By Acarya dasa, All-India Padayatra leader
After almost six months confined to Mahuva in Gujarat a special guest came to padayatra. Rupa Raghunath Maharaja visited the All-India Padayatra on October 21 and blessed all of us with his divine association for three days. The padayatris and the Mahuva devotees were glad to receive him just days before padayatra returned to the road. Maharaja loves padayatra and when he stays with us, he does so as a padayatri: he does not accept seva from anybody and in fact joins us in many of our services. Maharaja gave Srimad-Bhagavatam class, and after so long an absence we were overwhelmed to again be hearing live nectarine katha by a senior devotee.
Mahuva donors Manish Bhai, Mahendra Bhai and Vitthal Bhai, who have served padayatra and supported us through the lockdown crisis, were invited for darshan of Maharaja. They were presented with a large photograph of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar and maha garlands of the Lord by Maharaja, who thanked them for their services and inspired them by saying they were fortunate to get the association of padayatra’s deities for so many months. It never happens that padayatra stays anywhere for more than a few days, and the extended sojourn in Mahuva was the special arrangement of Their Lordships. A programme and darshan of Maharaja were also organized for the congregation devotees, many of whom had invited Maharaja for prasadam at their home.
Whenever Maharaja comes on padayatra he inspires us to serve and fills us with energy by walking with us, distributing books with us, and serving prasadam to the darshanarthis. Once when padayatra was at the ISKCON centre in Yavatmal, Maharashtra, the ISKCON name on the entrance board had become so faded it was hardly visible. Maharaja immediately asked for oil paint and climbed a ladder to repaint the lettering. Thus, Rupa Raghunath Maharaja is always ready for any seva.