By Acarya Dasa
The All India Pāda-yātrā turns 34
Our pāda-yātrā party planned on leaving Nileshwaram on August 29th but Caitanya Rasamrita Dasa insisted we stay and celebrate Radhastami in his village. He also asked that we do a few preaching programs in other parts of the town. Radhastami is made more special because it’s ‘The All India Padayatra’s’ birthday too! The pāda-yātrā started in 1984 in Dwarka, on Radhastami by Lokanath Swami. Since then we have circumambulated India 5 times. Lokanath Swami wishes for this pāda-yātrā to continue for thousands of years to come.
While in Nileshwaram, we remembered pāda-yātrā’s 34 year history. Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar, the deities of pāda-yātrā have left the comforts of the temple to walk with us in the hot sun and rain preaching the Holy names all over India. Every soul is waiting to meet the Lord and pāda-yātrā is effectively delivering Him to them. Village to village, door to door on saṅkīrtana, Their Lordships give Their darśana to everyone. To commemorate the special day pāda-yātris shared their realizations of being on pāda-yātrā and how the Lord has helped and inspired them to keep on going.
Sahadev Dasa’s wonderful dream
Sahadev Dasa, who joined us from Russia shared his feelings about pāda-yātrā. After serving with us for some time he had to leave because his visa had expired. Since leaving, every night he dreamt of pāda-yātrā –he dreamt he was walking and serving the bulls et cetera. Once, in a dream, all the pāda-yātris went to his house. His mother, who is not very favorable to his devotional life, was to his surprise serving all the pāda-yātris with all her heart; welcoming them, offering them prasādam and gifting everyone with clothes. Very soon afterwards, Sahadev Dasa was able to renew his visa and returned ‘home’ to his walking temple to serve Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar. Sharing realizations such as these, with one another helps to inspire us.
Later that day Rupa Raghunath Maharaj gave katha on the glories of Radharani. He explained that serving Radharani will take us to Krishna and that we get ‘double benefit’ because we are serving Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu who is:
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya
Meaning that Vaiṣṇavas consider Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu non-different from Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Maharaj continued: “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also come with bhava and complexion of Radharani. So definitely you all must be very dear to Radharani.” Afterwards we all sang bhajans glorifying Radharani followed by Ārati and prasādam.
We stayed in Nileshwaram for one more day holding various preaching programs in different parts of the village. We left the day after that to our next destination. Caitanya Rasamrita Dasa walked with us for a few kilometers and before departing he invited us to visit his town again the next time we were in that area.
It is our 34th year on pāda-yātrā and I would like to ask all of you to pray for us pāda-yātris so we can continue to serve Guru and Gauranga eternally, without any obstacles.
Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar ki! Jai!
Srila Prabhupada ki! Jai
All India Padayatra Book scores: August, 2017
|Month||Small soft cover books||Medium soft cover books||Big soft cover books||Maha big books hard cover||Total|