Janmashtami celebrations 2013

Hare Krishna.

Janmashtami celebrations 2013: What a wonderful and joyous day to look forward to.

I got up around 3 am and rushed to attend the Mangal arti at Punjabi Bagh temple. At 4.30 am the whole road  was full of neatly parked cars. There were devotees assisting  the drivers. The queue outside the temple was already long. By Krishna’s mercy I could enter from the exit gate and then a devotee put me in the crowd control service. In minutes I was standing right outside the temple hall from where my eyes could take darshan of the Lord’s feet.  Altar was glowing with flowers and decorations. The Deities looked so beautiful, specially Lord Jagannath seemed to be basking in glory. HG Rukmini  led the morning Arti with so much devotional force, he seemed spiritually charged up. Everyone was participating enthusiastically in sankirtana. I wished this would just go on and on.

After the aarti, I tried to do preaching seva, was not successful with no conversion for the seven day seminar registration. I then did my japa rounds. And then Guru Puja was led my dear friend HG Karuna Prabhuji, who got a special gift to start wearing saffron from today.

HG Karuna Prabhuji Ki Jaya.

After the Guru puja, our team was preaching inside the complex and I finally got the first booking, then the second and third quickly followed. My confidence went up and I pushed other team members to do more.  All my stereotype notions about people  turned 180 degree as I approached people for registration. HG Bimpla Prasad Prabhuji encouraged us with his presence and guidance.

I left for Gurgaon in the afternoon, slept for two hours and then went to Gymkhana grounds for service at celebrations in Gurgaon. It is was at a grand scale. I did some service at the BTG stall, learning how to sell the subscription of Back to Godhead magazine. I realised that I forgot to call Sumeet prabhuji, who was in Australia,  as I had offered to take his children out for darshan.

I left with Pawan Prabhuji, who graciously agreed to accompany me, for home to set up my first stall in my apartment complex at 8 pm. We set up the stall and apart from book distribution tried to start a Bhagavad Gita study group at my home. Pawan Prabhu helped me a lot by teaching me, by practice, on how to get the attention of the people and get over my hesitation to approach strangers. I had made up my mind that I will start the group even with a single devotee. Krishna was merciful and I got around 20 people interested to join the group, my first go to start preaching. Pawan prabhuju left to do service at the centre and then my amused daughter joined me for the last one hour at the table. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm of some of the people who registered for the group.

I wrapped up the stall around 11.15 pm and went home,  Priti was watching live action from  both Vrindavan live and Mayapur.tv. It was festival time all around with loud sankirtana and abhisheka. She had dressed the deities at home with new dresses and the altar looked beautiful with long stemmed flowers.   We did kirtan for the last 15 minutes and then a rousing celebration for the Lord at 12. We offered Bhoga to our Lord with love and affection. I had a sumptuous prasadam later. Subir Prabhuji’s SMS came to wish happy Janamashtami and I finally slept around 1 pm with memories of Lord Krishna in my heart.

कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय देवकी नन्दनाय च ।
नन्दगोप कुमाराय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः

Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has become the son of Vasudeva, the pleasure of Devaki, the boy of Nanda and the other cowherdmen of Vrindavana, and the enlivener of the cows and the senses.

All Glories to Guru Maharaja.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

After the elephant’s bath

My glum feeling continued, which I shared under `Elephant’s bathing’ post. I felt very gloomy the whole evening and did not know what to do. Should I share with anyone, Sumeet Prabhu or Karuna Prabhuji ? Or should I share with my Guru Maharaj or HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji and tell them how much I can fall. Let them scold me. I felt ashamed telling them, I also thought do I have to always approach them with what is bad happening within me. I then thought of driving to Vrindavana and try to get myself `purified’. None of these suggestions would make me feel at ease.

I woke up next morning at 3.30am, slept back, and then waking up again at 5.30am I resolved to go to Punjabi Bagh temple. It was a working day for me but somehow I listened to my inner self and went there.

I reached temple around 9.15 am. It was a festive atmosphere due to Balram Jayanti, and as a special bonus HH Lokanath swami maharaj was giving the morning class on Balram Katha.  HH Lokanath swami maharaj ki jai ! I felt somewhat at ease and tried to  listen attentively.  The katha got over around 10am and then the darshan opened.

As I looked at the beautiful Sri Sri Krishna Balram, I realised something ticked inside me.  As I paid my obeisances, I felt Lord Balram asking me `will you stop doing `it’.’ He didn’t scold me or didn’t make me remember my problem, just said will I stop it.  In my own heart I replied to Him that I try sincerely but still lose control over my mind. I told Him if He were to hold my hand then I won’t do it again, ever. But He will have to promise me that He will not leave my hand. He replied in affirmative and gave me His hand to clasp. I held His hand and my obeisances were complete.

I was immediately cheerful, thankful and so full of energy. I wanted to sing, I wanted to dance and dance right there. Of course, the hall was full to its capacity and everyone was jostling to take their Lordship’s Darshan. I went outside the temple and  bought a pair of garlands, offered it to Sri Krishna and Sri Balram with my deepest feelings of gratitude. I then paid my obeisances to Srila Prabhupada, thanked him profusely for such good association all around me and came out a changed man.

I have resolved to keep my promise to Lord Balram and would not dare to spoil my new found friendship with Him, not the least at the cost of my roving rascal mind. I will never ever leave His hand.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.