Padayatra America - Report
Posted July 2, 2003
June 13, 2003 (from the diary of a Padayatri)
After a few days at Bhakta James house we are back on the road. We are not far from his house and a person stops us and says "I have some cold water for the horses" - oh, thankyou very much. After a while he leaves and we move on again, all the while I am thinking I will do whatever needs to be done for the pleasure of Lord Narsimhadeva and Nitai Gaurasundar.
Just a few minutes later we see the same gentleman stop just ahead of us to wave and leave the water container and a bucket before leaving. The bucket was full of things - bhoga, some nice rubber for the brakes and a few medicinal things for the horses. He just left, and Candrabhaga says "well that means a personal relationship", and it's a fact Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar are always eager to act through actions, circumstances, people and devotees in such a way that we as their servants develop taste for preaching, for remembrance of them, taste for dependence, for detachment and they are waiting for all of us to come to that position of surrender.
We crossed Maryland into Virginia, Friday 4:30 pm on highway 340. The traffic was very heavy (almost stopped) and the only way to cross the border is to cross the Potomac river, a two lane bridge about ½ mile long. At the bridge we trot and hundred's of people saw the deities, heard kirtan, took pictures and smiled. The horses were focused on their service. It was ecstatic to take their Lordships across this bridge with so many people. Now we are in Virginia.....
We stop at a gas station and everyone is attracted to our wagon - more questions, darshan - Chant the holy name! Different people invite us to their place, they hear about the mission, hear about the horse. Everybody respects the program, it is so powerful by all its features. They become enlivened by hearing and seeing all the aspects - we show them the map explaining our journey, the deities, the mission, philosophy. They come and always go away with mercy in their heart.
June 14, 2003 (from the diary of a Padayatri)
The temperature was 60 degrees at night. The weather is slowly getting warmer and with it comes the flies. Oh Lord Narsimhadeva, Lord of Prahlada - please make my only qualification the desire to surrender to your servant. For the protection of my desire please destroy that enemy, the worst of the demons that is rooted in my heart, which identifies myself with the body, which transforms in lust, desire for fame, prestige, and so many material desires. Oh Lord Narsimhadeva, please destroy the sinful reflections that cover my consciousness and let me enter in that realm in which I will be always anxious to remember you, serve you, assist your servant in your glorification. Lord Narsimhadeva ki Jaya!
Let's see what their Lordships are having for us today. Who is next? Where? How? Just take the mercy - Padayatra - to the road.
Few miles after last stop one police came, asked us to stop... he got a little 'mental' about the traffic, so he suggests a different road. I just pray to their Lordships...They do things perfectly in all sides therefore if they change our route it must be for the benefit of the program and someone must be waiting to get the mercy.
We stop at 6:30pm on the side of the road, near an old unused construction site. One gentleman came, he was fascinated, extremely attracted to see us. Coming to a "crossroads" in his life, we were able to introduce him to Krsna Consciousness; and he genuinely saw us as the mercy of the Lord. He brought so much bhoga, oats for the horses and was very inquisitive. Another lady came and took prasadam. Some time later another gentleman dressed in white approached us. To our surprise it was the Policeman. He brought some fruits and water, water for the horses and laxmi - he just walked straight to the front of the deities on the temple side of the wagon and made his offering. His son also came and took darshan. The preaching went on until 9:30 pm. We get to sleep at 11:30 pm.
Another day fully engaged in preaching Krsna Consciousness. We come and leave and with that many souls are touched. No expectations, no attachments, we move on understanding the glory is for their Lordships and the Vaisnavas
June 15, 2003 (from the diary of a Padayatri)
Virginia route 719 - very narrow. Always farms, but now its getting somewhat hilly. Candrabhaga prepared a feast today (Sunday). I am not in control - if Their Lordships desire, nobody can stop the fulfillment of their will. I just let the Lord direct us. I don't know the best road or how to proceed, but I know Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar are constantly reciprocating with us.
The arrangement of a small Padayatra team is big mercy, I can't complain and if they want to engage someone else in Their service that will be at the proper time, place and circumstance.
Let me pray to the Lotus feet of the Six Goswami's of Vrndavan for their mercy to be meek and humble in expanding the glories of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar, Lord Narsimhadeva and Srila Prabhupada. Le me pray to the lotus feet of Raghunatha das Goswami for the strength to carry on with this Padayatra.
I am exhausted - but it is blissful. Oh my Lord, let me be exhausted or fresh doesn't matter, simply let me have a taste of your service, for your mission.
This morning I bathe and dress Their Lordships. It was very sweet. The soul always desires to submerge in that beauty and I pray more and more to be able to appreciate their beauty.
Moving on, we stop at a cemetery en route to rest the horses, and people are stopping - take prasadam and give donations. Who is next? and where?
At 6:30 pm, same policeman stopped us again, and this time personally made arrangements for us to stay in a big farm, they bring water, oats and fly spray for the horses. We sleep at 8:45 pm.
June 16, 2003 (from the diary of a Padayatri)
We start our day at 11:40 am, walk and the holy name resounds. There are so many living entities on the road - trees, cows, horses, plants. We are here for help with the mission of Mahaprabhu.
Route 719 to 50, more busy (traffic), therefore more people see us. At the turn of Atoka road a gentleman came, and - no tricks, no rules, no false stimulation to attract people. Just come and see what we have - do you want to see? I speak about how to make God the center of our life, that will give us the real satisfaction and that this program is not for converting people to a different faith. Rather to go deeper into their faith by putting God in the center of all our activities we will achieve the highest harmony with all living entities; a result of elevating ourselves by that loving relationship with God - Krsna. Naturally good qualities develop in a God Conscious person, a more peaceful - spiritual - harmonious atmosphere will grow. We glorify God by chanting his names, "Krsna", our tradition is from the Vedas, so we are glorifying God by chanting, reciting, singing the mantra which means, "Oh my Lord, oh Krsna, please teach me to serve you, please teach me to love you." In any case we simply are encouraging you to glorify god. It is not a question of religion, it is a change of heart. He gives a donation (50 laxmi points), so we give a book. This is Padayatra. We don't need to trick anyone or have tactics for distributing books/mercy. We just have to get into it - whoever you meet, whoever comes to you, somehow share Krsna Consiciousness with them. Talk about and glorify Krsna. Everybody is in need of love, everybody is in need of Krsna; everybody likes it. If the preaching is sincere than whatever we need will be there.
We widely give small/medium soft books and many times people are giving us donations of $20 and $50. We just have faith in what we are doing and Krsna provides EVERYTHING.
While we were stopped at that corner of 50/Atoka Road, one woman stopped to see the Deities and hear about the program. She went home and brought water, bhoga, maps of Virginia and North Carolina. She was particularly attracted by the peacock feathers (fan) and asked about its significance. Candrabhaga explained about its significance and also about Radha Krsna, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda.
Another gentleman named Steve stopped to take pictures. He used to know the devotees in Boston. He gave a much needed hammer to shoe the horses (as the one we had broke just a few days ago). Just than a woman drove up with 50 pounds of oats and salt licks for the horses. She said, "I saw you yesterday, you were asking for oats".
A mother and daughter stopped and asked many questions aswell.
"You see, we don't eat anything that is not offered to Krsna - God first, and we don't offer restaurant or pre-cooked foods." Why?
"Because you don't know the consciousness of the cooker especially the cleanliness (internally and externally)." oh yes, she agreed.
We move on, and a few miles down the road again we saw Theresa and her
daughter. "Pull over we have some fruits for you!" We thanked them by giving
a book and prasadam. That night we found an open field across the street
from a school and stayed there peacefully. Rain came, we went to sleep at
10:30 pm. Total distance covered 15 miles.