2013, Navadvip Mandala Parikram
People from over 38 countries gathered here for this most merciful festive event of spiritual sacrifice. This pilgrimage has all the signs of becoming one of the greatest spectacles on the planet, perhaps second to the Khuma Mela. All people were divided into 5 groups, of which we were on the international English-speaking group.
We got onto over 10 boats, onto the River Ganga around 06h30. As we were about to turn left, at the sacred spot of Sangam, the meeting place of the Rivers Jalangi and Ganga, I saw an elusive Ganga Dolphin. Yes the river Ganga has fresh water Dolphins, which are not usually visible for a long time.
After the boat ride of over an hour, we walked through fields of dry wheat, bright green rice plantations, beautiful palm trees, yellow, orange and multi-colored marigold flowers, golden hay stacks etc, to our first destination. We first stopped at the place called Harishpur Panchatala. It is a place of LOrd Shva where Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu came and took rest. Pancha means 5, and tala is tree. There is an amazing huge Banyan tree there, which seems to have 5 trunks. The devotees did Guru Puja to Srila Prabhupad there.
His Holiness Bhakti Narasimha Maharaj was the first to speak, and said this Island is called Godrume, Go means cow and drume means tree. it is a place of Kirtan and Forgiveness. Lord India, the king of the demigods after having his pride crushed by Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, he came here to complete his begging for forgiveness. This Island is and eternal abode of the Lord on this planet, it is never destroyed.
HH Mahavisnu Maharaj (UK) then spoke on How Lord Gauranga had public and private reasons for coming to this earth. The public reasons was to help society clean their hearts of the spiritual undesirable things, so that we can become qualified for most fascinating spiritual emancipation. The most important things we have to clean are lust, greed, anger and envy. He also said this is a problem society as a whole, especially including our governments. And we should make certain that Srila Prabhupad’s books should be given to as many of our Political and other leaders as possible. And we should persuade them to read.
HH Bhakti Dhira Damodar Swami then spoke on Lord Shiva, and said that he is most merciful and kind. Lord Shiva went to Lord Maha Vishnu and said he is concerned about humanity, and asked what can be done. As a solution they combined their forms to come to this planet as Advaita Acharya Prabhu. Maharaj also said how once Lord Shiva explained to his beautiful wife Parvati about what are the demoniac things in this world. However once day Parvati noticed that all these alleged demoniac aspects we present on Lord Shiva himself, and she was disturbed by this. Lord Shiva had to explain he is not a Spirit soul, nor is he a Vishnutatwa, he is inbetween, so he may appear to also have demoniac qualities.
The Jolly HH Navayogendra Maharaj spoke on how we are all really the Lords associates, despite of where we come from, even if we are born in Africa, US, Europe etc. Also, that the Kirtan is the solution for this age and problem of being a conditioned soul. Maharaj implied that a conditioned soul means we Naturally have a dirty mind, which is useless to us.
After a nice hot breakfast we went to Nrsimha Pallie, the place where there is a self-manifest Deity to Lord Nrsimhadeva, and the beautiful lake where the Lord washed His hands. HH Gopal Krishna Goswami said how the saint Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur came to this place and prayed to become purified. Prahalad Maharaj the child of the demon Hiranyakasipu was an emblem of fearlessness and determination. His father tried so hard to kill him, but he always survived by his faith in Lord Sri Krishna.
HH Bhakti Purushotamma Maharaj spoke on how Luxmi Devi after massaging the Lord Vishnu she noticed how soft His body was. So She asked the Lord, how is it that you are so powerful if your body is so soft? Lord told her he would show her one-day. When he manifested His form as Nrsimhadeva, Luxmi Devi was at first afraid to go near the Lord, as she was so shocked of this powerful form. Maharaj also made the point of how even though Prahalad Maharaj suffered so much; he was still concerned about the conditioned souls.
HH Srila Jayapataka Swami made his visit at this place. He said how Vrindavan is the Holy land of Madhurya, sweetness, Jaggantha Puri is land of worship, aishwarya, and Navadvip is Audarya, the place of unlimited mercy. He said how Lord Nrsimhadeva allowed the demigods personal service to himself. And that Bhaktiviond Thakur prayed to Nrsimhadeva to help him worship RadhaKrishna, and we can also pray to Nrsimhadeva to remove obstacles.
Jagajivan Prabhu quickly made the very important point of how even though Pralad Maharaj was 5 years old he was so bold to his demoniac Father and in his desire to help the souls.
We then walked about 4 km to the beautiful place of HariHara Ksetra, where there is the amazing deity or Lord Vishnu (Hari) And Hara (Lord Shiva), The Vishnu half is black and Shiva Half is white. Here we sumptuous lunch and this was the end of the day for those of us who were not staying over. We are looking forward to tomorrow.
Please forgive me if there is anything needs forgiving in this article.
Your servant, Gauranga Das