By Muralimohan Dasa (ISKCON Ahmedabad)
On Sunday 15 March 2020 we had conducted our 44th One Day Padayatra in the Gota area which is 12 kms away from our ISKCON temple. This time a week before, we had planned the theme to ‘Fight against Virus Corona’ by distributing “Harinama KARUNA”. Most of our congregation devotees liked this theme and started preparing accordingly. We discussed in our temple-congregation meeting that all the congregation leaders with their congregation devotees will participate and give their esteem presence for distributing Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s KARUNA to the public.
About 100 devotees gathered near the ICB Flora Society and Padayatra started at 8 am sharp with kirtana led by our kirtana team.
The walk was about 7/8 kms which was covered in five and a half hours. The different residential societies benefitted with the holy name and Srila Prabhupada’s books. The societies were very happy that we had conducted such an event and most of them welcomed us in their homes with Deities to purify them and their homes.
They also appreciated and expressed their gratitude for such a great service of fighting against such a dangerous virus. Most of them came down from their respective floors and joined our dance, specially the children in the societies. From their galleries many of them raised their arms and chanted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra loudly behind us.
Devotees carrying banners in English and Gujarati with the headlines – “Fight against Virus Corona with the Power of Harinaam KARUNA” really penetrated their hearts. The societies which never let anybody inside without permission of their society secretaries received our beautiful Deities Nimai-Nitai and Srila Prabhupada with a warm welcome. Devotees were served breakfast prasada and lime juice at 9.30 am to encourage and inspire them and some local people also joined us for prasada.
The books distribution score was 134 big books and many other small books were distributed all the way long and nearly about 300 devotees gave their esteem presence. In each and every society our sankirtana leaders took the opportunity to make short announcements regarding the nature of Kali-yuga and its remedies and inspired all of them to chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare for at least 15/20 minutes every day sitting in front of their respective home altars. Many householders from their balconies raised their hands and nodded their heads promising that they will regularly chant this maha-mantra.
Most of our new congregation who joined this Padayatra for the first time were also attracted and appreciated this event.
Finally, we reached our destination at 1:30 pm, Deities were offered bhoga and aarti along with kirtana which continued for another half an hour. The first three book distributor winners were honoured and garlanded and we ended with serving feast prasada to all the devotees which went on till 3 pm. Finally, devotees departed slowly by thanking for arranging and engaging them to distribute Lord Caitanya’s KARUNA.