Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama
of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math
18 March 2008
Text by Malini Devi Dasi
Pictures by Malini Devi Dasi and Dhira Krishna Prabhu
In the same way as the first day, Srila Gurudev appears in the morning to start the second day of parikrama. He sends off the party with his blessings.
The first stop is Buroraj Shiva, a very old temple of Lord Shiva from the time of Mahaprabhu. Next we proceed to Poromatala, where we pay our respects to Yoga Maya. At the third stop, the temple of Vishnupriya Devi's own Deity of Mahaprabhu, a huge kirttan explodes. The energy levels throughout the parikrama have been astounding so far!
Breakfast Prasadam is honoured in a large field, where the devotees break Ekadasi with paran consisting of noodles, muri, a delicious sabji and bananas. Stalls nearby also offer sugarcane juice and drinking coconuts for sale. Afterwards, another Western kirttan is instigated by Sripad Acharyya Maharaj. The sun is very hot and the dancing and singing is strenuous but irresistable - especially due to the contribution of the Venezuelan devotees who have earned themselves a worldwide reputation for their tireless kirttan and choreographed dancing!
Our next and last stop is at the Bhajan Kutir and Samadhi Mandir of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj, and on foot we return back to the Math before lunch-time Prasadam.
After the parikrama and lunch Prasadam, in the late afternoon, Srila Gurudev comes to the nat-mandir to honour Sri Madhavendra Puri on the occasion of his disappearance day.
Srila Govinda Maharaj speaks about Sri Madhavendra Puri's final days in this world and that indeed our lineage was born of Sri Madhavendra Puri. This is because the highest mood of union in separation felt by Srimati Radharani Herself was first found in relatively recent times in Sri Madhavendra Puri. Sriman Mahaprabhu detected this mood in the heart of Sri Madhavendra Puri's disciple, Sri Ishvara Puri, from whom He accepted initiation.
Srila Gurudev speaks in depth about the famous verse of Srimati Radhika when Sri Krishna was leaving Vrindavan for Mathura:
ayi dina dayardra natha he, mathura natha kadavalokyase
hrdayam tvad aloka kataram dayita bhramyati kim karomy aham
"O gentle-hearted Lord, ever gracious upon the destitute, O Lord of Mathura, when shall I see You again? In Your absence my broken heart trembles. Beloved! What shall I do now?"
This verse was continuously expressed by Sri Madhavendra Puri in his final days. In the Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Sri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami has mentioned that no fourth person can taste this mood of union in separation felt by Srimati Radharani, Sri Madhavendra Puri and Sriman Mahaprabhu.
Sripad Avadhut Maharaj is then asked to speak, but the nature of Srila Gurudev's lecture is so touching that he is unable to add much except express that our Guru is the perfect representation of that same mood that he has been speaking about. I have never seen our strong Sripad Avadhut Maharaj so moved.
After that very brief expression by the Russian sannyasi, Srila Gurudev goes on to sing some songs. The first song he sings is Sri Sri Radhika Stutih (Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite). When Gurudev sings out the Name of Sri Radha, his mood is so intense that the nat-mandir feels infused by a surreal ambience and everybody present is astounded. He follows with the song Sri Krishna Vandana (He Deva Bhavantam Vande) and Jaya Radha Madhava.
On leaving the nat-mandir, an extraordinary kirttan ensues. Those present feel that the nat-mandir is so infused with the pure Holy Name emerging from Srila Gurudev's lotus mouth that the kirttan is thus ecstatic.
Meantime, several devotees, including myself, follow Srila Gurudev out on his scooter for a parikrama of Sri Govinda Kund. These devotees' mood is equally euphoric, and there is much familial play going on as we follow Srila Gurudev around. There is no other way to describe the feeling except as that of pure joy shared with an extraordinary family!