All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama begins

Report by Prabhu Keshavananda of U.K.
and Sita Devi Dasi of Germany

14 March 2003

Dandavats dear Devotees and Friends!

Today was the first day of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math's Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama, visiting the different holy places on the Mayapur side of the River Ganges: Sri Simantadwip, Sri Rudradwip and Sri Antardwip. Glorious and effulgent as ever the parikrama party left the Math directly after Mangal Arati and proceeded through Nabadwip town to the ferry ghat. The parikrama was led by such exalted personalities as Sripad Bhakti Kiran Giri Maharaj, Sripad Bhakti Prasun Aranya Maharaj, Sripad Kusum Ashram Maharaj, Sripad Bhakti Prapanna Tirtha Maharaj, Sripad Bhakti Swarup Tridandi Maharaj, Sripad Bhakti Chandan Parvat Maharaj and Sripad Bhakti Premik Siddhanti Maharaj.

Crossing the Ganges in the early morning in the company of all the devotees is always a magical and beautiful experience. Often there is excitement and drama, and today was no exception. One boat full of devotees floated merrily downstream with the current as its engine would not start. Eventually it was roped to another boat and towed to Mayapur Ghat and the parikrama party was safely reunited.

How can words adequately describe the tidal wave of nectar unleashed through the mercy of Sriman Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu and the Holy Dham, to those fortunate souls participating in the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Parikrama party? The Holy Name resounded in all directions, and the devotees' hearts overflowed with joy at their inconceivable fortune to be present at such a place and in such association. It was so exhilarating to be led by Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj, one of Srila Prabhupad's earliest disciples, into the Sri Chandradoy Mandir and the Puspa-Samadhi of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupad

Glowing in saffron and carrying the tridanda of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas he led a wonderful Kirttan at the lotus feet of Srila Swami Maharaj's Murti. This is always a special place of pilgrimage in particular for the western devotees who owe so much, even everything, to the mercy of Srila Prabhupad, as it was he who led us to the shelter and beauty of Srila Sridhar Maharaj and his dearmost disciple Srila Govinda Maharaj, our dear Srila Gurudeva.

Approaching the Yogapitha a slightly awed feeling entered the party at the enormity and significance of the place we were being given entrance to, through the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. Bathed in the Holy Name, the devotees appeared so humble and happy to be in the cooling transcendental atmosphere of the Appearance Place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The party spent quite some time there in Kirttan and Hari-katha, followed by rest and much needed drinking of water from green coconuts.

Srivas Angan, the birthplace of the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord in this present age, blessed us not only in wonderful Kirttan but also in a ten minute torrential downpour of rain. Devotees ran for cover as shoes and sandals floated away down the road, but very quickly the sun came out on a refreshed and beautiful parikrama.

At the Samadhi of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur in his principal Temple, the Mayapur Sri Chaitanya Math, Sripad Ashram Maharaj gave a very powerful talk about how our Sampradaya came to us in the modern age. His glorification of Srila Prabhupad and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was completed with heartfelt singing of 'pranamami sada prabhupada padam,' the perfect description of Srila Saraswati Thakur's glories composed by Srila Guru Maharaj and sung throughout the Gaudiya Maths.

The beautiful Temple of Sri Jagannath, Sri Baladeva and Sri Subhadra was a cooling oasis for us where in the sweet breeze the devotees sang the Dasavatar Stotram by Jayadev Goswami accompanied by karatals and mridangas. The flowers and trees at that beautiful and holy place made a wonderful location where the devotees happily honoured lunch Prasadam. The devotees then rested in the shade before starting out on the long walk back home to our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

The glories of Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama are unlimited and real. This Dham, this parikrama and these devotees are freely distributing mercy and are a conduit from that side, Reality the Beautiful, to us, the fallen conditioned souls. The transcendental sound vibration of the Holy Names that surround the parikrama party like a beautiful garland are conscious and are lifting forcibly the devotees carrying them towards the Lord. What is practically impossible in our everyday lives, that is to chant the Holy Name of the Lord humbly and constantly, becomes almost natural and easy on parikrama, through the mercy of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sriman Mahaprabhu and all the Vaishnav devotees.

Sri Nabadwip Dham Parikrama ki jay!!!!!!!!!!
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math ki jay!!!!!!!!!!
Srila Gurudeva ki jay!!!!!!!!!

Praying at the lotus feet of all the devotees for their mercy, these aspiring servitors hope they have given a small glimpse of the festival here.

-Keshavananda Das (U.K.)
assisted by Sita Devi Dasi (Germany)
 Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
 14 March 2003

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip.