The Nectar of the Association of the Devotees
Posted April 13, 2004
I came from Amhedabad with Srivasa Prabhu, a senior devotee from Ghana, West Africa. After a night in the train we reached Ujjain in the early hours of the Brahma Muhurta. The telephone numbers we had been given were not working. Some scouts tried to help us and they located an ISKCON camp.
So we packed up our luggage into an Auto rickshaw. It was 6.00am. The driver could not find the place; he was patient and nice, trying his best to help us. For hours we visited the different camps of the Kumbha Mela; a city made of tents, some imitating the snowy summits of Mount Kailash. It reminded me of the camp of the Golden Tents in the medieval history of England and France.
Millions of people were there; Vaisnavas of so many sects, Saivites with matted hair, neat and clean Brahmanas in white kurtas and dhotis, Naga Babas naked - a huge assembly of spiritualists - there was something frantic in the atmosphere.
Anything could happen, Army and forces of police were controlling crossroads with barriers, but we could not find our ISKCON devotees and hours went by. We were driving from one part of the city to another and at 2.00pm we had almost lost hope.
One group of impersonalists offered to help us, they made some phone calls to the police. They brought us water and some food that I offered to my travelling Gaura Nitai deities. After prasad they sent us off in a new direction, we were ready to go back to the station, maybe the devotees were not here.
Anyway after another hour of driving, finally we found our dear god brothers and sisters. It was as if Krishna wanted to impress on us the value of a moment's association with Gaudiya Vaisnavas in the line of Srila Prabhupada. Without them the world was vacant and bitter, as soon as we saw them life, happiness and Krishna Consciousness appeared again.
After a shower and wonderful prasad we were ready for the evening Harinam with Sarvabhauma Prabhu, the devotees of Vrindavan and those from Maharastra Padayatra. Showering the real nectar in the form of the Holy Name!
The next day, Purnima, would be the first bathing day and Krishna wanted
that the Holy Place be purified according to His own words "O Ganges, the
whole planet will become a pilgrimage site by the presence of Vaisnavas,
even though they had been sinful" (Brahma-vaivarta Purana, text 55).