All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Preaching with Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharyya Maharaj

Dogachia Village

Programme of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip, 7 April 2006

All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj.

By the Grace of Srila Gurudev, we are able to come upon this holy land of Nabadwip in an attempt to dedicate our energy in the service of Sri Guru and his servitors. It is only by his grace that we are able to approach Krishna consciousness and try to give just a little bit of our life in return for unparalleled happiness. As it says in 'Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya:'

Nityananda Prabhu, raising His lotus hands in the air, cries: "O souls! Come here. If you want happiness, give up exploitation (karma) and calculation (jnana). I have come to give you the happiness you seek, asking nothing in return. There is no need of trouble, risk, or pain. Just chant the Name of Sri Chaitanya and dance without care. The happiness I am giving away is unparalleled. It is positive, pure, and ecstatic. It is eternal bliss, free from illusion."

Here in Sri Nabadwip Dham, there are always plenty of seva opportunities. Continuing from 'Sri Nabadwip Dham Mahatmya:'

All are in serving attitude whether birds, beasts, worms, insects - everything - all are contributing to the Reality, their feeling of heart, their gesture, posture or movement - everything - contributes exclusively to the Pastimes of the Lord.

This afternoon, Srila Gurudev left Nabadwip around 3:30pm, and afterwards, Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharyya Maharaj invited several Western devotees to go along with his preaching party to yet another village preaching programme.

Preaching in Bengal is difficult, as Srila Govinda Maharaj has mentioned several times, but Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharyya Maharaj will not give up. All year round he takes his sankirttan party to several villages and invites thousands of people to visit Sri Nabadwip Dham. Due to this year-round preaching, there were several thousand pilgrims at the Gaura-Purnima festival at the Math this year, and several took initiation.

After Sri Gaura-Purnima ends, the preaching cycle begins again. One of the first not too distant journeys is to a small village called Dogachia on the occasion of Sri Rama-navami.

Every Rama-navami, Prahlad Prabhu invites Sripad Acharyya Maharaj to his house in Dolgachia. This village is about thirty minutes away from our Temple. I remember, as we started up the familiar palm tree road, that I had done this same exact thing about two years ago. In both cases, we are greeted by a few people upon arrival, and upon entering the house we find many villagers awaiting our arrival.

Last time we took the Tata Sumo but this time we traveled on the SCSMath bus.

The bus ride was quite pleasant. We drove out of Koladwip and made turns here and there until we reached a winding road surrounded by trees and rice fields. The devotees inside the bus happily discussed Srila Govinda Maharaj's stay in Nabadwip.

Two of our saffron-clad brahmacharis: Sadhu Priya Prabhu from Australia, and Krishna Kumar Prabhu from Venezuela.


Hari Prasad Prabhu, part of Sripad Acharyya Maharaj's sankirttan group at the far right.

Typical Indian house amidst banana trees and palm trees.

Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharyya Maharaj: "We are going to Dogachia which is in Bardwan District near Hapaniya for the Rama-navami festival."

How have we received this invitation:

"Actually, the man who is inviting us is a devotee. He is a disciple of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. For several years he has been making a festival in his place and we have been going every year."

You frequently go to many villages and you take a party with you, what is that like?

"They are inviting me one by one and, as you know, yesterday 100 people came to our Math. We are going preaching house by house and collecting donations from them and inviting them to come. They are coming to the Temple, and when they see that we have a big centre and that we really are big preachers, they are inviting us to their homes. They tell us that they will have a programme in their house and ask us to please join them.

"For several years we have been going to Prahlad Prabhu's house and at first there were ten people, then fifteen, then twenty, and now there are a hundred. When they are making a programme in their house, the whole village is coming. So they invite us, we invite them, and we are growing and growing."

What does Srila Gurudev say about this?

"He is very happy. He said it is growing and that many people are coming. The Temple is for preaching. If there is no preaching, then nobody knows about our Temple. No one will know about 'Kolerdanga Math' (the colloquial local name for Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math)."

Do you find that everybody knows about Mahaprabhu?

"They all know Gauranga Mahaprabhu but they do not know about the real conception. Mahaprabhu is giving a pure conception but they do not know the real conception - all they know is some kitchuri hodge podge, like this. They know Mahaprabhu, but Mahaprabhu's real conception, suddha bhakti, pure devotion they do not know and we are trying to give them that."

Do most of them accept this conception?

"They are listening."



Jnana Jnanananda Prabhu from France.

Tell us about your experience in India:

Jnana Jnanananda Prabhu: "Yes. My experience in India is like a big meeting with the Vaishnavas. I have met Western and Indian devotees and I like them very much. I have been here for five months and it is very good because I am learning so many things. There are many situations in which I find myself learning more about respect, tolerance, observation, and listening, which to me is very important. For me, India has been a good surprise. I have been waiting fifteen years to come here. I have been preparing myself and trying to cleanse my heart before coming here and offering myself in service.

"It is also a good surprise and big mercy to meet this Vaishnava family and come in contact with Srila Govinda Maharaj. It has been very nice to have the association with all of the devotees."

How do you feel about the preaching programme? I understand you have gone with Sripad Acharyya Maharaj before. Can you tell us about your experience?

"The first time I went on a village preaching programme was before Gaura-Purnima, and I went for one week. He proposed for me to go, and I agreed. I was very happy to go because it is very important to give the message to all persons and not just in India, but all over. This preaching is very intense. You are very close to the devotees you go with and you stay in the same house. Every day there are bhajans, chanting, and prasadam."

"This preaching in the village is a good experience and a good opportunity to make contact with the Indian people as well as the devotees. Sripad Acharyya Maharaj, with Srila Gurudev, really gives the devotees in the group a lot of enthusiasm to partake in this preaching and keep going."


Kanta Krishna Prabhu:

"I am from Cumana, Venezuela, which is where I live, and I am preaching there at the moment. I am very happy right now because I get to be here in India for some time."

What is so attractive about India?

Kanta Krishna Prabhu: "Before, I was very much attracted to India because it is so mysterious and mystical, but now what attracts me to India is the presence of my Gurudev and the great Vaishnavas that surround him. "

How do you feel now that you are here?

Well, I was telling my friend Krishna Kumar Prabhu that my wish has really come true. I was always online reading about Sripad Acharyya Maharaj's village preaching programmes and I always thought that someday I would be able to be here to enjoy Nama Hata Harinam Sankirttan with the devotees. I really like preaching and distributing prasadam and I thought that maybe just one day, it would be possible for me to come here. Now I have realised that I have been given this opportunity by the Lord, and I am living that reality that I always hoped for. "

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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