All glories to Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga
Remembering His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar
Dev-Goswami Maharaj in Eugene, Oregon
The Pacific Northwest is shimmering under the beauty and brilliant sunlight of midsummer. Nearly fifty devotees and guests have gathered together and brought offerings of organic fruits and vegetables and colorful, fragrant flowers to the The Golden Road preaching center in Eugene, Oregon. We feel blessed to receive the association of devotees from California, different parts of Oregon and Australia along with guests who have learned about Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math at the Rainbow Gathering in Northern California. All have come to Eugene to give honor and remembrance to His Divine Grace Srila Guru Maharaj on the observance of his divine disappearance from this material world.
Mathuranath Prabhu speaks beautifully and movingly about the unlimited glories of His Divine Grace, his pastimes of pure devotion and his exalted position as the foremost true follower of Srila Saraswati Thakur. Other longtime disciples of Srila Guru Maharaj speak and give personal accounts of their time in his divine association. They tell how his saintly darshan has forever changed their lives. We are reminded of the inconceivable pain of his disappearance and how the area of Gauda-desa was shaken by earthquakes in the days preceding and following the close of his manifest lila in this world. All over the world, and especially in Sri Nabadwip Dham, the devotees were suffering from the shock and the pain of broken hearts.
Vaisnavas are ever-merciful and the devotees remind us that although His Divine Grace Srila Guru Maharaj has completed his lila in this material world, he continues to be ever-present. Just as the full moon of his divine pastimes was setting, the brilliant sun that is his most beloved disciple, His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj, was rising and spreading his soothing rays to the hearts of the afflicted devotees. As Srila Govinda Maharaj said recently, "The sun never sets on Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math." When the sun begins to set in India it rises in the West. In this way, Srila Guru Maharajs inconceivable vision of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is always shining resplendently.
At The Golden Road the late afternoon sunlight slants in and illuminates the golden lotus designs on the windows and reaches in further to touch the golden frame that surrounds the beautiful photograph of Srila Guru Maharaj. As Hari Ballabha Prabhu begins to play the sweet sounds of the mrdanga and chant pranams to His Divine Grace, the devotees gather handfuls of flower petals. In a mood of great reverence and affection, everyone from infant to elderly, offers prayers and flowers at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace.
Devananda Prabhu and Nitya Hari Prabhu, who have recently cooked for thousands at the Rainbow Gathering, tirelessly head up the kitchen crew. While they continue to cook, the kirttan has grown more and more enthusiastic and now spills out the front door and makes its way downtown in a spontaneous party of Harinam sankirttan. Our kirttan party of twenty-five devotees is led by the heartfelt chanting of Anandanidhi Prabhu, Devendra Prabhu and Phulamala Didi. This is our first Harinam sankirttan on the streets of Eugene and we are pleased to see the happy reception of the people who come out of restaurants and homes to hear the auspicious sound of the Holy Names.
We return to the Center in time for the offering of sweet-rice, pakoras, plum chutney, spinach with panir, bitter melon, strawberries, cake, subjis, rice and nectar. More sweet chanting, more prayers, and then the devotees slip into a reverent and reflective mood as they honor prasadam under the gracious glance of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj and our all-merciful Guru-parampara.
In The Divine Servitor His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj has reminded us that "now, in his absence, Srila Guru Maharaj remains present as our guardian in the form of his direct representative, dear associates and chaittya-guru who reveals that path of the highest good. Srila Guru Maharaj's presence is found in his message, in his instructions, in his guidance, and in each particle of every single atom of his established place of bhajan, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. With the vision of service to the holy abode, we can directly witness and realize this extension of his divine service: this wealth of his divine service."
Offering our service and prayers for the pleasure and satisfaction of His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj and all the venerable Vaisnavas,
With dandavat pranam from the devotees of Oregon