Wonderful Devotees of Surat

Hare Krishna.


During his last trip I told Guru Maharaja that we hardly get to spend any time with him, even when he comes to Gurgaon he is always so busy. I mentioned how Priti remarked the other day that it will be better to take a flight with Guru Maharaja from Kolkatta to Delhi. He invited us to fly with him to Surat and spend time with him. At first I thought he must be joking but then knowing him a little I knew he would not make any casual remark. We had renovations happening at our new apartment, we gave the labour the weekend off, sent the kids to grandparents and off we went to Surat. Guru Maharaj met us at the airport, he was flying from Patna. Anand Prabhu was with him, joining for us for Surat.

I didn’t get to sit with Guru Maharaja as they had checked in before us.

Surat holds a special place in my heart. I was here in last January to attend Guru Maharaj’s seminar on Brahma Samhita. I’d stayed at Sri Sri Radha Damodar temple, its right on the bank of river Tapti. The temple has very beautiful deities and has wide open areas around it.  I was very fortunate to get association of a very senior devotee HG Nanda Vraja Dasa from Auckland that time, as his room partner. He gave me many practical suggestions to improve my sadhna bhakti, which I followed and reaped the benefits.

While we landed at Surat airport and waited for the luggage to arrive, Guru Maharaj walked straight out to a loud sankirtan by devotees. They were outside but every one in the airport could hear their enthusiastic kirtan. It was a rousing welcome.

We too were very warmly welcomed by the devotees when we came out. We were staying at a devotee’s home in the same complex where Guru Maharaja was staying so it was very convenient.

All the devotees were very warm & welcoming, within half an hour Guru maharaja was giving his first class. From Friday evening till Sunday evening, he gave classes almost 4-5 times a day. And in times between his preaching, traveling and meetings he was served like a king  by the local devotees. Guru Maharaja stayed with us for a day before leaving for Patna, we were to shame by the hospitality of Surat devotees.  Everything was A grade and very well planned.  We promised ourselves to rise to their benchmark whenever Guru Maharaja visits us next time.

The devotees themselves seemed a very tightly knit group led by HG Mukund Priya Prabhuji and his wife. They left no stone unturned for Maharaja. They were ably supported by other local devotees. It all seemed like a clipping from one of the Suraj Barjatia’s big festivity film scenes with a spiritual twist and Guru maharaja at the center.

I don’t know how those two days passed but they seemed more like three or four days as something was always happening. We visited Sri Sri Radha Damodar temple and took darshan of the beautiful deities on Sunday.

I bring very warm memories of this trip and will cherish them for a long period. We got constant association of Guru Maharaj and met such warm, happy and enthusiastic group of devotees. My humble obeisances and many thanks to Vijay prabhuji, Mukesh Prabhuji,  Vishambhar Prabhuji and so many other prabhujis and matajis whose name I don’t remember but whose hospitality we enjoyed shamelessly.

I will discuss another beautiful realisation at Surat in a separate blog.

All Glories to Guru Maharaja.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Special chanting at Surat

Hare Krishna.

18th August 2013.

Our second day in Surat. I woke up late in the morning as the last evening ended very late. By the time I got ready and reached the apartment where Guru Maharaja was staying it was almost 7am and not a single  japa round done. As I entered the living room one of the Brahamchari, who had come from Ujjain, pointed me to sit right across him. I had planned to walk but I followed his instruction and sat down and started my japa rounds.

I closed my eyes, as too many people were coming and leaving, and started my japa. I took the opportunity of my closed eyes to concentrate on Krishna playing with his friends at Govardhan hill. I can usually concentrate on it for like a minute then my concentration breaks. To my surprise, and joy, I went through this leela samaran and then mentally went to a round trip of Mayapur temple. I had no idea about the time but my chanting was wonderful. After remembering Mayapur temple. I saw myself sitting in the same room from a third person’s perspective. I saw devotees looking at me chanting with close eyes and smiling. After sometime I see Guru Maharaj walking inside the living room and after observing everyone in the room, his eyes rests on me. My back is towards him, he touches me with his lotus feet,  just his toe. His toe felt soft, like cotton, at my back. Upon his touch I just tumble forward and fall on the ground. Some devotees try to wake me but realise that there is no pulse, I am dead.  I felt very light. Surprisingly I did not get worried about what will happen to my family, my office, new home, etc. I was watching everyone. Surprised, Guru Maharaja says`I just touched him’. One devotee adds `Giriraj Prabhuji has gone to Goloka Dham, Guru Maharaj has sent him straight there.’ Everyone is bewildered at this strange happening.

At that very moment my eyes opened, something tingled. It was my phone on silent mode, in my kurta pocket, vibrating. I was at first startled at my concentration being broken. But I was in a blissful mood. I was very happy that I had such good thoughts while chanting, I saw the time and realised that I  had done japa for 30 minutes, with my eyes closed.

It was my dear friend Sumeet Prabhuji from Gurgaon calling me. I took his call. In his own sweet way he told me that he wanted to speak to me before leaving for Australia on a short official trip. He then shared his own last night’s dream with me. He saw himself as a 95 year old and poor man who comes to meet Guru maharaja, who is still in his late sixties, and request him to give him Diksha. Guru Maharaja asks him what could he offer to him. Sumeet Prabhu then offers him his old blanket,  Guru Maharaja is very pleased, he hugs him and agrees to give him Diksha. I told him that he is blessed that he had Guru Maharaja is his dreams.  I, then, shared my `day dream’ with him. We spoke for some time about glories of Guru Maharaja and our own fallen mentality, it was then time to say good bye and chant my  balance rounds. It was strange that we  both had our own unique experience to share about Guru Maharaja.

Sumeet prabhu is a very special friend and guide for me. Its all thanks to Guru Maharaja who asked me to seek his association and I have benefited tremendously from his association.

I will always preserve and cherish this 30 minutes of chanting in my heart.

All glories to Guru Maharaja.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Srila Prabhupada is always with us

Hare Krishna.

It was 3rd June 2012, a Sunday. I went to the temple in the morning, attended Guru puja, listened to a cheerful  Bhagvatam class, had prasadam and  later completed most of my balance rounds sitting there. I felt very peaceful and fulfilled. I again wished if someone would have been there to sit with me and teach me something , anything. I had the whole day off. There was no one at home that day so no hurry to go back. I felt a little sad that I have all the time today and no one to teach my anything. I went to the temple shop and bought a copy of Brahma Samhita.

I don’t know what prompted me to buy Brahma Samhita. I had another copy at home and I had tried reading it but could not progress very far. I tried again today, sitting in the temple.  The initial verses were difficult to read but I continued. The initial 10 or so verses , specially their purports went all over my head as the English itself was very difficult to comprehend by my poor intelligence. From verse 11 to 28 it became better and from 29th onwards it became easy to understand and was very nice to the heart. I stopped at verse no 37 as the purport was quite long.

I came back home. I tried to reading it but could not concentrate. I slept and woke up at 4 pm and started reading it again. The next two hours proved to be one of the most productive of my life. The whole book seemed to so easy and full of delectable juice, it was as if someone is teaching me. Slowly, many topics like gopi’s paramour relationship with Krishna, explanation of Shambhu ( Siva) , Brahma, Ganesh, Durga all became clear. It was so simple yet profound. Then the last 5 verses were like cherries on top. I could not have asked for more simpler definition Bhava and then such nice explanation of Bhakti in the purport of verse no. 61.

For a strange reason I kept on looking at my watch while reading as I could not believe that all this information I am able to understand in such a short time.

I realised that day I am not alone in my spiritual journey, Srila Prabhupada is there with me, I only need to have a sincere desire in my heart. I thank all the senior devotees for giving me intelligence to realise it.

Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya.

How I met my Guru Maharaj

Hare Krishna.

It was April 2012.  One day when I came back home from office my wife told me that there is a guest joining us for the evening Arti. I was surprised and then thought she must be trying to pull a fast one on me.  As we were about to begin our Arti, the bell rang and sure enough, a tall and handsome Vaisanava entered our house. I was taken aback. He joined us for the arti. He was very gentle and calm, his cousin brother was staying on the floor above us and he was visiting him and met my wife in the lift. He spoke about HH Bhakti Charu Swami maharaj and asked me whether I have heard about him, I replied in negative. He told me that maharaj is arriving in Gurgaon next day for a short trip. He left soon.

Later, I inquired from my wife what made her invite him at our home  ? She replied that when she saw him in the lift she found him extremely peaceful and a good aura around him. She could not stop herself and told him that there is `another one like him’ at our home, who gets up early and start chanting and invited him over. The name of that Vaishanava is Mukunda Das from Ujjain.

I went to the address next evening. It was called Radha Niwas, house of an exalted devotee HG Radheshyam Prabhuji. It was all very peaceful in the house. There were many devotees who had come to meet Maharaj. He met me soon. Like a parrot, I narrated my entire short spiritual journey to him, sitting under his feet. I talked and talked. He heard me patiently,  advised me to continue what I am doing. Later, he took a very nice class in the evening, sang beautiful bhajan. I could see that with his mere presence he seemed to have made everyone around him very peaceful and happy. He was accessible. It was joy all around him.

I came back home and realised that something is amiss, for a few days I could not put my finger to it. Then I realised that my heart was no longer with me. Lord Balram finally sent his representative for me. He is the one. And he took my heart away. I wrote my first mail to Guru Maharaj on the morning of 10th April surrendering myself at his lotus feet, got his reply the same evening and my life was never the same again.

HG Mukunda Prabhuji ki Jaya.

HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj ki Jaya.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.