Village Preaching:
Ananya-Bhakti Gram

6-9 February 2015

 

A few days ago His Divine Grace Jagad Guru Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj completed a lively and happy four-day village preaching tour, carrying the banner of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math through the villages of West Bengal, spreading the glories of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga and the Holy Name, going house to house, heart to heart, to nourish and inspire the devotees. Hari-katha, kirtan, Nagar-sankirtan, and prasad were the "weapons" of the preaching trip, all of which were glorious and abundant.

Wherever Srila Acharya Maharaj set his holy lotus feet, he was welcomed with a shower of flowers, garlands, upraised arms, happy cries and the piercing sounds of conchshells. Everybody was enthused by the auspiciousness of the long-awaited arrival.

His Holiness Sripad Bhakti Kamal Tyagi Maharaj joined the preaching party for the first two days, and throughout the trip His Divine Grace was accompanied by Rana Krishna Prabhu, Sudevi Devi Dasi, Sankar Mohan Prabhu, as well as three fortunate Western devotees currently staying in India (Balaram Prabhu of Venezuela, Ramananda Prabhu of the USA, and Kundalata Devi Dasi of Russia).

Depending on the program for the day, Srila Gurudev visited from several to a dozen houses, some just for a few minutes, some for several hours. A number of local devotees followed the party from house to house, joining most of the programs whenever possible.

As Sripad B.K. Tyagi Maharaj told repeatedly at these programmes, the sadhus, the devotees, do not come to take service for themselves, rather they come to give: give some benefit, some spiritual nourishment to the souls. His Divine Grace spoke in Bengali tirelessly for many hours daily, covering various topics from the nature of the self (for those who were new and unfamiliar with the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and our Guru-varga) to the affectionate encouragement of the devotees to practise and dedicate their lives to the service of their Gurupadpadma and understand how vitally important it is for a disciple to be chase to their Gurudev and live a life of service with attachment to the Lord and His devotees rather than to base material pleasures and the family.

Among the numerous stories His divine Grace would repeatedly tell from place to place, were:
-Ramanuja Acharya and his faith in his Guru
-Raghunandan Thakur's offering
-the devotee and the barber
-the four Kali-sthan
-the cobbler and the brahmin
-Sanatan Goswami and the touchstone
-the two "gurus" of today
-the truthful village
-the Pastimes of Lord Vamanadev and the surrender of Bali Maharaj
-Khatvanga Maharaj's surrender
-the real doctor and the real medicine
-Ajamil meeting Yamaduts

Hours of Hari-katha intertwined with hours of joyful kirtan and Nagar-sankirtan down the streets and alleys of the village. Hearing the sounds of the kirtan women and children came out of their houses to shower the procession with flowers, sugar sweets, or pour water on the heated by the time roads and offer relief to the holy feet of the sadhu jan. Blows of conchshells sounded throughout, the eyes of the devotees beamed with joy.

A special mention, of course, deserves prasad seva. With mother-like love and affection devotees went out of their way to make sumptuous feasts—no one was left without attention, no one left without taking prasad to their full satisfaction. The abundance of prasadam served thrice daily—luchi, chana, dahl, sak, alu dam, bhajiya, pakoras and all kinds of sweetmeals—reminded us of the Pastimes of Mahaprabhu visiting the devotees' houses and partaking of the prasadam. The devotees served everyone who came with much affection and care—not even once we heard anyone quarrelling or raising their voice—humility, tolerance, and honouring others are the natural qualities of these gram-basis.

The trip was mercy all around—mercy to those souls whose affection to their beloved Gurudev produced this outburst of Hari-katha, kirtan, and spiritual feasts, and mercy to those whom His Divine Grace took along to witness the selfless love and affection of a disciple to their Gurupadpadma.

Jay Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj ki jay!

 

* Ananya-bhakti gram, a village of pure devotion.

 

 

REPORT DAY ONE | DAY TWO | DAY THREE | DAY FOUR

 

If you waste your energy on talking some nonsense, gossiping and discussing mundane news, how will you get the energy to chant the Holy Name, to serve the Lord, Sadhu, Guru?

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"