Sri Bamunpara Dham
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Gurudev told me before that if I get a chance, I should spend a night here in Bamunpara, and we are very happy today—after so many years we are spending a night here... I cannot remember when last time I did it, but by the mercy of Gurudev today I have got a chance to stay with all you for one night in Gurudev's village, Gurudev's appearance place, Nityananda Prabhu's place, Radha Gopinath's place. It is our great fortunate.
We come to Gurudev's appearance place with sankirtan, and all these places are places of parikrama marg (pilgrimage),
udila aruna purava-bhage
At the crack of dawn the jewel of the brahmans, Sri Gorachand, awakes. Taking His devotees with Him, He goes out about the town.
What is "Gora gela nagara-vraje"? It means nagar sankirtan,
'tathai tathai' bajala khola
The mridangas resound 'tathai tathai' to the beat of the cymbals as Gaurasundar's golden form sways with ecstatic love and His footbells jingle.
mukunda madhava yadava hari
He calls out, "Chant aloud Mukunda, Madhava, Yadava, Hari!"
So, with sankirtan we go to Gurudev's childhood place. Our Gurudev is nondifferent from Krishna, and we consider this place to be nondifferent from Krishna's childhood places—Mathura, Gokul, Mahavan. This is where we have spent a night...
Actually, I first came to this place in 1993. At that time, there was nothing here, only in the village there were some places of Gurudev's pastimes. Gurudev told me, "If you want to do something in my birthplace, first make a temple for Gopinath." Gurudev's family was very poor and sometimes he did not take food properly, so sometimes, when his father and mother offered some banana fruit to the Deities, Gurudev was very hungry and he would sneak and take that fruit from the offering plate. So, Gurudev told me, "At that time I was so hungry and I did not understand what Deity is, who Gopinath is, and I made so much offence. If you can first make a house for Gopinath, I will be very happy." Gurudev ordered it to me, and I did it.
In those days, there was no road here also. To bring bricks, cement and everything else, we used to take bullock carts from Putsuri (a town nearby), and at all other times I would walk four kilometres from Putsuri to Bamunpara and four kilometres back.
Also, I did not have a car—there was only Gurudev's car at that time (the one from Srila Sridhar Maharaj's time and that is now in the Centenary Museum in Nabadwip); so, every time I rented a car to get to Putsuri, and then walk from there to Bamunpara. I remember every day I had to spend 400 rupees to rent the car, and one day Gurudev stopped me and gave me his car. This was the first time he let me use it, and after that I used it for many years—I went preaching, went to Hapaniya, Bamunpara, sometimes even Kolkata, and many other places in that car of Srila Sridhar Maharaj...
Before, Gopinath was worshipped in a thatched house in the village. Some local hired brahmin did the puja, but actually there was no proper worship. We prayed and prayed and by the mercy of Gurudev, mercy of Lord Gopinath, Krishna, and we then got our first land in 1999 and built there a small mandir, but that land was not sufficient for a temple. Actually, it was difficult to get any land, and Gurudev's family members did not cooperate with us so much. On the outskirts of the village, there was a place where people would keep the cows' dead bodies and other things. It was considered a very bad land and nobody wanted it, so I bought that land, cleared everything and started the construction. First I made a house (the one behind the temple) and started an ashram there. We placed there Gurudev's big photo and started worshipping it. Gurudev did not know about it.
Then, I started doing Govinda Kunda in Nabadwip, and everybody complained to Gurudev, "Oh, Acharya Maharaj is spending so much money on Govinda Kunda! He is stealing money!" Gurudev said, "Yes, I know he is 'stealing' money, but can you tell me where he is keeping that money?" Some time later, a devotee came with me to Bamunpara with a camera and took some photographs of the construction of the mandir and showed them to Gurudev. Gurudev said then, "Do you see? He is 'stealing' money, I know, but this is where he is keeping it!"
After the temple was built, I started making the nat mandir, then I brought Gopinath here and we inaugurated the temple in 2003. The Deity was actually worshipped by Nityananda Prabhu's, Virachandra Prabhu's family, and eventually by Gurudev's family...
I remember when I brought Gopinath from the family where He was kept to the new temple that we built, that same day the cows gave 3 kg more milk.
Gurudev's family had kept Gopinath, but they did not do puja, archan, and I came there at ten o'clock at night and took Gopinath away! That was my plan. At ten o'clock, when everybody thought Gopinath was sleeping, I took Him away.
That day there was a big festival in Nabadwip—so many people came for Gurudev's appearance day—and the next day there was a big festival (temple inauguration) in Bamunpara. At night time, after finishing the kirtan and class in Nabadwip, I called the Bamunpara manager and told him,
"I am coming to take prasadam there, wait for me."
"Maharaj, are you going now—at ten o'clock at night?!"
"Yes, no problem. Gopinath is not sleeping, He is waiting for me! Do not stop sankirtan until I get to the temple. Prasadam will be late today."
I took a car and in thirty-forty minutes was there. I came to Gopinath's house with that sankirtan, took Him in my arms and kept Him in the temple. Then He slept very well...
After the inauguration in 2003, we started coming to Bamunpara every year. Gurudev also came here several times. His last visit was in 2009. I remember on 4 December was his Vyasa Puja, and the next day, 5 December, he came here...
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