Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chanting Where Srila Gurudeva Used to Walk

When the Malaysian sanga heard about Srila Gurudeva’s health, the devotees held a 24 hour chanting at Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math, Petaling Jaya. The newly opened Sri Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Temple of Understanding held chanting and prayers twice a day throughout the weekends. All the devotees were invited to come together to pray for the prolonged good health of Srila Gurudeva. Many devotees, far or near, in their own unique way, offered prayers for Srila Gurudeva so that His Divine Grace will be with all of us for a very, very long time to come. The devotees also had a devotional kirtan and prayer in conjunction with the world wide chanting of Srila Gurudeva’s quick recovery.

During this trying moment, this insignificant soul, spoke to a few devotees whether they would like to hold nama-sankirtan at the park where Srila Gurudeva used to go to during His morning walks. The park is very close by to Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math.

Unfortunately the weather here was not predictable at all. It rained the whole day or sometimes it was fine. Sometimes it rained partly during the day. On the intended day, some devotees could not make it. Besides most of us do not live close by and we are pretty spread out. Only one of my god brother Prem das prabhu and I met at the temple for this park chanting. Armed with only karatalas we headed toward the park. We figured it does not matter whether we were two or ten. The thing is we just wanted to do this. And hopefully we may be able to please Sri Hari, Guru & Vaishnavas.

Luckily the weather seemed to be fine that day. We saw many joggers, young couples with their children and people doing their evening exercises. Most of them were Muslims and we did not want to ruffle anyone’s religious sentiments. So, we picked a spot which was not too near the playground but within earshot and started chanting for 20 minutes. Shortly, we started to glorify how Srila Gurudeva used to walk the entire perimeters of the lake. He would walk so fast that the other devotes could not catch up. But when Srila Gurudeva returned for His morning rest, He would exhibit His nara-lila (human like pastimes) and would hold on to some devotees for support.

Prem dasa prabhu also reminisced how some Russian devotees did nama sankirtan at his home state. Just as he was speaking this, a dried fruit from a tall tree next to us fell with a thud on the bench I was seated. I cried out “Radhe!” My godbrother in jest said the trees wanted us to continue chanting. And so we did for almost half an hour.

Soon we headed back towards the temple for the program. The weather was still fine and after the program, just as the devotees were seated to honour prasadam, a heavy down-pour ensued. It was really heavy with the wind blowing so fiercely.

My god brother and I were glad that it did not happen when we were chanting at the park!

Jay Srila Gurudeva!

Life & Times of Sripad Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaja in Malaysia

When I heard about the passing away of Sripad Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaja, I was a little numb at first. My feelings were not completely settled to his passing. But after looking at his pictures, it finally dawned upon me that His Holiness was no more in this planet.

Maharaja reminded me of someone so dynamic in serving Sri Hari, Guru & Vaishnavas. Nothing was impossible for him. Maharaja used to go heads on without thinking of any consequences. He did not believe much in meetings and talking about how to do a seva because he was an action man. He always said to me, “Let’s just do it. Krsna will take care of everything!!!”

Maharaja was the first person to assist me in printing the book “Shower of Love.” When Srila Gurudeva ordered me to always write, I was totally lost as what to do. With whatever little knowledge I had, the compilation of lectures took place. But it was Maharaja who showed me the ropes of how to put in the footnotes, headings, sub-headings, titles etc. I remember very well when I mentioned about the book to Maharaja. He was so enthusiastic about it. He never showed any signs that I came from another “math” and him from another. All Maharaja wanted was to serve and make sure the book was printed on time before Srila Gurudeva’s tour to Malaysia.

As the book was taking shape, some local devotees came in to assist. Although Maharaja did the major part of the book, he mentioned everyone who helped, no matter how little it maybe. Maharaja even mentioned those who tried but was not successful to garnish funds for the book and those who proof-read the book although only 2 to 3 paragraphs. Along the way, the kind soul who donated some funds could not come up with more monies, and it was Maharaja who finally managed to get the remaining funds for the printing of the book.

Maharaja told me that we must respect everyone’s mood and it does not matter how small or big the seva maybe. He mentioned everyone in the book and himself being not so prominent.

After successfully publishing “Shower of Love,” Maharaja printed “Rays of Hope” and many other books of Srila Gurudeva.

Maharaja also established the first temple of Srila Gurudeva in Malaysia. At that time Maharaja would go with some local devotees, including yours truly, to search for a suitable place. He would search every area and finally managed to secure a bungalow in an affluent place in Petaling Jaya. I protested saying that the rental was a bit too steep, Maharaja just went ahead to establish the temple. The fact that most local devotees were not well off did not deter Maharaja from single handedly securing the money for the rental by distributing books. He would go on a marathon of sorts by traveling from Malaysia to Singapore to print and distribute books to pay for the temple’s up-keep.

After taking instructions from Srila Gurudeva, the temple was named Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math. We had many nice programs there. Even Srila Gurudeva stayed there during one of His world tour. The temple has since moved to its new premise.

Fond memories of Sripad Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaja will always prevail in my heart. And the one which is most profound is when he mentioned about how his sannyasa guru, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja would always say, “It is not the seva itself, but the attitude toward the seva.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sri Guru is not an Ordinary Personality

Recently many devotees were jolted about the serious condition of Srila Gurudeva’s health. Many of us offered our prayers so that Srila Gurudeva will stay many more years with us.

Srila Gurudeva is now getting better. We must know that Sri Guru is not an ordinary personality. Srila Gurudeva Himself mentioned this that He is not ordinary and He can cure Himself if He wants, and it all depends on His disciples.

Yes, it all depends on the disciples. We all want Srila Gurudeva with us for a very, very long time. Yet, most of us seem to miss out the point. By constantly being at logger heads and disrespectful to each will not please Srila Gurudeva. Whatever orders He has given we must carry it out with our heart and soul.

What must it take for us to see the brother and sister in all of us? We are indeed one big family under the guidance of Srila Gurudeva.

Yes, it all depends on Srila Gurudeva’s disciples.


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