By Acarya Dasa
We reached Kozhikode or Calicut (not to be confused with Kolkata) on July 17th. This metropolitan city in the state of Kerala is located on the Malabar coast and is the largest urban area in the state, it’s also the 192nd largest urban area in the world.
News of pāda-yātrā spreads far and wide
We went on saṅkīrtana in different parts of the city every day. The local newspapers got wind of our arrival and published articles about our ‘All India Padayatra’. This really helped us with attendance at the programs we organized. On one particular day we arranged saṅkīrtana, a small class and prasādam distribution. The news spread and people came from all around the city; entire families attended and people from nearby villages made their way to the program on four-wheelers. We were amazed by the crowd that gathered. The large number of people meant we had to arrange a different method of distributing books. Usually we just approach people with a book and they decide if they want to buy it. For this event we put together a large book distribution stall which was very successful. The whole program went on until 11pm that night. The large gathering of people made us pāda-yātris think how easy Caitanya Mahaprabhu was making our preaching. The Lord is intervening in people’s lives and inspiring them to attend the Hari-nāma. If this goes on, soon bhakti will be established in each and every home. Jai Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
Invitation to Hindu Economic Forum
The next day we were invited to the ‘Hindu Economic Forum’ headquarters. When we arrived everyone welcomed Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar with garlands and ārati. They were very happy to receive Their Lordships. We showcased our books, and the one they liked the most was Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. They said to us that they felt very lucky to receive Bhagavad-gītā, that it is very nice and at an affordable price. They studied the print, binding and the book cover remarking how costly the book looks. We told them about the glories of the Bhagavad-gītā and how it has brought about a revolution in consciousness. All the members of the forum bought Bhagavad-gītās and promised that they would distribute as many as they could.
As we made our way through town a lady approached the pāda-yātrā cart crying. After paying obeisances to Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar she stood crying and looking deeply at the Lord with folded hands. When the cart stopped she approached us and said, “Can you please give me a Bhagavad-gītā.” I replied “Yes, sure Mataji”. She happily took it and touched to it to her head. Then she explained, “In a temple of Lord Visnu, nearby, just a few minutes back, I was praying intensely: ‘O Lord! Please give me pure bhakti. I have a strong desire to read an original Bhagavad-gītā. Please help me.’ Then when I came out of the temple I saw your cart and heard the announcements about Bhagavad-gītā. Thank you very much, your Lord on the cart is very merciful.” This lady who was also a widow was very pious. She is an example of how our mahā-vadānya (great munificent personality) Lord Caitanya is able to read everyone’s hearts and how, in no time He reaches the souls that call out to Him.
Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar ki! Jai