Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar-1


By Jayabhadra Devi Dasi (Padayatra coordinator)

Having celebrated Rukmini Dwadasi and Narsimha Caturdasi at ISKCON Amravati the Maharashtra Padayatra immediately embarked on its nonstop preaching programmes covering the whole city.

I had obtained permission from the management of the Vidarbha Maharogi Seva Mandal leprosy rehabilitation centre in the Tapovan area for the padayatris to do a programme there on May 24. The patients were requested to be present for the occasion and they sprinkled the road with water and decorated the route with rangoli designs for the padayatris’ arrival at 6:30pm.

As padayatra entered the grounds with the devotees singing and dancing the patients stood and offered obeisances to the Lord. After sankirtan and loud chants of the Hare Krishna maha mantra padayatra leader Damodharlila Dasa gave a talk on the importance of chanting the harinama. He also discussed the sufferings one gets in this material world, saying “Don’t feel that only you are suffering. Whoever is born here in this material world is suffering, so chant the holy name and be happy.”

All the patients at the centre are Maharashtrian and fortunately so is Damodharlila, so he spoke Marathi to them which made them feel very comfortable. When we invited them to join puja to Their Lordships each one came forward and offered arati to Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar. The ISKCON Girls’ Forum team was also there encouraging everyone to dance and sing.

We now know leprosy is hard to spread and easily treatable, but still there is stigma related to the disease. We danced with the patients which made them feel relaxed, like they were also one of us. There are patients at the facility from all over Maharashtra, some of whom have developed deformities. They are sad and lonely there, having left their families for treatment.

Our motto in taking padayatra to the centre was that people under medical care there are suffering and by darshan of the most merciful Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar and Srila Prabhupada their life would be successful and they would be blessed. They may not understand the significance as they are depressed due to the disease, but the Lord definitely understands everything. He will bless his children. I regularly conduct some kirtan in the hospital, feeling that I can bring those receiving treatment to the Lord and make them blissful. The patients at Tapovan certainly were amazed to see our oxen and very much liked Damodharlila’s lecture, which did seem to make them happy.

It was the first time in the institute’s seventy-four-year history that padayatra had visited and presented a preaching programme, so we understand how merciful are Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar and Srila Prabhupada.

I would like to thank the Tapovan centre management for giving permission.

Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar ki jai.

Srila Prabhupada ki jai.