By Krishna Sudama Das
18-5-2013: Today we have entered Bihar leaving Uttar Pradesh. We met a very receptive gentleman named Dinesh Bhramar. By divine providence we were destined to spend the night at his home which is also a temple with a high thin elongated dome. Mr. Bhramar is a pious devotee who has a family of a few sons and grandsons. Living near Gorakhpur he has read many literatures including the Srimad Bhagavatam. His elderly wife although not much educated reads the entire Bhagavad Gita from cover to cover every day. She relishes her daily recital and is a devotee of lord Krishna.
A few years ago they had conducted a yagna at home headed by a Nepali priest. That priest gave them a laminated frame of the HARE KRISHNA Mahamantra which is hung on top of their temple entrance. Recently, 2 months before our meeting him, his younger brother visited an ISKCON centre and bought him a gift, “Journey Home” the autobiography of His Holiness Radhanatha Swami. Mr. Bhramar had just finished reading the book when Padayatra stayed over at his home. He was very impressed and was distinctively narrating various incidents of Radhanath Swami’s search for the truth. His next reading will be of Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs life story ‚ÄúPrabhupada (Abridged Biography)‚ÄĚ
The villagers we meet everyday are generally simple pious people. They are instantly attracted to our huge bulls, the lifelike deity of Srila Prabhupada and the all beautiful lordships Sri Sri Nitai Gourasundar. Many inquisitive people ask where the bulls are from, what we feed them and whether the deity of Srila Prabhupada is a statue or a real person. They happily accept Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs books and discuss the bulls amongst themselves. We must understand that these fortunate villagers have spent their entire lives amongst bulls, cows and paddy fields which are their source of livelihood. They love and respect the cow and bull as mother and father and to see such a sight is a source of great joy and interest.
HH Mahavishnu Swami visited the Padayatra 70 kilometers before Gorakhpur. (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Devotees of foreign origin are a great hit on the Padayatra. They are an instant eye catcher and the crowds are impressed at their sincere dedication and surrender. This a clever tactic devised by Srila Prabhupada after he saw the poor response of the Indians copying the western fashion. He presented Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message using his western disciples to attract the crowds and his plan will continue to strengthen the faith of Indian nationals in their own precious spiritual culture.
HH Lokanath swami, the minister of Padayatra is urging interested temples to start small Padayatra groups visiting rural areas in their vicinity. This is the ideal engagement for Brahmacharis and Vanaprasthas as they can practically learn the life of simplicity, austerity and a dependence on the Lord. It is beneficial for both us devotees and the general public and this is the real system of spiritual life. Those who are spiritually advanced should visit people in general to attract them towards spirituality and this is the essence of our Acharyas forming large institutions and temples.
Padayatra is not such a difficult task. For further details you can refer to our Padayatra manual posted on ISKCON Padayatra’s official website www.Padayatra.com. All it needs is a group of enthusiastic devotees who want to serve Srila Prabhupada and the general populace by distributing the holy names and Srila Prabupada’s books to our rural masses. They are better recipients as they have simple lives and are trained to respect God and his Devotees from their very childhood. If we don‚Äôt nourish their inherent culture then no doubt, within a short time the next generation will lose this culture. As we are entering the 21st generation, the age of information technology and mass media, they are already influenced by satellite television and internet facilities profusely available at nominal costs. No matter whether they have a mud hut or a straw roof, they must have a TV with a cable connection.
Padayatra is constantly distributing the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Goura Nitai to all the eagerly awaiting souls and if you are willing to be a part of this transcendental journey then please do contact our Padayatra leader on the road, Acharya Das. He is available on his mobile phone any time: 09719852151
See you soon!!!
Sri Sri Nitai Gour Sundar Ki Jai.