On my arrival in Chittagong on the 19th of November I spent a couple of days in the city conducting programs in the Nandan Kanan temple: a SB class in the morning, and an evening class dedicated to inspire the temple devotees to observe the upcoming Prabhupada book-marathon with full endeavor. Since it was still Kartik time, the devotees had also arranged a Damodara-program in a nama hatta temple, where I could distribute Srila Prabhupada's books to newcomers after the program.
On my arrival in Sylhet/Bangladesh on the 14th of November I settled into a room of the newly constructed Guest House. It had been 18 months since my last visit, and the devotees were happy to receive me.
Recently, the leaders discovered an opportunity to apply for big grants from India, and they received large amounts of funds for the construction of a guest house and student hostel on the Sylhet temple property. In this way, the facilities for the large numbers of devotees are gradually increasing.
The highlights of my visit to Dhaka/Bangladesh were the two main festivals of the Kartik season: Govardhana Puja and Srila Prabhupada's disappearance.
In this part of the world, Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill is commemorated in a very traditional way - exactly as the lila goes. The devotees arrange for a big mountain of rice - the annakuta, which Krishna had requested as an offering to worship Govardhana Hill instead of Lord Indra. And then He appeared in an unprecedented and gigantic form on top of this hill of rice in order to accept the offerings. And little Krishna exclaimed: "Just see! Your Indra never comes to accept the offering, but Govardhana Hill appears to accept whatever you have offered to Him!" And Krishna pays obeisances to His own gigantic form. This is remembered by creating a big face of Krishna on top of the annakuta, made from all kinds of eatables. And there were around eight hundred clay pots with a variety of preparations offered to Govardhana Hill, to sumptuously feed the brahmanas and all devotees. It is a very joyful event, and several thousand devotees and guests are coming throughout the day to take prasadam.
When devotees feel burnt out
I arrived in Chandigarh on the 1st of November to offer the course on sheltering relationships over four extended evening programs over the weekend.
Since the devotees had already started to implement a mentoring system, the seminar came just at the right time and offered further ideas how to fine-tune the present structure for their community. The Temple leaders, senior devotees and key players participated in the course, which is always a promising sign for further development.
On my arrival in Vrindavan on the 15th of October, my taxi had a little accident with one of those electric rickshaws. It happened just outside Kirtan Ashram, where I am usually staying. The Rickshaw driver's arm got badly injured, and blood was squirting all over the place. It was a disgusting sight, which stayed in my mind for a couple of days. What an arrival to the holy dham....! A good reminder of this world being 'padam padam yad vipadam' - full of danger at every step. Later I heard that luckily they were able to save his arm.....
Devaki Devi Dasi's Traveling Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary. Welcome to relish this nectar!