Sambandha, Abhidheya, and Prayojana of Pilgrimage
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."
Today is a very good day, a very good occasion—an ekadasi day. On this day we have come to Sri Puri Dham. Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra are here, Nitai Chaitanyadev are here, Gurudev is here and Mahaprabhu manifest here His highest pastimes (vipralamba-lila, the pastimes of separation).
There are two reasons, two kinds of pastimes, why Mahaprabhu came to this world—one is the main reason and the other is hidden reason. Since He came, He had to give something. The religion of Kali-yuga is, "Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam: only chanting the Holy Name, chanting the Holy Name, chanting the Holy Name." This is what He came to give to the world. "Nija Nama kari dana": He came to the world to give His own Name. The Name, form, qualities, pastimes, associates and features (Nam, rupa, guna, lila, parikar, vaisistya) are absolutely non-different from the Lord, and nobody except the Lord Himself or His associates can distribute these to the world. So, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distributes this side of His pastimes in this world, and the other side is vipralamba-lila (pastimes of separation). "Why does Radharani cry so much chanting My Name? What sort of happiness does Radharani feel when She is serving Me? What does it taste like?" Desiring to taste this, Krishna promised in Dvapar-yuga that in Kali-yuga, He would appear in this world in Sri Dham Mayapur.
After finishing His grihastha-lila (household pastimes), Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu travelled around South India, and in the end He spent His last eighteen years here in Sri Dham Puri. Tomorrow in the morning, we are going on parikrama and we will have the darshan of all those places when Mahaprabhu was, where Haridas Thakur was, where Prabhupad was, where the samadhi of Haridas Thakur was (on the shore of the ocean), we will also take darshan of Tota Gopinath. We hope that by the mercy of the Lord, by the desire of the devotees, there shall be no obstacle.
Near Medinipur there are also beaches, at Digha there is also a large beach, there also you will see sand, ocean, etc., but if you compare it to Puri, you will be making an offence. What is this place where we have come? We have come to Mahaprabhu's dham (abode), Jagannath's dham (abode). By the mercy of Jagannathdev, by the mercy of Balabhadradev, by the mercy of Subhadra Devi, we come here every year at the time of Ratha-yatra and spend the time here with Krishna-kirtan.
Just now you have heard kirtans—Mahaprabhu's kirtan, Nityananda Prabhu's kirtan, Pancha-tattva's kirtan, the kirtan of Radha Madhava, and you also heard one more kirtan—ekadasi kirtan.
"The dust of pure devotees' feet is favourable to devotion. Serving the devotees is the supreme fulfilment and the root of the creeper of divine love."
Our key point, our foundation is service to devotees. We must serve devotees in any possible way.
প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয়
prasada-seva karite haya,
"By honouring the Lord's prasad I conquer all worldly illusions."
(Saranagati, 31.5, by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
Honouring prasad removes whatever faults or illusions you have in your mind. Dharma, artha, kama, moksa, rupa, rasa, gandha, sabda, sparsa—pursuing religion, material prosperity, material things, liberation, seeking pleasures of eye, taste, smell, ear, touch—how can you stop all these? By honouring prasad (prasad-seva).
Today you are doing ekadasi (you have been fasting since the morning, took some anukalpa prasad at noon) and the paran is tomorrow in the morning. Somebody secretly takes also some tea, somebody secretly goes to the ocean and eats some biscuits. [Devotees laugh.] Is it not true? [His Divine Grace smiles.] But you are here at the temple on ekadasi, that is your great fortune. Despite the austerity, you have come here observing the fasting. When we when to Vrindavan after the Gaura Purnima, we also came there on an ekadasi. This comes only as a result of a great fortune.
You have heard also in the kirtan,
যে দিন গৃহে ভজন দেখি ।
ye dina grhe bhajana dekhi
On the days when I see devotional service taking place in my home, I feel that Goloka has manifested there.
('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
If you do no understand the meaning, you cannot sing it—if you sing a song without understand its meaning, you will not feel like singing it. The meaning is this. Any house where there is continuous, daily service to the Lord takes place is actually Goloka Vrindavan—the house where Govinda is bathed, where archan is offered to Govinda, where whatever is earned, bought, worn, etc. is for Govinda, such house is Goloka Vrindavan. It can be a house of twenty rooms, it can be a mud house, but where such service is going on, that house is Goloka Vrindavan.
And another line is this,
গৌর আমার যে সব স্থানে
gaura amara ye-saba sthane
"In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes."
In Bengal, people go on bus tours and visit many places, but this is called eye exercise. You get off the bus, the guide tells you, "Get off, take darshan and come back." You do not understand the glory of the place, you do not know what the place is. You must get back in ten minutes and if you are old and cannot walk so fast, when you walk half way to the place, it is time to go back already. People do such "parikramas". If you do parikramas like this your whole life, you will not get any benefit. It is necessary to follow the Guru and Vaishnavs.
তীর্থযাত্রা পরিশ্রম কেবল মনের ভ্রম,
tirtha-yatra parisrama kevala manera bhrama
"The trouble of visiting holy places is simply a mental delusion—all possible perfection is the feet of Govinda."
(Srila Narottam Das Thakur, "Anya-abhilasa chhadi...")
You can travel all your life—visit all places from North India down to Kanyakumari in South India, but you will not get any result or benefit...
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