All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Festival at Sripat Hapaniya

30th March 2005
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Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Radha-Gopinathajiu

...excerpt continued, from A Day at Hapaniya by Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj:

Today so many of you have again attended, and this year my programme is a little different. Guru Maharaj's form is transcendental, never mundane, and on the Holy Day of his Advent we worship him in the same way as Lord Krishna or Mahaprabhu. Therefore, I thought that after his Appearance Day Festival, which we observed yesterday in Nabadwip, we should hold a festival here today for Guru Maharaj in the same way as Nandotsava, the festival held by Nanda Maharaj the day after Krishna's birth. Everything here is transcendental, and if we can have the vision to see this we must be spiritually benefitted. In this way we are trying to fulfil the desire of the exalted Vaisnavas.

The name of this village is 'Hapaniya,' which means 'sweet water.' A place that produces sweet water is called 'Hapaniya.' Paniya means 'that which is drinkable.' Today we have drunk the water from the green coconuts here and experienced their sweetness. Because of these coconuts full of sweet water, this place has been called 'Hapaniya.' Another feeling also comes to me when I am in Hapaniya, as a child of this village. Perhaps in the past I was a resident of this village. I do not know why, but whenever I come here I feel myself to be a part of this village. Perhaps it is because of the affection of Guru Maharaj's family members. I first came here when I was seventeen years old. At that time, Mani Babu, Amar Babu and their families were very affectionate to me and bestowed their blessings upon me; and Guru Maharaj's sister, who now lives at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip -- she accepted me as her son. With so many such things combined, I feel myself to be a boy of this village. Now I have been coming and going, to and from this village for about forty-two years.

Devotees hear Hari-katha in the beautiful Temple.
Srila Govinda Maharaj's room, upstairs in the nat-mandir.
Guru Maharaj himself was so very affectionate to me, he did not like me to be away from him for even a few hours. Sometimes when I would go to Calcutta, Guru Maharaj would send a Godbrother by a shortcut on the cycle to the bridge to intercept me and call me back. "Call Govinda Maharaj back, I am not feeling well." This happened many times. Sometimes, even if there was very important work in Calcutta, he would send someone by cycle with the order, "Bring him back immediately." But whenever I had to come here to Hapaniya, Guru Maharaj would always very happily grant me permission. Even if he was not in very good health, his mood would change and he would become very pleased. He always encouraged me to come to Hapaniya. But so many times when I had to go to Calcutta, he would call me back. Therefore, I am very attached to Hapaniya Dham. After the manifestation of the Deity, when I was about to go to Hapaniya, sometimes Guru Maharaj would ask, "Where are you going?" And I would reply, "I am going to my math." Guru Maharaj would enjoy, and laughing he would say, "Oh, Hapaniya is your math? Alright. You may go." Guru Maharaj's mood was very happy if I served the Deity of Radha-Gopinathjiu. This is why I have become more and more enthusiastic to serve the Deity. Also, many of my Godbrothers, especially I can mention that Sripad Yudhamanyu Seva Vikram Prabhu and Sripad Aravinda Lochan Seva Sundar Prabhu, are assisting me very much for the Hapaniya seva. Many other Godbrothers are also helping. Whenever the devotees hear that their contribution is utilised for Hapaniya, their hearts feel peaceful and happy.

One of the cows cared for in the small goshalla behind the temple.
We enjoy here very freely. When I am in Calcutta I have heavy responsibilities, and in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math also I am not worry-free. But in Hapaniya, I feel much peace at heart. I come here weekly or fortnightly. Although I don't stay very long, I appreciate being here.

So now you have come to this very place, Hapaniya, where Guru Maharaj manifested himself to the world, where all the trees, all the animals, all the men and women -- everything is transcendental. Even all the vegetables are transcendental. But it is necessary to eat with a transcendental body. Otherwise, how can we digest? That day we came here with Guru Maharaj, a humble meeting was held here in this very place. As shelter, only a tarpaulin was erected above our heads. We sat on the ground, and Guru Maharaj sat on a chair. He discussed various slokas. At that time it was my greatest fortune to hear a special sloka from my Guru Maharaj for the first time. Guru Maharaj wanted to inject our hearts with the feeling that we had come to the Holy Abode.

yat kincha trnagulma-kikatamukham
gosthe samastam hi tat
sarvvandamaye mukundadayitam
lilanukulam param

Khichuri for thousands.
He told us, "Everything here is transcendental and very auspicious. If you can see in this way, you will be benefitted. You will retrieve your transcendental life, and also, you will attain the service of Srimati Radharani." In this way, Guru Maharaj gave his blessings to us here on that day, and we always remember that. I have tried to speak a little of the glories of Guru Maharaj, for his satisfaction, and I know that if I can see the meaning of his sloka, my prayer must reach its destination very easily.

Now the offering is being made to the Deities. After the bhogarati we shall happily take the Prasadam of Radha-Gopinathjiu, Giridharijiu and our Guru Maharaj. This is my desire and prayer. My obeisances to you all -- the villagers, the sannyasis, brahmacharis, etc.

Jaya Om Visnupada Paramahamsa-parivracaryya-varyya Astottara-sata-sri Srimad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, ki jaya!
Tadiya Avirbhava-bhumi Sripat Hapaniya, ki jaya!
Jaya Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Radha-Gopinathjiu, ki jaya!
Tadiya Bhogarati, ki jaya!
Jaya Sripad Ananga Mohan Prabhu, ki jaya!
Jaya Gauri Matadevi, ki jaya!
Jaya Sri Upendrachandra Vidyaratna ki jaya!
Jaya samaveta Vaisnava-mandala, ki jaya!
Samaveta Bhaktavrnda, ki jaya! Harinama-sankirttana, ki jaya! Gaura-premanande, Hari bol!
Honouring Prasadam at the conclusion of this sweet Festival in the special place of Sripat Hapaniya.
Tulasi Devi is found growing freely all over Hapaniya.
Sripad Aranya Maharaj, Sripad Tirtha Maharaj and other pilgrims returning to the bus headed for Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
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