By Arjuna Krishna dasa
On October 1 the Maharashtra Padayatra arrived at Lengre village, about 60km north of Sangli. Just before reaching the village we came across a school at early morning prayer time. One of us went in to ask the principal for permission to address the students and as we approached the campus with a loud kirtan the boys and girls came to the gate to greet us. They and their teachers then took darshan of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar and joined our sankirtan, after which we distributed prasadam to them. It’s all Srila Prabhupada’s mercy that such programmes – book distribution, prasad distribution, harinama – are going on somewhere at some time.
Village reflects a bygone era
On the outskirts of Lengre the local devotees welcomed us with garlands, joined our sankirtan and had darshan of Gaura-Nitai. Lokanath Maharaja disciple Indulekha mataji then invited us to her farmhouse where our accommodation had been arranged. Situated on high ground surrounded by small hills, the scene reminded us of Giriraja Maharaja ki jai as Kartik masa is coming near. In the evening we had a grand sankirtan in the village. All the villagers joined us and also attended the morning programme and had darshan of Their Lordships next day. This was the first time padayatra had come to Lengre and the residents were overjoyed, one saying it was just like a festival. The people attended to our needs and provided us with fodder and water for the oxen. A pure and cool atmosphere pervaded the surroundings, making us padayatris feel as we were staying at a heritage hill station.
Soon the temple will come up
Indulekha mataji always had the desire to build a temple for Their Lordships and donate it to ISKCON, and for many years a temple in Lengre has been under construction. The padayatris visited the site and performed sankirtan. Mataji said, “Please, pray that soon the temple comes up.” One of our padayatris, Sri Krishna dasa, who walked in the All-India Padayatra for four years commented, “Now soon by the blessings of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar the temple will come up. Once when the All-India Padayatra was in South India there also was a temple under construction and as soon as padayatra went there, that temple came up. By the mercy of Their Lordships devotees will come for darshan. All obstacles are cleared by Their mercy.” Mataji and the villagers were happy to hear this, saying as we were leaving, “Please come once again.”