“Oh when, will divine attraction for hearing the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates awaken within my heart?”
Today parikrama will reach the last camp, the last full day of this transcendental walk.
Soon after leaving Belpukur, the parikrama entered Simantadvipa- the island of Sravanam, hearing. The speakers were plenty and they filled all sincere ears with nectar like Krishna Katha.
This island is named after Parvati whose eagerness to take darshan of Mahaprabhu induced Him to appear before her. With a humble and jubilant heart Goddess Parvati took the dust from the Lord’s lotus feet and placed it on her head, on the simanta or the partition of her hair.
Gaudiya math Parikrama party joined the devotees of the International party at the house of Kolavecha Sridhar.
Pankajanghri and Jananivas Prabhus, spoke about the pastimes of Sridhar and Mahaprabhu to that greater audience. Every year they come there, and narrate this pastime. This is called true devotional taste… Ever fresh and ever increasing.
The evening program was specially elaborate today. We had the association of HH Bhakti Purushottama Swami who shared several pastimes of Lord Jaganntha. Indeed Maharaj, was born in Puri . Who could be more qualified on the matter?
The lilas were in a nutshell explaining how the Lord likes ‘stolen food’, and He demands to taste preparations cooked by his devotees despite material imperfections. (Pastimes summary given at the end of the article)
At 7pm, HH Jayapataka Maharaja arrived. As he approached the ocean of bliss became agitated with waves of anticipation and admiration. “Guru Maharaja”, as he is lovingly called by all, initiated disciples and well whishers. Maharaja comes every year on this day, because he relishes listening to the devotees realisations of Parikrama. He enlightens us and encourages us to come not just once or twice but every year.
The overall mood was that everyone wanted to see the Parikrama grow.
One lady said: “ I felt the kindness of the devotees.” She was sick and she felt that somehow or other everybody was taking care of her.
Another senior older devotee said :”I felt very well taken care of, by everyone in a personal way. Thank you for your service attitude”
There was an exceedingly enthusiastic Cambodian devotee. He said that he is the first from his country to participate in the Parikrama. He wants to bring everybody next year.
In this way the devotees went to sleep around Rajapur, which is non different from Jagannatha Puri.
“In the temple of Jagannatha in Puri, every stone has a story”
HH Bhakti Purushottama Swami
A couple amazing stories told by Maharaj today:
How Pan or betel nut offerings started:
Once a pan/betel nut seller, desired to offer Pan to the deities. One day two beautiful boys came to take his pan the next morning. They were so beautiful, that the vendor forgot to charge them.
Then after being advised to charge since he needed the money, he did so. The boys replied that they didn’t have any money at the time. So they gave him their chadars and promised to return the next day with the money. Next morning it spread that Jagannatha and Baladeva’s chadars went missing. When the vendor realised that the boys were none other than Their Lordships who came to accept the betel nut made by him, felt astoundingly joyfull.
How Lord Jagannatha’s banana fiber garlands began to be offered:
Another devotee was so poor that he couldn’t buy even the thread to make the garland for Lord Jagannatha. So he began collecting strings of banana fiber and then turned them into a thread. With this thread he made a garland for the Lord. The pujari refused this banana fiber garland. Just as they did so, Lord Jagannatha’s garlands started falling, no garland stayed on his neck any longer. Thus they understood that Jaganntha wanted that devotees garlands made with love and fiber. From that day onwards up until today Lord Jagannatha only wears that type of garland.