By Acarya Dasa
On July 15th our pāda-yātrā party reached Tanur, a small town nine kilometers north of Tirur Tehsil in the Malappuram district and is predominantly a Muslim area. It was previously known as Tyndis. Before travelling to Tanur a few pāda-yātris visited Pandharpur for the Vyasa Puja celebrations of Lokanath Swami. The rest of our team stayed behind at a namahatta center in the Malappurram district.
Blessings for Padayatra
When we met Lokanath Swami in Pandharpur we spoke to him about pāda-yātrā’s journey in Kerala and how there was a lot of scope for book distribution there. We told him about the piety of the people and how they come out of their homes to see Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar when they hear the kīrtana. We also explained how easy it was to distribute books since there were no gaps between the villages. In this area, the villages were connected and sometimes there were residential areas in between, so book distribution became very easy. Every day we would distribute 300 maha-big books. Lokanath Swami was happy to hear about the book score. He said,
“Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar is pleased with you and I am always with you. Encourage more and more people to join pāda-yātrā and let the glories of pāda-yātrā spread world-wide.”
Lokanath Swami’s words always gives us strength and it empowers us to continue our service to pāda-yātrā. When we returned from the Vyasa Puja festivities, miraculously five new devotees approached us wanting to join the pāda-yātrā; we happily accepted. We then resumed our travels with the mercy and blessings of Lokanath Swami ready to beat both the khol mridanga (terracotta two-sided drum played in kīrtana) and brihat (book) mridanga to spread the holy names all over.
When we reached Tanur we were welcomed by the local namahatta devotees. Rasanidhi Dasa, a disciple of Jayapataka Swami, kindly made all arrangements for our stay there. Bhakti Vinod Maharaj had actually informed the namahatta and temple devotees in Kerala about our impending visit before-hand, he is so merciful. He asked them to organize our accommodation and preaching program so everything went smoothly and without any problems. While in Tanur the namahatta devotees joined us on saṅkīrtana and we distributed 408 books together. We came across a Devi Temple in the town and met the committee, who purchased a Srimad Bhagavatam set and other books from us. Dhiranayak Dasa was leading kīrtana as we approached the predominantly Muslim area of town. There were many Muslim men and women who came out of their homes to see what was happening when they heard us coming. Upon hearing the saṅkīrtana they automatically took darsana of the Lord. Saṅkīrtana was knocking on the hearts of the people, impelling them to see the Lord.
Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar are very merciful. They give Their darsana to every soul fulling the words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
Prithvite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra prachara haibe mora nama
“In as many towns and villages as there are on the surface of the earth, My holy name will be preached”.
It rained heavily every day while we were in Tanur but surprisingly whenever we went out on saṅkīrtana it stopped raining and as soon as we were done it would start again. This was all part of the Lord’s plan because everywhere we go people expect us to do saṅkīrtana. It is with this mercy that we walk the streets spreading the holy names.