

I have heard wonderful things from the day I first came to India in 1974 about Jnanivas, the saintly devotee who never leaves Mayapur, and who has accepted Radha Madhava as his life and soul. He still hasn?t left Mayapur, and he still serves Radha-Madhava with the same devotion?probably more. He is humble and very deep. With rapt attention we hear about his association with Srila Prabhupada when ISKCON Mayapur was just one straw hut. He also shares some of his realizations about Radha-Madhava. His twin brother, Pankajanghre, also joins us. We also hear his realizations about the temple?s powerful Nrsimha Deity, the Lord he worships daily. It?s 2:30 PM and we?ve been sitting for nearly three hours. It our second bath of the day, but I am inclined to Narottama dasa Thakura?s opinion?darsane pavitra koro ei tamara gun?that sadhu-sanga is more potent than ganga-snana (bath).

Our visit with the saintly pujaris of the Sri Mayapur Chandradaya Mandir is not over yet. We are invited to the veranda outside Srila Prabhupada?s room. The two brothers personally serve us a memorable feast of Radha-Madhava?s maha-prasadam. By their exemplary service I should take the dust of their feet on my head and serve them, but instead they serve us so unassumingly. I am humbled.

By the time we finish it is almost 3:30, which gives us a less than two hours before our next program at Mother Srimati?s room. We have entered the dhama in the mood of service, and the dhama is reciprocating. We are inundated by sravanam kirtanam. My plans for a Sabbath, a day of rest, have been washed away.

We did not have time to go to Ekachakra this year. Mother Srimati has traditionally been our guide there, so I ask her if she could organize a manasa-parikram in her room. She has occasionally done this at times, once for a group I took to Mayapur several yeas ago. It?s very absorbing to shut one?s eyes and visit the dhama by sound only. This year she even prepared a very tasteful and well done dramatic script for the parikram, beginning with a very potent description of Niyanananda?s position, including very vivid descriptive descriptions of the main lila-sthans of Nitai?s activities, along with dramatic accounts of the sweet lilas the Lord performed there. She also involved us a lot in speaking at the various pastime places and in leading the kirtans between them so that by the time the presentation was finishing we had definitely suspended the conception of our present space. Instead, we were visualizing and relating among ourselves as if we were there in Ekachakra-dhama.

Although the parikram became very spontaneous it was so well scripted and organized that it also finished exactly on time, as I had requested, so that we could all attend the evening arati. It was our last evening in the Sri Mayapur-dhama, and especially after association with Jnanivas and Pankajanghre, the devotees were anxious to attend gaura-arati, and take a last darshan of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, Panca-tattva, and Lord Nrsimhadeva. The day was not as relaxed as I had planned, but nobody cares. Days off are for work, not from devotion.

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