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Diary: A LONG JOURNEY to Mayapur

“A LONG JOURNEY to Mayapur”
Please accept our humble obeisance.

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

After submitting the previous report it is now 6am on 9th July. I was told that Guru Maharaj would go to Mayapur this afternoon.Guru Maharaj had gone to the temple to take darshan of the Deities. It was for about 1 hour and then we headed for the pandal ceremony for initiation that took place there.
In the room Guru Maharaj had about 30 bags or more, all of different sizes, colors and shapes. Daresha had rented a small truck to send all direct to Mayapur with Siromani. Soon the car arrived and we loaded all the bags onto the car.


In the temporary “temple” Guru Maharaj was giving a talk in Bengali, on the subject of initiation. Candidates for the 1st initiation were 49 and only a couple was taking the 2nd initiation. After finishing the talk Guru Maharaj made two short ceremonies for the disciples taking shelter of the holy name. On completion of the ceremony, Guru Maharaj proceeded to give the names and japas to the candidates who took the 1st initiatión. This lasted about half an hour as it had been organized in such a way that expediates the procedure. GM gave a brief account for each candidate and immediately called by their civil name in front of everyone and then announced his new spiritual name.
When finished with the last candidate, GM was directed to a small room or pandal apparently designed especially for him and there gave the Gayatri Mantra to the second initiates. After this he took a shower. Thereafter some devotees came for darshan and he received most of the newly initiated daksina that was collected.
Then he was directed to his car. The large van which has a bed for rest had also arrived together with the rest of the servants. There was another car where Vasu, his wife and the physiotherapist would travel. They also went straight to Mayapur. After giving darshan and blessings as He passsed some local devotees, Guru Maharaj left for Mayapur in his car along with the servants on duty. The rest of the team followed in the great Van. I think that by now it was around 3:30 pm. Guru Maharaj would take his lunch in the car during the trip. After about an hour’s drive we stopped. Guru Maharaj wanted to change the car and be transferred to the large van to take a break. Some of the servants were moved to his car. Perhaps another hour had elapsed or more of travel and made another stop at a gas station. We heard that the air conditioning in the van had been damaged, so while filling their tanks with gasoline, we proceeded to transfer Guru Maharaj back into his car and on our side now return to the “austere” Van.
Usually when you travel from Kolkata to Mayapur or vice versa, the trip usually takes about 3 hrs, but with Guru Maharaj perception and everything else life becomes something completely different. The years before this trip we had made 2 and up to 3 stops at different pandals on the outskirts of Kolkata and on the way to Mayapur, where he also held Ratha Yatra festival. But this year, GM only participated in one place, and that others He had visited a couple of days ago. This type of new arrangement made to try and arrive early and travel to Mayapur was not so intense and long for GM as before.
After transferring Guru Maharaj back to His car we continued with the trip. It was dark. Until you lose track of time. Perhaps by that time was past 8pm. The main stop or celebration would be the well-known town called Habibpur. And reports from past years have described the events in this place, which I have been amazed, astonished and excited. We were about an hour away. Coming from the main road bends in a narrow street. Most of those who were going in the van was half asleep and the crowd noise woke us up completely. Doubling the narrow street we saw all this crowd were just waiting for the arrival of GM to steer us in the form of procession and homage to the entrance of the Grand Pandal. GM’s car was moving slowly through the crowd to the point that we did not have the same vision, same as we were going a few yards away.
I could hear the kirtan welcoming Guru Maharaj.
Arriving at the entrance to the pandal, it was shaped like a bow in different colored lights. Just before crossing the entrance arch in the middle of it, the first thing he saw was the “great temple.” Remember that I put in quotes because it is actually a temple and this time unlike the “temple” of the pandal in Kolkata, the facade or the front is what makes it look like a huge temple, as if someone is and looks behind, will see only a large tent or pandal covering the temple area and the opposite side of the facade made and sustained by guaduas tied to each other. In this place each year they build a different model. Last year they had built in the form of the famous boat “Jaladuta.” The year before this, was erected another temple that remained in my mind for a whole year, thinking I visited an illusionary temple that was neither real nor permanent. Tonight or this year’s “temple” we saw THROUGH arch of multicolored lights, was nothing more nor less than a small replica of the future temple of “Vedic Planetarium,” which is actually under development 24 hours the day, here in Mayapur. Definitely devotees in this place are quite a genious and creative.
After Guru Maharaj’s car moved forward and stood next to the “temple” the crowd began to swirl around the car of Guru Maharaj. As I said in previous years, the security men here are the best we’ve seen so far. Immediately cordoned off and made a kind of “street man” so to speak, which starts at GM’s car to the entrance of “temple” clutching each other with their “sticks or rolls.” Only the servants we are permitted walk into this “street made of men” to lead GM into the entrance of the temple and in front of the altar to take darshan of the beautiful Deities of Jagannath, Baladeva and Subadra. These deities are the largest and most beautiful I’ve seen all around I think they are almost twice as large as those of Kolkata. The most impressive thing is the decor and clothing worn at the time. In short, the vision was truly transcendental.
GM took Darshan of Their Lordships and made offer of some items while the pujaris offered some garlands to GM, and remnants of the Deities.
Behind a large group of devotees ran a very enthusiastic kirtan. Everything was under control by the above mentioned security agents. Guru Maharaj then entered a small room next to the altar and offered some fruit trays Mahaprasada, which were covered in clear plastic.
After that we were directed towards the pandal where Guru Maharaj was invited to a talk and Guru Maharaj was assisted Rampla on to the stage to sit in the asana. More garlands were offered to Guru Maharaj. Guru Maharaj began the class with the usual prayers. He also explained the meaning of a song Bengali Vaisnava all in Bengali. The class lasted about half an hour or maybe a little more and at the end Guru Maharaj was taken to his car, and to continue his journey to Sri Mayapur. To the surprise of everyone, especially the older secretaries, Guru Maharaj wanted to go to the Temple of the ISKCON community which is located near the pandal. The temple president wanted to show us what Guru Maharaj had built for him.Guru Maharaj apparently had not yet taken his dinner and came to Madhavakanta with the news that they had agreed that Guru Maharaj to take his dinner at the temple. It was past 10pm, so Mahavaraha and Ekanath who were with us went down immediately to arrange Guru Maharaj’s request. Guru Maharaj got out of the car and entered the temple to take darshan of Srila Prabhupada. By this time the altar was closed. The temple president invited him to visit the room that they had made for him, which was next to the temple room. Ultimately what really happened was that the devotee brought a basket with different preparations of Mahaprasada and GM took a bit from each pot and offered the remnants to devotee and the rest of the basket was taken to the Van. Guru Maharaj was once directed toward his car. On our side in the van we partied with the Mahaprasada basket.
From there to Mayapur was like another hour or so of travel. So being around 11pm, we would be arriving to the Holy Dhama at about midnight. The calculations did not fail. Between asleep and awake, then fully awake when we crossed the main entrance of Candrodaya Mandir. By that time there were no devotees to receive Guru Maharaj, so Guru Maharaj had a smooth transfer to the rooms of his headquarters on the terrace of Lotus building. There we prepared him for bed and the only dilemma faced was: Who will do the night shift?. Sure, the name of Isvara Puri was in the mind and mouth of all.
Anyway, here I am still “alive” in Guru Maharaj’s room, finishing the day at 5:55 am in this new day July 10 at the most auspicious place in the universe, Sri Mayapur Dhama. It was worth the effort and I recount the events and transcendental detail of this trip and how Guru Maharaj makes each year this effort from Kolkata to Mayapur, especially if you’ve been away for a good considerable amount of time, as on this occasion of his second trip around the world.
Your Servant
The servants caring for Guru Maharaj.

 

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