Mahamantra in Maharashtra, Part Two
BY: PREMANJANA DAS
Apr 15, 2012 NASIK, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA (SUN) A devotee travelogue on the sacred sights of Nasik, Maharashtra.
March 23, 2012 was the day of the first appearance day of the Deities Shri Radha Madan Gopal at ISKCON Nasik. I was wondering how fortunate I was and how merciful Krishna is that though I came to Nasik just for a 'holy trip', I also got great association and could attend such a wonderful program.
On Friday morning a wonderful lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 2, Chapter 1, Text 5 was given by His Holiness Chandramauli Swami Maharaj in ISKCON Nasik temple hall. He narrated the story of Gokarna, who became a ghost and was suffering a lot but got liberation just as He heard Srimad Bhagavatam very eagerly for 7 days. Sripada Vrindavana Das Thakur describes in Chaitanya Bhagavatam how Mahaprabhu used to relish the pastimes of Prahlad Maharaj and Dhruv Maharaj (they were 5-year old devotees) even more than 100 times when they were told by Gadadhar Pandit.
Maharaj told in the lecture that a devotee is always fearless, mentioning a pastime from sixth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. He said that even Lord Indra has the fear of losing his position and even killed his own guru Vishvarupa, when He feared that his guru sided with the demi-gods. Maharaj put stress on hearing the glories of Krishna and His devotees more and more.
Maharaj told in his lecture that Americans are very fond of surveys. According to one survey, we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 50% of what we hear and see together, 70% of what we do and 90% of what we teach; so we should tell people more and more about the pastimes of Krishna.
After the class there was a question and answer session with Maharaj.
I asked him 2 questions:
1) How did Gokarna hear Srimad Bhagavatam even in a ghost body?
Answer: Gokarna had subtle body and subtle senses. His desire to hear was so strong that He could overcome all His limitations. Ghosts also run away by kirtan, so this shows that kirtan has impact on the ghosts also.
2) How to glorify Nasik?
Answer: Nasik is already glorified. When we glorify Lord Ramchandra and tell people about the pastimes of the Lord then a holy place is glorified. We should tell people who come to holy places to realize God, that is possible only by hearing the glories of the Lord.
Question by other devotees:
What is the 'secret of renunciation'?
Success of renunciation is that everything in this material world leads to suffering. Pleasure in the material world is just like chutney, it is sweet but it is hot. "Do not try to enjoy; try to serve and with that service you will enjoy". Krishna will give you what you need to live nicely, do not worry. People desire a beautiful wife but then everyone looks at that beautiful wife and tries to enjoy with her, then how can the husband be happy. Also, people want money, rich people have many friends but they are friends of money.
Maharaj recalls how at New Vrindaban, devotees were completely isolated from the material world and media. One brahmachari states that He saw only four women in many years -- Gomata, Tulasi Devi, Shrimati Radharani and Subhadra Devi. They had no idea if the material world existed or not. 'Western confusion' is corrupting the minds of 'young India', this is the greatest attack on India since India ever existed. They will have to work very hard to get things like iPad, iPhone, gadgets, cars, etc., and they will have no time for Krishna after hard work. India is on a very dangerous path now as they are meant for making 'spiritual progress'.
As Srimad Bhagavatam class was going on in the morning; brahmacharis were making wicks and matajis were busy making garlands.
Right in front of temple hall; there is a big wooden altar, with the Deities of Shri Radha Madan Gopal -- black colour Krishna with beautiful Srimati Radharani. The hall was filled with devotees and Hindi translation of lectures was very beautiful. Srila Prabhupada murti is right in front of the wooden altar. There is a good kitchen on one side of temple altar, there is plenty of place to keep slippers just when one enters the temple, and a brahmachari ashram is inside. There is a small garden right in front of the temple hall and a veranda on the other side. That day was the appearance day of the Deities here. The altar was decorated with flowers and balloons, the temple hall was covered with pictures of Krishna, there were 'big elephant faces' on the walls of the temple giving it a grand look. The temple halls were full of air as doors are wide open on all sides, there are many fans and 'fancy lights' on top of the temple hall. The devotees within the temple hall were hearing Srimad Bhagavatam and serving Bhagavat, i.e. Srila Prabhupada.
About ISKCON Nasik Temple:
It is situated on municipal land; garden flooring was done in the last three years by the efforts of His Grace Sikshashtakam Prabhu, who is also the Temple President here. His Grace Prana Gaurav Prabhu also made a useful contribution. Sikshashtakam Prabhu remarked that Nasik was visited by Srila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Ramchandra, Sita Devi, Laxman and Hanuman, and also by many great sadhus and devotees, so it is just by their mercy that this temple has come up so nicely in Nasik.
One more remarkable thing about this temple is that all the service in the temple is done by devotees in the way directed by Srila Prabhupada, unlike the other ISKCON temples where employees do many things. The dresses for the Deities on Their first appearance day were to be brought from Vrindavan Dham but they arrived late, reaching Pune in the morning and at 3:30 PM at Nasik, just before the program started, Krishna made it very exciting for his devotees and created a climax-like situation.
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