You can submit your article, report, announcement, ad etc. by mailing to

Ganga safari no 4

Thursday, 22 April 2010 / Published in Reports / 3,933 views

GangaTrip2010 from foodforall on Vimeo.

By Parasuram das

20 March 2010 our Jaladuta carrying Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundra entered the Gandaki river at Gopal Gange near Nepal border. HH Mahavishnu Swami and his scurvy crew set sail for another adventure.

This was our 4th voyage so we know what to expect D the unexpected. Hope for the best and expect the worst, the worst is always worse then you expect. We were an international group. One English, Russian, Ukrainian, Estonian, German, Bosnian, and two Irish. For the next two weeks we were to live the traditional Sadhu lifestyle, depending on the Lord for our material necessities. We took the Holy name to very remote villages and towns in Bihar.

We were informed that Bihar was a dangerous state; many dacits live there, as in the times of Lord Caitanya where the Biharis used to kidnap the smaller Bengalis and use them for slaves. When we arrived in Bihar we met HH Mahavishnu Swami. There was quite a lot of blood on his face and legs. He declared -I just got into a fight”. Some thieves tried to rob the Maharaja, they grabbed his bag and the Maharaj rugby tackled one of them, in the struggle he got a little damaged D but saved his bag. The Maharaj is the most fearless person I have ever met.

He is 65 years of age old going on twenty. In Bhagavad-Gita chapter 16 text 1 purport, -For a sannyasi, the first qualification should be fearlessness. .one must thus have firm conviction that Krishna as Paramatma will take care of a soul surrendered to him.” The Maharaj is always happy to take the Holy name on an adventure, no matter how dangerous it appears and it always turns out ecstatic. We found the Bihar villages to be very receptive to Krishna consciousness. After teaching them to chant, the Maharaj would get one of them to lead the kirtan.

Then distribute Prasad and some books. The people were simple but enthusiastic D -dry wood”. One man was pretending to read the book to be polite until he came to the pictures in the book, which were upside down, he quickly adjusted the book in his hands. Illiteracy is not a disqualification for Krishna Consciousness D thank God that we donêt need to be materially qualified or Iêd be up the creek without a paddle.

9 Responses to “Ganga safari no 4”

  1. Pita das says :

    No where is there a more Transendenal soul that His Holiness MahaVishnu Maharaja as Srila Prabhupada insructed him to have the head of a Britishman and the heart of a Bengalli Mother Maharaja has manifested .

    I allways deisre his holy assication and those they have are certiany blessed with the determenation in devotional servcie he freely has allways shown and still preforms .May Srila Prabhupada bless him even more

  2. jagadananda2 says :

    Very enlevening preaching ! I wish I could be younger and be a brahmacari engaged in this kind of extatic preaching, fully dedicated to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission, under the care of such a pure devotee as His Holiness Mahavisnu Maharaja.

    Thank you so much for this very enlevening video !

  3. Patita Pavana says :

    SAFARI: Go ahead and look up the word “safari”. It is from Africa and refers to going into the jungle to hunt animals with guns. “Big game hunt” the demonic exploiters of innocent creatures call it. In recent years the meaning has broadened to include photo shoots of animals in the wild, but this is also another form of sense gratification, only one that is less violent. The catchy term Ganga safari originated with a BTG article years ago and has spread like wildfire, much like Goddess Subhadra Devi is mistakenly called “Lady Subhadra” in ISKCON.

    Vaishnavas are interested in Ganga tirtha yatra only for the sake of becoming purified at holy places by meeting advanced Vaishnavas and bathing in the holy waters. This term safari is not appropriate for the activities of great Vasihanava saints like Shrila Mahavishnu Swami Maharaja.
    Patita pavana das

  4. Dear Patita Pavana Prabhu,

    I know you have lived in India for years and must know more about the language than I do. Isn’t the word for travel in Hindi is “safari”. Did it enter the language via Swahili or something? Maybe so. Still, it basically means to make a journey or travel.

    In English we have photo safaris, “surfin’ safaris” and it basically also has come to broadly mean any kind of excursion. It is less boring to say “I am going on a spiritual safari” than “I am going on a spiritual trip,” and it does not call to mind images of going out with a “white hunter” to gun down rhinos and wildebeasts, as in old Hemingway stories.

    Jayapataka Maharaja used to take devotees on “South Indian Safari” (I regret I haven’t ever been able to attend), which is basically a pilgrimage to famous temples visited by Lord Caitanya.

    I do not see any reason to object to the term “safari”. Words change their meaning through usage, and we are turning the word from something that perhaps once used to only denote an abominable activity into something spiritual and wonderful, just as when we say “sankirtan marathon” no one thinks we are entering a long-distance foot race, the name of which was derived from an ancient Greek battle.

    I hope you do not mind my sharing my contrary opinion. :-)

    Your humble servant and friend, Akruranatha dasa

  5. Patita Pavana says :

    Not at all, Akruranath Prabhu,

    … not at all. I never thought about “sankirtan marathon:, either. Very good point, good point. Still, however, safari grates me the wrong way. So call me an old curmudgeon if you like.

    Since we already have an accepted terminology in “Ganga Yatra” or (to mix languages) “Ganga Sailing Yatra”., why not use that rather than a work that has such bellicose origins? Anyway, I really enjoyed this article and I am amazed at my old Prabhu Mahavishnu Swami. I offer him, and all the members of this Ganga Yatra, my dandavats in the Ganga mud at their lotus feet.

    The film was great also. Four stars! I especially liked the sail on the boat.
    Patita Pavana das

  6. Yeah, language is an interesting thing, not just grammar and the words we use but even accents and meters in which we talk.

    I have a lot of grammatical pet peeves. One phrase I hear a lot these days is the word “nother” (“nuther”?), as in “That is a whole nother type of crime against the English language.”

    I guess it once started as a cute joke, similar to a spoonerism. Instead of saying “an-other” or “another”, the word was cleverly broken down as “a-nother,” and another word (usually “whole”) could be introduced in between.

    If it was ever cute it lost its cuteness quickly, at least to me, just as it may have been entertaining the first time I heard Dean Martin hiccup and say he had had “tee many martoonis.”

    Nowadays people say “a whole nuther” all the time, and it always grates on my nerves and makes me feel like I am hearing a stale joke, but to the TV anchormen and politicians and college professors and grocery store clerks who talk that way, it has become acceptable usage and they are not even conscious of saying anything out of the ordinary.

    Am I being pedantic and curmudgeonly? Probably, but it boils down to a question of personal taste and my individual relationship with my mother tongue.

  7. Patita Pavana says :

    Language, yes, this is the subject of the day, my dear Akruranath Prabhu,

    To quote Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (based upon the sage of Ireland GB Shaw’s Pygmalion about a scholar of English usage and accents), “In America they haven’t spoken it for years.”

    Language is the essential point of spreading Krishna consciousness. The ruination of a language inevitably precedes the doom of that culture. Today the Western media has become complicit in the degradation of a once potentially-great culture. Today in the United States of Illiteracy old hag news anchors sewn together with the threads of plastic surgery speak”Valley Girl” as though they learned that manner of speech way back when in kindergarten.

    On the other hand, many European or other devotees learned English from reading Prabhupada’s books and have become adept at speaking a very sound, practical, useful and genuinely communicative English. When language is used to break down barriers in the most gentle way and enter the heart of another with the message of Krishna consciousness, we can understand the value of choosing words properly. Language need not be scholarly to convey the truth, but a little scholarship doesn’t hurt either.

    Words spoken in truth have a certain feel about them,they penetrate through millions of lifetimes of maya and enter the core of the heart. This is the ability of the Krishna conscious preacher, something we have learned from our Great Acharyadeva, Shrila Prabhupada. Hari Sauri calls His Divine Grace (if I can recall the quote) “One of history’s greatest rhetors.” In fact, before Prabhupada came to America the word “preacher” had the odium about it of fanaticism, hatred and bigotry. Shrila Prabhupada restored the word “preacher” to its original meaning, “One who delivers others back home back to Godhead through the articulation of language. Language that is used in conveying the utmost need to become Krishna conscious here and now.”

    Thanks for the tete a tete, Akruranathji. Always a pleasure,
    Your servant,
    PAtita Pavana das

  8. This is a really good point that, even aside from the fact that reading Srila Prabhupada’s books is the solution to the problems of old age, disease, death and all kinds of whips, tortures and defeats at the hands of material energy, such reading also helps audiences learn vocabulary, grammar, rhetoric and appreciation for good expository writing (and poetry, too).

    Once a senior partner at a law firm was asking everyone the meaning of “mendicant,” and I was the only one who knew. He doubted me at first but looked it up and found I was right. He couldn’t believe how brilliant I was to be the only one in a room full of well-educated lawyers to know that word. I was kind of astonished that no one else knew it, since Franciscan friars and other “mendicant monks” have been an important fixture in European culture.

    I saw recently a call for literary works by devotees. I forget now whether this was from the BBT, and when the deadline is, but it was basically a writing competition that would include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and prose of all kinds. Sorry I cannot be more helpfulk in broadcasting it.

    I think this is wonderful, because at some point the literary and other cultural output of devotees is bound to start flourishing and being recognized by the greater society, and when this happens, it will spur a greater interest in Krishna consciousness and Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    And while on that topic, I should remind everyone that the deadline is fast approaching (I think it is May 15) for all Srila Prabhupada’s direct disciples, regardless of their relationship with ISKCON or affiliation (or non-affiliation) with any organization, to submit Vyasa-Puja offerings for a special book to be published by the BBT this year.

  9. Patita Pavana says :

    So today you tell thsee lawyers what a mendicant is, and tomorrow you’ll actually demonstrate to them what a mendicant is…

    Truthfully, the only lawyer who can represent us if we are in danger of being hauled before the supreme sheriff is:

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

    Your servant, Patit

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.