By Acarya dasa, All-India Padayatra leader
Taking a detour from our route padayatra reached Jasdan, a municipality town in the Rajkot district, the home of Mahavishnu Maharaja disciple Ganshyam dasa. When Ganshyam and his wife had darshan of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar in Belgaon, Maharashtra, he prayed to Their Lordships for blessings so that he could become a good grihastha devotee. He had served in padayatra for six months and also in Vraja-mandal Parikrama where he received the blessings of Radharaman Maharaja and other senior devotees. Ten years ago, he borrowed 5000 rupees from the Vraja-mandal Parikrama committee to launch a cow products business that is currently valued at five crore (50 million) rupees. We had come to Jasdan to visit our former padayatri and successful householder.
Ganshyam welcomed us saying, “Just as a father blesses the son and sends him for work with some money and after some time, he visits the son to see how he is progressing, so Their Lordships have come to see me.” He was overwhelmed with happiness. He planned a large pandal programme in honour of padayatra inviting about 500 people, including devotees from Rajkot, Dwarka and Surat. The devotees attended Gaura-arati and mangal-arati and there was a grand nagar sankirtan in Jasdan. In the pandal there was an abhisheka, fifty-six bhogas were offered to Their Lordships and prasadam was served to the devotees and guests. The city residents were amazed by the arrangements, the sankirtan and the festival atmosphere.
The feast prasadam was prepared over three days by Pitambara dasa, who served in padayatra as cook for seven years but now works with Ganshyam, Pitambara was especially happy to see the padayatris again. He has recovered from a paralysis and had not taken darshan of Their Lordships for many years.
It is Ganshyam’s desire that there should be an ISKCON centre in Jasdan and that the number of devotees there should increase. We all prayed to Their Lordships for that outcome.