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Parikrama: More Than Pilgrimage (1)

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Evening class, Sri Nrisingha Palli
3 March 2020, part 2, translated from Bengali


মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

First, I am offering my full obeisance onto the lotus feet of my Gurupadpadma Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj begging him for his causeless mercy, then I am offering obeisance at the holy feet of all Guru-varga, especially Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj, as well as Sripad Bhakti Kamal Tyagi Maharaj and all the sannyasi-vrinda. I also offer my obeisance at the feet of all the assembled godbrothers and sisters, and all the devotees.

When I first came to the Math, the number of people who would join this Nabadwip Dham parikrama was very small. I remember the prasadam used to be taken with us in a bullock cart. Srila Guru Maharaj [Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj] told me to do this parikrama with Sripad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj and Sripad Aranya Maharaj and gave me one hundred rupees pocket money to buy the tickets to cross the Ganges (it used to cost fifty rupees one way for everyone). In this way, I did the parikrama for the first time. At that time, I observed carefully how they did the parikrama. I got an opportunity to observe what places they visited, how they did the parikrama, etc. From the next year, it was 1993, Srila Guru Maharaj told me, "It is necessary to preach. I am going abroad to preach there, but you can preach here in Bengal so that more Bengali devotees could join this parikrama." After that, I started doing this parikrama, and since then, every year, day by day, the number of devotees has been increasing. Srila Guru Maharaj was very pleased that so many people were joining this parikrama and he told me, "Now that so many people come to join, there is no place for them to stay"—this is how the Govinda Kunda building and many other facilities were made and arranged, there were different pandals, rooms, etc. So many things have been arranged for this Nabadwip Dham parikrama.

You all say that you will come and tolerate so many austerities wherever I am—whether I stay in a forest or in a jungle, you say you will still come. Hearing and seeing this, I get enthusiasm to do this parikrama. If you did not come, how would I feel eager to do it? I would not. You come, you tolerate all the inconveniences, many of you do not get a proper place, do not get a room, you sleep on the veranda, in the nat mandir, in different pandals, but you come to join this parikrama, and it gives me so much joy. That is why, I always feel enthusiastic, I always think how to arrange the parikrama next time, how to increase the facilities for the next time. You can see that even during the past year, more rooms were built here, the outbuilding kitchen was expanded, etc. In this way, I am trying to increase the facilities in various places, I struggle and try hard to arrange place for you to stay. To this day, I am still trying hard to do this on the order of my Gurudev.

One thing I have never told any year, but I want to say it today. You have taken so much trouble to come here, but also many have gone to Nabadwip Chaitanya Saraswat Math because they can get a good place to stay, a good room there. But do you think that I do not want to go there? My mind, my heart cries, "When will I go there?" I have made Gurudev's samadhi mandir... Do you think I do not want to go there? But for those who have left me, I say that one day will come, and as Guru Maharaj told me, "Wait and see. Everything will come right one day."

No matter what austerity came, we have never stopped any programmes. We are here now by the side of Nrisinghadev and Prahlad Maharaj—Prahlad Maharaj's father tortured him so much, but he never said to his father, "Father, do not kill me, please do not harass me!" I have never asked the Lord for this, "O Lord, please do not give me so many austerities!", "O Lord, please give me relief from these problems!" On the contrary, I always tell the Lord, "For Your service, no matter how much austerity You give me, I will accept everything."



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