Prasadam time

Padayatra is an austerity for spiritual progress on the path of perfect devotion, the purpose
being to spread the Sanatan Bhagavat Dharma.
Our spiritual master, Lokanath Swami Maharaja, started a padayatra to operate throughout
India as per the orders of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada.
According to the wishes of our spiritual master and constant inspiration, fifty Dharashiv
ISKCON devotees recently held a one-day, 17km padayatra from Dharashiv, a city in
Maharashtra’s low-elevation Balaghat mountains, to Ter village during the holy months of
Chaturmasa.
Padayatra began at the ISKCON Satsang centre at Anandnagar at 6:15am on Pavitropana
Ekadashi, August 27, 2023. Our route took us to Varuda, Pawarwadi, Hinglajwadi and on to
our destination, the fourteenth-century Goroba Kaka temple at Ter Dham.
Sankirtan is the heart of padayatra, and they performed sankirtan at each step they took. It
was a memorable holy walk. Sankirtan was going on uninterruptedly as the melodious voices
of senior devotees like Shravanbhakti dasa, Narahari dasa and Prajapati dasa made everyone
dance. Some devotees were playing mridanga, jambe, ghanta, cymbal and kartal. Passersby
who saw us joined us in sankirtan and several also walked with us for some distance.
Padayatra reached Varuda village at 9am. The Hare Krishna maha mantra was recited by the
young and older villagers who were present in Varuda’s Chatrapati Shivaji Raje chowk.
Along with this, Srila Prabhupada’s Jau Devachiya Gava (Back to Godhead magazine),
Srimad Bhagavad-gita, the Krishna Book, Sri Caitanya Bhagavata and other holy books were
being distributed, that service mainly taken up by Vaishanavis. In Varuda we were also
invited for harinama sankirtan at the house of devotee Mr Padwal, who offered milk
prasadam to all the padayatris.
After some rest we walked to Pawarwadi, where we stopped at the Sri Hanumanji temple in
the main square. Here also the villagers enthusiastically participated in harinama sankirtan as
book distribution continued and the maha mantra was chanted accompanied by ever-changing
rhythms. We reached Hinglajwadi around noon. Padayatra was welcomed by the whole
village with great joy. Devotees took darshan in the ancient temple of Sri Hinglaj mata, the
village Goddess, and took ekadashi prasadam. Harinama sankirtan was then performed in the
temple premises, charging the atmosphere with happiness and positive vibrations.
The padayatris then moved ahead to Ter Dham. Even though we experienced intense heat
along the way, the devotees’ enthusiasm did not diminish. Because of that Varuna Dev, a deity
associated with oceans and water, welcomed our padayatra at the entrance of Ter on the banks
of the Terna River, emphasising how the demigods are also happy when padayatras are
organised. While taking a brief rest in Ter’s Hanumanji temple the devotees chanted the Sri
Hanuman Chalisa bhajan.
At 2pm padayatra came to world-renowned saint Sri Goroba Kaka’s samadhi at Ter Dham.
Gora Kumbhar was closely associated with the bhakti movement and Warkari sect in
Maharashtra and wrote and sang hundreds of abhangs. On account of ekadashi, the entire
temple premises were filled with the loud harinama chants of the padayatris and temple
devotees. Everyone was then overwhelmed by the loving darshan of Sri Sri Vitthala-Rukmini.
Later that afternoon the padayatris started to make their way back to Dharashiv.
We would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts our spiritual master, who is always
trying to engage us in devotional activities and always talks about the bliss of padayatra. I
could not understand what is so special about padayatra, but when we ourselves organised a
padayatra we all understood that bliss.
All glories to padayatras.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Srila Gurudev.

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