By Acarya Dasa
15 November 2022
We heard about Govardhan yatra of Srila Prabhupada, Vraja Mandal Parikram and Padayatra, Guru Maharaja HH Lokanath Maharaja is the source of all three. Whenever we meet Srila Gurudev, he speaks about padayatra. Whenever Maharaja speaks of padayatra, his face blooms like a lotus. In 2011, there was the 25th anniversary of Vraja Mandal Parikrama with many senior devotees. H.H. Radha Raman Maharaja and ISKCON Vrindavan devotees welcomed us so nicely with garland, kirtan, rangoli etc. Then in 2021, we came back to Vrindavan. Last year we went to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri yatra and then our plan was to go to Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, and Mayapur.
We must read Prabhupada Lilamrita. I was thinking about when will I read Guru Maharaja name in Prabhupada Lilamrita. So, I read finally how Maharaja was called by Srila Prabhupada in his final days and expressed his desire to go for Govardhan parikrama. We met Srila Gurudev before coming here. Gurudev asked me, “Do you have enough warm clothes for winter?” This is exactly what Srila Prabhupada asked Gurudev. Maharaja had told that he did not have his own bullock cart.
Bullock carts are needed but we usually get tractors these days. When we went to Giriraj parikrama, I wasn’t able to sleep. I wanted to decorate the chariot. I was wondering if Prabhupada were physically present, he would have been so happy. I have done Vraja Mandal Parikrama around 11 times, I never boarded a bus or motorcycle and did yatra on foot always. This year it was raining heavily. But we were wondering how many would turn up for Vraja Mandal Parikrama. So, we prayed to Radha Shyam Sundar and Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar who have been with us for the last 36 years. They are very merciful. They made such a beautiful plan. It was raining heavily and devotees were using buses and feeling unhappy as they were not able to do the yatra on foot. Gurudev expressed his desire that one day we have to do Vrindavan parikrama, Mathura, Madhuvan, Bholavan etc. and on the last day we will take Vraja Mandal parikrama devotees. We felt very good. Around 2500 devotees joined when Maharaja was taking the deity of Srila Prabhupada for Govardhana parikrama. Devotees were doing kirtan and dance. Then Parikrama devotees left in the bus and we stayed at Kusum Sarovar. The next day, I was worried about Maharaja’s health. We were about to leave but Ishtadev prabhu asked us to wait. He brought all the devotees for padayatra and I was very happy.
I had the desire to hear Maharaja’s kirtan and katha in Vrindavan and that too in the month of Kartik. It helps in our spiritual advancement. Every Govardhan yatra we chant with Gurudev and we chanted near Giriraj Maharaja. In Pandharpur there is the Chandrabhaga river but no Govardhan. Srila Prabhupada used to think big and so does our Guru Maharaja. He is a pure devotee, Krishna makes arrangements to execute His plans. The entire program was so successful. One must come to Govardhan in Kartik.
Unfortunately, our All India padayatra tractor was stolen. Many robberies take place of small things like battery. But when the tractor was robbed, I was very tense. Lord Kṛiṣhṇa fulfils the desire of the thieves also – I thought. The police also misled us. Badrinath is a wish fulfilling place. I was praying to Badrinath dham to get our tractor back. We stayed back for half an hour and offered Deep daan. We were at Taptakunda doing achaman. Then police Called and said that in 2 days we will get a good news. We prayed to Kameshwar Mahadev to get our tractor back. This was a spiritual desire, so it’s okay to ask. Many come for fulfillment of material desires also. Finally, we got some Laxmi for our tractor. In Vraj Mandal parikrama, we get the association of Maharaja. He is very affectionate towards all Padayatris. Maharaja came to Surbhi Kunda this year. He comes every year here. This year HH Radha Raman Maharaja came and said that Kṛiṣhṇa Balaram will come here at Kamyavan at bhojansthali and eat prasadam. They will also imitate the cows drinking water with their hands behind. So, Maharaja also told us to drink like that without touching it with hands. Guru Maharaja loves us all. We also wish to go to Mayapur, MP from Vrindavan. We are worried how things will happen. But with the mercy of Gurudev and Sri Sri Nitai Gaura sunder we can do anything.
yat-kṛpā tam ahaṁvande
(CC Madhya 17.80)
prthivite ache yatanagaradi grama- CB Antya khanda 4.126
We also heard from a devotee from South America who gives the entire benefit of all services to His Gurudev. Seven days Navadwipa parikrama is very nice. But one has to leave Jagannath puri in one day but Radha rani in Vrajadham gives you shelter for one month. We get the association of many senior devotees. We are dependent on the mercy of Kṛiṣhṇa. Here we have all facilities; but in Parikrama, we have to live in tents. Sometime there is rain, and living in tent is quite austere. In 2011, there were 2000 devotees and there was silver jubilee program. There was a storm. HG Pankaj Angrahe prabhu and other devotees started shouting aloud Hey Radhe! Narasimha dev!! Then immediately we got the solution with Mercy of Lord and we could carry it further. I am not qualified but HG Padmamali prabhu asked me to do so.