I n the middle of the sweet morning bhajans between 6am and 7am, dark clouds started to appear first scattered and then tight together covering the sky.
Lightning could be seen here and there like Lord Krishna’s moving dazzling dhoti. At that time the Parikrama was walking into an area of large plain fields.
They were going to get a boat to cross the Ganga. Just then, the drops slowly but surely poured increasingly from that dark morning sky.
Both the kirtan parties, prabhus and matajis, continued singing at first in greater enthusiam. After all, there are no longer any worries on their minds. This is Parikrama. Singing and dancing as the ground got muddy, eventually the mikes had to be covered and for that reason alone the kirtan came to an end.
Some people looked around with a faint hope to find some type of shelter from the rain, to no avail. The only shelter was the Holy Name. Within 15 minutes or so, the rain ceased, and the kirtan restarted, with wholesome voices.
Yes, they reached Rudradvipa on the other bank of the Ganga, safely. There without delay our dear Bengali devotees, sang a couple of very special bhajans. HH BVV Narasimha Swami spoke about the meaning and purport of those deep prayers. The prayers were “ Gaura Pahun na bhajiya goinu” and “ Kabe heno das mor”. Many devotees admitted that it was their first time ever singing these bhajans. Highly recommended.
Followed by breakfast we had the funniest Drama, played by 3 excellent actors. The lila was, the one where Narada Muni asks Narayana to show him what Maya is. Narayana then asks for a glass of water and we know how it goes. These devotees who played made all the audience stand, jaw opened leaning back and forward in laughter. It was both pleasurable and insightful, thank you to Panca Pandava Prabhu, from Argentina who narrated it.
Then what some of us did not expect… a really long walk. Along the way coconut walls and sugarcane wallas appeared to have expanded 4 extra arms and in this way attend to all the pilgrims who surrounded them, with rupees in their hand:” I want to Dubs (green coconut)” , “ Two glasses of sugar cane, please”, they said simultaneously in different ways.
Nonetheless, once reaching the temple of Madan Gopal, all distress from the heat went away. After taking darshan the devotees collected their bags and went to take rest in their tents. Despite the apparent long walk, they reached the camp, earlier than usual, so they still had 2 hours before lunch.
Madan Gopal was worshipped by Saci Mata’s father, Mahaprabhu’s grandfather, Nilambar Chakravarty. It is there that most of the devotees will attend both Sandhya Arati and Mangalarati tomorrow morning.