By Acarya Dasa
Our party was in Kannur, Kerala on Janmāṣṭamī eve. The city of Kannur also known as Cannanore is a municipal corporation in the district of Kannur. The devotees there urged us to celebrate Janmāṣṭamī with them and arranged our accommodation at the Kalyan Mandap hall. The ISKCON Centre was about 1.5 kilometers away from where we were staying, and soon realized there was not enough space at the temple to host the program. So, both the namahatta devotees and the temple congregation decided to celebrate Janmāṣṭamī together with us at the Kalyan Mandap.
During the day we performed saṅkīrtana with the local devotees and in the evening we had Hari-nāma at the hall. When all the devotees arrived we showed a documentary about ‘The All India Padayatra’. It explains how we travel to different places in India preaching and distributing the Holy Names. Everyone was very inspired and happy to hear the glories of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar. Afterwards, the children performed a drama about Sakshi Gopal. This was followed by other cultural programs and abhishek of the deities, which we arranged. Their Lordships were offered 56 bhoga preparations that day.
Later that evening Rupa Raghunatha Maharaj who had joined the pāda-yātrā on the auspicious day of Balaram Jayanti, gave a talk on the Janma (birth) lila of Lord Krishna. The lecture was translated to Malayalam for the locals. His lectures are very inspiring and they encourage us to continue on with this pāda-yātrā. We are very happy that he joined us again; his presence gives us spiritual strength so we can better serve Guru and Gauranga. A few hours before midnight we went on saṅkīrtana with the assembled devotees, who danced with ecstasy! Afterwards, we returned to the hall at midnight for maha-arati of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar, followed by prasādam.
We wish to thank Caitanya Rasamrita Dasa, the disciple of Jayapataka Maharaj who helped us a lot during our almost one month long stay in the Kannur district. He not only spread the news all over that the ‘All India Padayatra’ was coming to the towns and villages of Kannur but he also made sure to tell everyone to make arrangements for us. We had a good time and distributed a lot of books –all by mercy of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar.