Raghav's Bags

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
5 April 2013, Sri Puri Dham

 

When the Bengal devotees come to Puri at the Ratha Yatra time, they walk there for two months. Do you know that? You can go some time and see there is Raghav Pandit's house not so far from our Dum Dum Park temple in Kolkata, maybe half an hour by car.

Once I went there and saw that right after Ratha Yatra they started preparing food to bring for the next Ratha Yatra. Last year (2012) we were very fortunate because we too could get the prasadam from Raghav Pandit's house. We went for parikrama and stopped to take breakfast, but they said that prasad had come from Raghav Pandit's house and we could take that. Two-three hundred people took Raghav Pandit's prasad on that day.

In Mahaprabhu's times, Damayanti, the sister of Raghav Pandit, would make so much food for Mahaprabhu during the whole year, and at the Ratha Yatra time, on the Gundicha marjan day, they would bring bags full of food for Mahaprabhu. They called it Raghaver jhali, রাঘবের ঝালি, 'Raghav's bags'. Now they still bring it every year to Gambhira, Mahaprabhu's room.

When the devotees came to Puri, they would not go to see Jagannath first—they would first go to see Mahaprabhu—for this reason, the Puri people, the pandas, used to say, "Ish, these Bengal people are so greedy. They come and immediately start eating! They do not go to bathe in the samudra (ocean), they do not shave their heads—they just come and take prasadam! They come here only to eat."

The devotees would first come to Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu thought, "Oh, they have been walking here for so many days, they must be very tired." He would call the devotees and order, "Please give them some prasadam! Hey, Nityananda! Hey, Sivananda! Where are they coming from? Where do they live? Where are they going to stay? Please arrange everything for them." The devotees were happy.

One time, thinking of the pandas' words, Mahaprabhu asked them, "Yes, they are right—why are you coming to see Me first? Why are you not going to see Jagannath? Why are you coming here?" The devotees laughed, "Prabhu, if we see You, we can see Lord Jagannath, no problem."

 

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