The following year, 1950, Srila Gurudeva, the founder of the Samiti, arranged for approximately two hundred faithful devotees to observe kartika-vrata in South India. Under his guidance, they had the good fortune to visit Setubandha Ramesvara and other holy places which had been purified by the footprints of Sri Gaura.
The devotees began their journey from Howrah station in Kolkata and made their first stop in Puri-dhama. Then the pilgrims had darsana of Simhacalam, Mangalagiri, Chennai (Madras), Cingalput, Kanjivaram, Cidambaram, Siyali, Mayabharam, Tirumedamarudu, Kummakonam, Papnasanam, Tanjor, Ramesvaram, Dhanuskodi, Sri Vaikuntham, Terucandur, Kanya-kumari, Sucindram, Tiruvantar, Trivendrum, Varkala, Sankara-narayanakail, Sri Miliputtar, Madura, Palni, Sri Rangam, Vrddhacalam, Tiruminnamalai, Tirupati, Tirumalai, Tirucanur and Kalahasi. Finally they arrived at Guntur Junction, and from there returned to Howrah station. After observing kartika-vrata with a month of sadhu-sanga, sankirtana, hari-katha and darsana of innumerable and incomparably delightful places of pilgrimage that are almost unattainable, all the devotees returned home, overwhelmed with gratitude for Sri Guru Maharaja. At the time of departure, they fell at his lotus feet, their eyes brimming with tears, and begged for his blessings: “Please bestow your mercy on us so that we can quickly obtain the association of Vaisnavas and gradually progress on the path of suddha-bhakti.”
Srila Prabhupada’s viraha-utsava in Anandapada
On the occasion of jagad-guru Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day, 26 December 1950, Srila Guru Maharaja and some fifteen matha residents preached the message of Sriman Mahaprabhu for seven days in Saranathipalli in Anandapada, in the district of Chaubisa Paragana. The pious people living in the area were very impressed with paramaradhyatama Srila Gurudeva’s exceptional hari-katha. The following is the essence of one of his lectures.
“The majority of you have left East Bengal and have come here to India to protect your dharma. The rule of Bhagavan is to always give good fortune to the jivas. The purpose of human life is not simply to arrange for food and clothing. Someone may adopt the behaviour, dress, mannerisms, ways of thinking and ideology of the Yavanas, and then say ‘I am a Hindu’, but this does not mean that he is really a Hindu. We can only be Hindus by genuinely observing the behaviour and views of the Hindu sanatana-dharma. The real reason for the misery of Hindu society today is people’s lack of faith in and devotion to their own dharma. Modern Hindu society has forgotten its culture and is giving up its own personality because of Western education and contact with Westerners. That is the main reason for people’s misery today. We Hindus have forgotten to devote our life to dharma, so the degradation of Hinduism is inevitable. We have forgotten the instructions and teachings of Sri Rama and Sri Krsna and instead we are going in the opposite direction. Dharma is a matter of conduct; it is not to be acknowledged only by mouth, but by our actions. Troubled days are before us. If we are indifferent to our dharma, we will suffer the consequences.
“Each person’s house is an asrama. We live there to practise devotion to the Supreme Lord. If we are merely absorbed in eating, sleeping, defending and mating, then staying at home is like residing in hell. Living in such a situation and being addicted to foods such as onions, garlic, meat and fish, as well as alcohol, smoking, etc., that promote ignorance, the jiva will become more opposed to Bhagavan. Therefore, the one and only duty is to reject these things. It is necessary to construct new settlements or villages on the foundation of dharma. Without dharma the human being becomes like a four-legged animal. Only by means of dharma can human beings have both worldly and transcendental happiness.”