19 Sep Update ISKCON Ujjain 19 September 2010
(Note : please click on the picture to get the enlarged view)
Article sent by His Grace Mukunda Prabhu
Pictures : Their Graces Mukunda and Naiyka Prabhus
The morning unfolded with Guru Maharaj offering arati to Sri Sri Radha MadanMohan. Darshan arati was at 7.15am and everyone could not take their eyes of the Deities dressed in their new blue attire plus the exquisite jewelry and attractive garlands that adored them. Guru Maharaj performed Guru Puja for Srila Prabhupada whose throne was also wonderfully decorated. It was evident from Srila Prabhupada’s pleasing smile that he was accepting the love and devotion of his most beloved devotee.
This was followed by a class given by Guru Maharaj who emphasized that one become a guru and preach Krishna consciousness to any one we come across. He confirmed that at the present moment there was a need for thousands of gurus and we jokingly remarked that one should not wait to receive formal approval to be proclaimed as a guru by the GBC but spread the philosophy. He also mentioned that several gurus had established famous religious institutions and coined them in their own name and later they had almost perished. However Srila Prabhupada had established ISKCON which is centered around Krishna. We must always remember that there is one Founder Acharaya Srila Prabhupada and we are all serving as his representatives. Guru Maharaj
repeated several times that one should never abandon the shelter of ISKCON. The institution is higher than one single individual. Local people in Mayapur call ISKCON as sahib math while those in Vrindavan have nicknamed it as angrago ka math and many are still unaware of the identity of Srila Prabhupada but one has definitely heard about ISKCON. Guru Maharaj also gave the example how the Gaudiya math had lost its significance as it stopped preaching and was involved in bickering over property. Thus we must keep on preaching and Guru Maharaj forecast that in the next the next decade we will see ISKCON grow in leaps and bounds and the same was already happening.
Just after class glorification of Srila Prabhupada commenced with Guru Maharaj’s two godbrothers H.G. Mahaman Pr president of the Indore temple and H.G. Akhiladhara Pr sharing their realizations with us. A few selected devotees also shared their feelings about Srila Prabhupada. At noon everyone offered pushpanjali to Srila Prabhupada which was followed by arati. The
morning session culminated with a a grand feast wherein sixteen items were served to anyone who came to the temple. The same was borne by H.G.Sunit Pr son of their Grace Priyavratha Pr and Radharani Matagi. We all thank them from the core of our hearts and humbly request them to shower their mercy on us in the future.
In the evening for a few hours in 365 days Guru Maharaj allowed himself to be pampered by the devotees but as it turned out at certain times it was too much for him to put up with. Guru Maharaj as he left from the temple walked over a path of flowers and devotees held a flower umbrella over his head. As soon as he sat on the Vyasa asana disciples surrounded him to get an opportunity to bathe his lotus feet. Later as devotees did Guru puja Guru Maharaj accepted the same with folded hands closed eyes and with a drooping head. Ninety percent of the three hours allotted for the program was consumed in offering garlands to Guru Maharaj with well over a thousand people waited in rows to get an opportunity to garland him and offer their obeisance. Guru Maharaj reciprocated by giving each one a garland but the process was taking such a long time that he decided to step down from the stage and take the garlands individually. He was literally mobbed by the guests and immediately returned to the safety of the Vyasa asan. A few devotees glorified Guru Maharaj on his 65th birthday and just after 9pm Guru Maharaj cut his birthdays cakes and then asked us to distribute the same to all the visitors and devotees along with a packet containing dinner prasad. It was indeed a memorable evening which we will all cherish.
Guru Maharaj thanked all the guests who came for the festival and he regretted that the arrangements may not have been up to the mark and that he could not meet everyone personally. He requested the visitors to write to him suggesting how the programs can be better organized.
We the devotees in Ujjain also express our gratitude to all who came and joined us for a few days leaving all their busy schedules and having travelled long distances just to give us their association and love. We sincerely beg forgiveness for all the mistakes we committed as we have a long way to go in developing our qualities of vaishnava hospitality. We look forward to all of you to come here again and again.
A few persons could be mentioned for the superb service they offered in making the event quite memorable. H.G. Shyamangi Radhika Matagi for the stunning outfits for the deities and the flower decoration from the temple to the auditorium, H.G. Mitravrinda Matagi for making those attractive garlands, H.G. Merabhai Matagi for bringing imported orchids from Mumbai, H.G.Champaklata Matagi from London for the cakes which she so lovingly baked and decorated. H.G.Amolbhakta Pr for the decoration of the auditorium plus H.G.Santagauranga Pr and H.G.Radhavallav Pr for preparing the mouth watering prasad for all the days.
I just like to add an incident that occurred to me during the vyasa puja celebrations. The queues were very long both for the Prabhus and Matagis and I had little patience to stand in line. Guru Maharaj once came in front of the stage to receive the garlands and there too a huge multitude of devotees gathered to offer their garlands. I was looking on helplessly but then Guru Maharaj spotted me from a distance and came forward and bent over to take the garland from this insignificant servant and wore it around his neck. I realized that if I remain and just follow his directives he will surely reach out for me at the ultimate moment of anguish.
Pictures of the morning and evening sessions are on the following links :
Morning : Click here
Evening : Click here
Photos submitted by H.G.Nayaika Matagi on Janmastumi and Radhaustumi can be viewed on this link
Initiation : Click here
Vyasa-puja : Click here