International Society for Krishna Consciousness - Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Radhastami marks All India Padayatra’s thirty-eight years of preaching

December 5, 2022

 

By Acarya dasa, All India Padayatra leader

The Radhastami celebration is a great day in the lives of padayatris. It is the birthday of Srimati Radharani and also that of our All India Padayatra which has now turned thirty-eight years of age. Padayatra was inaugurated on Radhastami 1984 at Dwaraka and since then has completed seven rounds of India, walking and preaching all over the subcontinent. In June of this year the padayatris also completed the AIP’s seventh round of the char dham yatra.

Padayatra has covered more than 30,0000km. It’s a great achievement for all of us, one of its kind of padayatra, walking nonstop for so long. It makes history. The people in the villages and towns that padayatra has visited remember padayatra and Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar. The children have grown into young men and as they again take darshan they become overwhelmed. Padayatra has made so many suffering jivas fortunate and given them the holy name. People who had no idea about ISKCON started chanting the holy names and reading the Bhagavad-gita, and we connected them to the nearest ISKCON temple.

Our spiritual master, Lokanath Maharaja, says: “Padayatra reaches to every nook and corner of villages, where people have never heard of ISKCON. They not only cover villages and towns but the area in between the villages.” We padayatris never walk silently; either we sing the Hare Krishna mantra or we play a Srila Prabhupada tune, so whoever happens upon us gets the holy name along with the divine darshan of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar and Srila Prabhupada. And that encounter kidnaps their hearts.

We met a boy who was depressed and thinking to commit suicide. We encouraged him to dance in sankirtan and explained to him the importance of human life. He gave up the idea of suicide and stayed with us in padayatra for a few days. Then his father came, thanked us and took him home. This is just one miracle. Every day we have so many adventurous episodes that our faith in Their Lordships increases and we become more determined in our services. Our spiritual master is the inspiration behind our padayatra. He always keeps guiding us and inspiring us to do more and as a result the All India Padayatra has walked more than three lakh kilometres in almost four decades.

Radhastami marks our fortune and this day has filled our lives with devotional service. We pray to Srimati Radharani to keep us in padayatra’s service till our last breath.

Achievements of the past year: Books distributed 40,650 – Small books 26,246, Big books 4397, Maha Big books 10,007; Caitanya-caritamrta sets 13; Srimad-Bhagavatam sets 20; Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta sets 51; Towns and villages visited 250; Towns and villages crossed 450; Drona prasad distributed 20,000; Full-plate prasad distributed 15,000.

 

 

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