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Parikrama: More Than Pilgrimage (2)

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


...Therefore, you come here, you struggle so much, sometimes it rains and you get so much austerity, etc. but when you go down the path towards the Lord, there must be some austerity. We must understand this. I remember one thing.

On 4 December 2009, when Gurudev declared my name, I did not understand anything at that time. After that, Gurudev quickly sent me to Australia with Srila Ashram Maharaj. I was going to go to Malaysia from Australia, but Gurudev called me and said, "There is a problem here, it is good if you can return quickly." My programme was fifteen days, but I came back in seven days leaving Srila Ashram Maharaj in Australia. To this day I still remember what problem Gurudev got at that time and how much pain he felt. Anyhow, I came back, and many of you know that at that time Gurudev became very sick. With so much pain, he kept saying, "Ei jagat theke anugatya chole gechhe (এই জগৎ থেকে আনুগত্য চলে গেছে). Ei jagat theke anugatya chole gechhe (এই জগৎ থেকে আনুগত্য চলে গেছে). [Anugatya, chaste adherence to one's guru, has left this world.] There is no more anugatya in this world." Gurudev told me at that time, "When my Guru Maharaj fell ill, I had no other way but to stop Nabadwip Dham parikrama that one time. So, what will you do? This year I cannot go to Nabadwip for 2010 parikrama, tell me if you can still do it or not. If you cannot do it, you can stop it. I know you actually do the parikrama every year yourself, but I have been always present there, but this time I will not be present, I will stay in Kolkata." I told Gurudev, "If you give your mercy, I will definitely be able to do the parikrama."

Later, when we left the [Nabadwip] temple, you know that this temple here [in Nrisingha Palli] had not been completed yet, the Deities had not been installed, but there was no other place in Nabadwip where we could stay, and that year everybody kept calling me, asking, "Maharaj, what is going to happen? Will there be a parikrama this year?" I told everybody to come, and three days before the parikrama was to start, I made the decision. I told Tyagi Maharaj, consulted with Srila Ashram Maharaj, Srila Janardan Maharaj, Srila Trivikram Maharaj, who were here at that time. I said that I would not stop the parikrama—no matter how, no matter with what difficulty, even if we have to stay in a pandal, I will still continue this parikrama. That year I brought Mahaprabhu's vijaya vigraha from Kolkata and, placing Him here, started the worship and the parikrama by Mahaprabhu's mercy.

From then on, you have been coming here.

শ্রীগৌড়মণ্ডলভূমি, যেবা জানে চিন্তামণি,
তার হয় ব্রজভূমি বাস ।

sri-gauda-mandala-bhumi yeba jane chintamani
tara haya vraja-bhume vasa

"Those who always think about Sri Nabadwip Dham, reside in Sri Vrindavan."

Those who think about this Gaura Mandal parikrama, who do the parikrama of the abode of Gaura, who have got an opportunity to circumambulate the holy abode of Sri Gaura, are very fortunate. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, Srila Vamsi Das Babaji Maharaj, Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj—they all left Vrindavan and came to live here, in Nabadwip Dham. They took Sri Nabadwip Dham as non-different from Sri Vrindavan Dham. We too, following their vision, taking their vision of Sri Nabadwip Dham upon our heads, now receive an opportunity to do this Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama every year.

Sometimes West Bengalis hear about Nabadwip Dham and think that it is about going to Mayapur, having an outing in ISKCON, etc. When we go to Mayapur we often see that people come there on a bus tour—they come to some temple, have a picnic, and leave. This is not Nabadwip Dham parikrama! If you have a bus ride around Nabadwip, this is just an eye exercise. We do not come for this. We come for sadhu-sanga, that is why we do this parikrama with kirtan, taking this holy land on your head, we come to sit wherever sadhus sit and speak. We do not go shop to shop looking for things to buy for our grandchildren. This is all material desires, we must leave all these desires (I told you the story of Chitraketu the other day). As long as you are attacked by material desires, the glories of Sri Nabadwip Dham will not be able to enter your mind or heart.

You can see from how far people come here. Many of you have come from Hooghly, Bardhaman, Midnapore, etc., but many foreign devotees have come here from hundreds of thousands of miles away, they spend lakhs of rupees to come here just to stay here for seven days or so. For them, everything here is different—the food is different, the water is different, etc. If you think about it, you can understand how far behind you are.

ভারত-ভূমিতে হৈল মনুষ্য-জন্ম যার ।
জন্ম সার্থক করি' কর পর-উপকার ॥

bharata-bhumite haila manusya janma yara
janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara

"One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India should take advantage of his birth and bring benefit to all other people."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 9.41)

You are born right here in India but how far out you are from this bringing benefit to others! We come, dance and say "Hari bol! Hari bol!" but we have not taken anything into our hearts—we have not been able to capture anything within our hearts. We have only seen some beautiful buildings, temples, etc. Many also think that the bigger the temple is, the bigger the guru in that temple is, or the more temples one has, the bigger guru he is, and if one stays in a thatched house, he is not a great guru. What great building did Babaji Maharaj, Rupa Goswamipad, Sanatan Goswami, Jiva Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami stay in? How many temples (maths) of Mahaprabhu have you seen? So, when you go to Mayapur, you goggle at great buildings, many things, etc. but this is not the point! Those who come to walk this Nabadwip Dham parikrama, must understand what is the result of this parikrama. The result of Nabadwip Dham parikrama is devotion for Gauranga Mahaprabhu, for the Lord. How can one get devotion? That is why this Nabadwip Dham parikrama is necessary.



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Fertile Ground
'You must practise every day. This is an instruction for everybody. Do not think that you just take initiation and you have already reached Vaikuntha, Goloka Vrindavan. It is impossible. I am giving you a seed, and you must take care of it.'


Namo namah tulasi maharani
'O fortunate Tulasi, by your performance of austerity you have become Sri Salagram's worshippable consort.'
নমো নমঃ তুলসী মহারাণি

If people do something wrong, please forgive them. To err is human, nobody is perfect, so if somebody makes a mistake, please forgive them.