All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math’s

Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama 2006

Report by Vrinda Devi Dasi on pilgrimage from Venezuela
Photos: Gaurachandra Prabhu and Jamuna Priya Dasi

The sun has not risen yet and Srila Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, is already standing effulgently in front of Srila Guru Maharaj's Samadhi Mandir ready to start the kirttan that will set the parikrama party off.

udilo aruna puraba-bhage,
dwija-mani gora amani jage,
bhakata-samuha loiya sathe,
gela nagara-braje

"When the rising sun appeared in the east, the jewel of the twice-born, Lord Gaurasundar, awakened, and, taking His devotees with Him, He went all over the countryside towns and villages."

Many great personalities guide the pilgrimage. And as the sun rises it reveals the beauty of Sri Nabadwip Dham; the people of the villages along our way look surprised to see the great quantity of pilgrims that joined this year's Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

There is a great kirttan carrying the banner of our Math as the devotees keep chanting, "Jaya Nitai Gauranga, jaya Nitai Gauranga!" Who will believe that there is such a place on this planet where everyone is chanting the Names of Nitai Gauranga? Therefore we can understand that one of the special sweet qualities of Nabadwip Dham is that here the Absolute is distributing Himself affectionately.

 On the first day of Parikrama we went across the sacred Ganges River, the newly risen sun is perfectly reflected on her waters. At the head of the boat is Sripad Acharyya Maharaj carefully looking after the Parikrama party. And when we reach the island of Antardwip we start our way to Yogapith, the centre of the lotus flower of the nine spiritual islands of Nabadwip, to have darshan of the holy place of appearance of Mahaprabhu. Along the way, before arriving there, we pay our obeisances to the Puspa Samadhi Mandir of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhu.

 On the second day of Parikrama we went down to the centre of Nabadwip town to Poromotala, which means 'Great Tree.' From there we went to have darshan of the deity of Briddha Siva, the ancient deity of Siva. There we chanted the song 'Ohe Vaisnava Thakur,' in glorification of the Vaisnavas.

When we came to have darshan of the deity of Mahaprabhu that was worshiped by Srimati Visnupriya Devi the pujari placed the sandals of the Deity upon our heads. There we have a great kirttan and all the devotees chant happily.

 The third day of Parikrama. After a long, long walk we reach the island of Godrumadwip where the Surabhi cow resides eternally. On entering the Temple of Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhar and the Samadhi of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, we see all our illustrious sannyasis seated there, giving beautiful lectures. Sripad Giri Maharaj is giving a class in Bengali, followed by the English translation given by Sripad Parvat Maharaj, and Sripad Ashram Maharaj follows him with the Spanish version. The congregation of devotees from all around the world bears testimony that the sun never sets on the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Sripad Goswami Maharaj gave a lecture on how Srila Guru Maharaj explained that the Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Gadadhar where kept in the inner chambers of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's heart, and by dint of that very same melted heart, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur descended.

From there we went to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's bhajan kutir nearby on the banks of the River Saraswati. It is from the roof this house that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur used to see across the river to the holy city of Mayapur even though at that time it remained covered.

Sri Gaura Purnima, the advent of Sri Gaura Sundar, is only two days away, and we are preparing ourselves by glorifying the Name, the form, the nature and the Pastimes of Mahaprabhu. In Nabadwip Dham we not only find the places of the Pastimes of Sri Gaura Sundar but also that of His devotees. This increases the beauty of the Pastimes of the Absolute because His sweetness is magnified by the affection of the devotees.

 On the fourth day we kept walking, and upon arriving at the lotus feet of the deities of Sri Sri Gaura Gadadhar in Champahati we heard how Krishna had plundered the wealth within the heart of Srimati Radharani, and the remnant is Sri Gadadhar Pandit. Thus when Mahaprabhu was on the banks of the ocean of Nilachala feeling separation from Himself, only Gadadhar Pandit could give Him some relief from the pain of separation, for he knew the depths of the heart of Srimati Radharani.

If Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had not descended then who could propagate the glories of the devotional service of Srimati Radharani? The aim of all we do, all we hear and all we chant in our sampradaya is Radha-dasyam: the service to Her Lotus Feet.

In Champahati we had the opportunity of glorifying Srila Jayadev Goswami, and of listening to the glories of his service. Then we heard: everything that is not service is illusion, and the only connection we have with that higher plane of dedication is service. Furthermore we heard that the service to the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani is something that even Siva, Brahma and Uddhav aspire for.

In four days of parikrama we visited many holy places - many, many more than I can list here. During all this time we had the opportunity to participate in grand nagar-sankirttan, to listen to the glories of the Pastimes of Sri Sri Nitai-Gauranga and Their devotees, and because we went under the order of Srila Gurudev we knew it was safe and very auspicious.

 Only by the mercy of Srila Gurudev Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj can we have darshan of these holy places, just as Sri Nityananda Prabhu guided Jiva Goswami through Nabadwip Dham as revealed in Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Nabadwip-Dham Mahatmya. So we try to be conscious of the Pastimes of the Lord, try to glorify His devotees and after these long days on parikrama we come back home to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math to the lotus feet of Srila Gurudev to prepare for the big day of Sri Gaura-Purnima 2006.

With my humble obeisances to all the devotee readers,
Vrinda Devi Dasi
on pilgrimage from Venezuela

Many pictures of this Sri Vyasa-Puja Festival

 Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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