Sayana Ekadasi

[Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga, spoken on 19 July 2013]

Today is Ekadasi, Sayana Ekadasi. For the complete day we fast. Now, we will hear the glories of Ekadasi-devi. We should desire to have some respect for this holy day. Otherwise, if you don’t respect the appearance of Ekadasi-devi, don’t engage in her worship, and don’t offer any paraphernalia to her, then by these actions you are disobeying, neglecting, and avoiding her. This can only mean that you don’t like Ekadasi-devi, and are far away, running hither and tither from this most auspicious day. After hearing these glories of Ekadasi-devi, if a desire to follow this day manifests in your heart, then this is called respect and faith.

So now, I will speak on the glories of Ekadasi-devi. I tried during the morning to speak on her glories, but because of my bad luck, we ran out of time. We were absorbed in many, many engagements during the evening also. Now, I have little time to speak on her glories. I pray near the lotus feet of Ekadasi-devi that she forgives and excuses me, for I am not qualified. Therefore, she gives her blessings and help. The name of this world is Mrtyu-loka, Mara-loka, the abode of death. Anybody who comes here will not last for long. They are destined to die. The soul may be encased by the body of any species of life, but the soul will not stay confined to that body for a long time. The soul may accept the bodies of trees, creepers, various kinds of plants and medicinal herbs, or the bodies of animals; but any species of life the soul enters and accepts a corresponding body; regardless, the body that covers the soul will die. The soul will soon leave that body. This world is called Mrtyu-loka or Mara-loka, but it is also the repository of other actions. I will speak on some of them. You may have sukriti, pious activities and a good nature, but know that this world cannot protect your pious merits and yourself. Even if you try to protect yourself by following a good way, line and rules, then many problems and disturbances will come. You will be upset and disturbed. You will lose everything.

You will be unprotected. Your devotion will not increase or develop. You may think, “Tomorrow, I will chant more harinama and engage in more bhakti and bhajan,” but this is not possible. Why? The name of this world is, “The abode of death.” After the son is born, he addresses his father, “You are my dad. You are my death.” Why does he call his father in such a way? He actually means to say, “Now, you are finished. I am going to kill you!”

And, he calls his mother, “Mum.” In all the languages, this usage is common. The son does not address his mother as “mother,” rather, he calls her, “mum or ma.” Mostly, mothers are addressed as “ma.” Even when the cows moo, they call out, “ma.” The crows and indeed, all animals utter the word, “ma.” But when Krishna was born, He did not call His parents, “Momma or daddy.” When He was born, He only said, “Om.” When babies are born, they continuously cry and make the sound, “Ow, ow, ow.” But, Krishna only chanted, “Om, Om, Om,” the pranava-vakya. By chanting Om, Krishna gave everyone diksa. When Mahaprabhu appeared, He initiated everyone through harinama. If you come near Mahaprabhu and chant harinama, then He is happy. But, if you don’t chant harinama, Mahaprabhu will cry. Hence, the program of continuous harinama is always conducted near Mahaprabhu. On listening to the chanting of harinama, Mahaprabhu dances in ecstasy; He is very happy and pleased. When you, I, and all of us are born in this world, we forget and lose all sukriti. We are bound by new and newer attachments. We are bound to the people we call, “Uncle, aunt, brother, mother, and father.” We remain confined to many relationships.

By associating with them, their nature, and character will enter our hearts. But if one’s mother and father are Vaisnavas, devotees, then the children will not follow the mundane nature of this world. It is rare if they act otherwise. If they follow their devotee-parents, then it is their good luck and good fortune. So, Ekadasi-devi looks at the jivas and thinks, “If I help the souls today, tomorrow they forget.” Today, on the day of Ekadasi, she gives the eleven senses protein and power. She nourishes them and gives them the help and energy to follow the line of bhakti. You may chant and follow the line of bhakti for one day, but on the next day, you remain preoccupied with many friends, businesses, and sicknesses. Then there is no sankhya purvaka nama gana. As a result, there is no taste for the holy dhama and harinama. You will say, “I have been hearing harikatha for many lives. I know everything! Why are you giving classes?”

On listening to kirtana, you will say, “Why perform kirtana?”

While going for darsana, you will say, “Darsana for one day is enough. There is no need to go on darsana every day.” This way, the brain is defeated by maya.

Therefore, every fifteen days, Krishna sends Ekadasi-devi. For instance, for someone who takes diksa, Rupa Gosvami Prabhu says, “Krishna-diksadi-siksanam.” Only accepting the mantras is not enough. After taking diksa, siksha is necessary. The residents of Mrtyu-loka or Mara-loka are spiraling downwards to the hellish planets—Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. They are only going down, without coming up. In the rainy season, many streams of water are formed by incessant rainfall. You are very happy by such rainfall. But if you look closely at the water, you will see how dirty it is. The rainwater is mixed with mud, sewage, clay, and pollutants. It is not possible to drink such water. The rain is showered down like blessings, but on reaching the surface of the earth, the rain water becomes dirty. But some water is evaporated by the sun in the form of vapor. The vapor forms clouds and the clouds hold good water.

Similarly, anybody who takes birth in this world, Mrtyu-loka and takes the help of God, Guru and Vaisnavas, and Ekadasi-devi’s help, will achieve the most auspicious destination. But by taking the help of family members, and mundane people, for whom one has attraction, attachment, and affection, an inauspicious end will be achieved. He will be half-dead. And afterwards, he will die completely. Before dying, he struggles to cope with his anarthas.

A person afflicted by his anarthas cries out and says, “Oh my brain has many anarthas. I cannot clean them!”

“What did you put in your brain? Why have you collected a lot of garbage? Why are you not cleaning your mind?”

They don’t know the process of how to clean their minds. A conditioned soul comes to this world and by meeting with ordinary people, all their garbage of detestable tendencies will enter his heart without any invitation. This is called asat-sanga, bad association. If you meet with good people, talk with them, serve them; then automatically everything will be clean. Your mind and heart will be clean. With this purified consciousness, you can remember God and God’s family. You will also remember mantras and stotras. You will pray continuously. And you will always be engaged in chanting harinama and listening to harikatha. But by looking at the mundane residents of this Mrtyu-loka, you will forget everything. You will lose everything and you will be dirty! The hearts of the mundane people are like garbage centers. You may go to a doctor to cure your illness, and the doctor gives you some capsules and some medicine, but for how long will they give relief? You may drink a lot of alcohol and work hard, but for how long can you do this? Will you ever find yourself relaxed? Impossible.

When Srila Svami Maharaja went to the Western countries, he would meet many people. Once, he met with a person who had not slept for six months. Doctors, and his families were helpful, but why was he unable to sleep? How will he sleep if he indulges in drinking? Because of the collection of impurities in his body, his body temperature had increased.

Srila Svami Maharaja told him, “You should sit down and listen to Srimad Bhagavatham.”

By listening to Srimad Bhagavatham, his heart started to get clean. The power of Srimad Bhagavatham started to enter his heart and wash away the impurities that had collected therein. Now, that his heart was clean, he started to sleep. Srimad Bhagavatham was being spoken, but he was snoring and sleeping.

After waking, he told Svami Maharaja, “Thank you. You are a marvelous personality. Now, without any medicine, you have made me relax. I am very happy. From this day, I am your follower and disciple. Prabhupada you are mine.”

People don’t know of the process. Gurudeva’s mercy, Vaisnavas’ mercy, and God’s mercy is present, but they don’t come and collect this mercy. This mercy is untouched by them. They don’t even look at this mercy. They go near ordinary people, run behind them, and tell them, “Excuse me! Forgive me! Please give me shelter. Give me some business. Give me this and that.” Talking and talking and arguing with each other, they are tied and bound by maya. After, they collect many impurities and garbage. While collecting these detestable things, they consider how sweet these things are. Being entangled by these impurities, they are unable to come out. They are then dizzy and busy. They are struck by depression and they distance themselves from others. Everything is now tasteless to them.

Everyone likes a clean place. But how to clean? Therefore, God Himself sends Ekadasi-devi, Bhakti-devi, the mother of devotion.

madhava-tithi, bhakti janani, yatane palana kori
krishna bosati, bosati boli, parame adare bori

This Madhava-tithi, Ekadasi, comes every fifteen days and she helps everyone. On this day, don’t take shelter of anything else. Don’t eat grains, or consume water, ether, fire, sky, and air. Don’t eat or drink anything. Residing in the holy dhama, chant harinama and listen to discourses on the Bhagavatham, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and other scriptures. You may also read the scriptures. Engage yourself in observing harinama and hari-sankirtana. There is no need to do anything else. Don’t engage yourself in any other business. By observing these limbs of devotion, Ekadasi-devi will be helpful to us and everybody. She gives treatment to the conditioned souls. She comes, cleans, and purifies the conditioned souls. She gives them energy, taste, strength, power, and very sweet facilities. How can we go near Vaisnavas and collect their blessings and mercy? How can we go near God? How can we chant and pray near Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas? How can we stay in the holy dhama? Otherwise, there will be no desire to stay in the holy dhama.

One will run away and think, “If I go this other way, I will be okay. I will not be afflicted by any sickness. I will be healthy.”

One goes to health centers like Kashmir and Himalayas. He may even go to some places like Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai, which are the centers of wealth. But, once one goes there, he will understand in some time how the people of these places are crazy and busy. He will realize how people there are suffering. In the holy dhama, the sadhus, Guru and Vaisnavas are present. Harinama and Mahaprasada is present in the holy dhama. Harikatha is present and many followers of Ekadasi-devi are present. If you venture out of the holy dhama, you will see how extremely rare it is that out of the multitude of masses, only one person may be a vegetarian. Out of those vegetarians, it is very rare to find a person who offers preparations to God and partakes of the Mahaprasadam. It is impossible to find a person who chants mantras and harinama.

You will be surrounded by asat-sanga and what will you collect from this asat-sanga? What will come near you? You will be sick and then where will you go? Will you go to the hospital? Otherwise, will you go to a hospice? Where will you go? But, by doing bhajan and following Ekadasi, what will be the forthcoming result? You will always be sadhus near and Guru’s near. A temple or an asrama is a training center of Goloka Vrindavana. You will find all forms of shelter and protection there. In the temple, you will be not bothered by any form of tension.

Ekadasi-devi comes every fifteen days and helps the souls. But, how many patients come near Ekadasi-devi and seek treatment? Will they write their names down on and say, “I have now come to your lotus feet. Please accept me and treat me.”

But despite coming near Ekadasi-devi, they turn back and run away. They exclaim, “Oh I can’t wait! It is impossible! How can I stay awake for the entire day and entire night? How can I fast the complete day? I can’t wait!”

“I can fast up to the afternoon. After that it is not possible for me to fast. I will drink many beverages like lassis and fruit juices. I will take shelter there. I will drink juices made from many fruits like bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and pomegranates. Mango, Man-go, woman-go. “O man go!”

You go and take shelter of places where you can obtain these juices, but you don’t go near Ekadasi-devi. And then you eat pakodas, kinnua, halva, and buckwheat. You also drink milk. You eat and drink many kinds of foodstuffs, but you don’t go near Ekadasi-devi. It is very rare to find someone who stays near Ekadasi-devi throughout the complete day and night. Such rare persons will be respected and regarded. Srila Prabhupada Sarsvati Thakura’s disciples followed Ekadasi until the last moment of their manifest stay in this world. Despite being 102 years of age, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja strictly followed Ekadasi. I have also seen by own eyes, how they would never sleep for the entire day and night. Krishna das Babaji Maharaja would never sleep. He would fast and completely abstain from talking. He would only be blissfully engaged in kirtana. Playing the mridanga, he would sing and chant harinama. He would be busy in devotional services the whole day. He would never address anyone or meet someone. By observance of Ekadasi in this manner, the devotees are completely near Ekadasi. Then Ekadasi-devi’s help will also come.

But how do we observe Ekadasi? We wake in the early morning and during the summer season, we complain of the excessive heat. We think, “I am thirsty. Some electrolytes are necessary. This is not bad for us.” During the winter season, you desire to drink hot milk. And during the summer, you crave for a cold milk shake. Do you think, “But really, where am I then?” You don’t think about this. Therefore, it is said in Caitanya Caritamrita:

bahu janma kare yadi sravana, kirtana
tabu ta’ na paya Krsna-pade prema-dhana

Someone may engage in austerities for millions of lives, but at the last moment, one looks at a bag of nuts. Opening the bag, he sees that nothing is there. One may artificially display devotion throughout his life, but is he really following or not? Where am I? If the sadhaka is not serious, then an inauspicious fruit will come and he will go far away. He will then say, “Oh I performed bhajan for my entire life. Now at the last moment, I am tasting the fruits of my actions.” This is a problem. Therefore, the sastra and the Guruvarga completely practice in their lives what they say. They are very serious. Anything they do, they do for the well-being of others. Their business of selfless help is not bad business. They are perfect and strong. Otherwise, one will engage in ill-motivated actions and say, “Oh I have been chanting harinama for a long time now. But I haven’t received bhakti. Nothing has happened yet. I am now sick and suffering.” But the fruit of following only one Ekadasi is good and helpful for everybody. But how should you follow this day? On this day especially, you shouldn’t share your love and time with anyone. Don’t go here and there. In a hospital, the patients are fasting. They are diagnosed and thoroughly checked. Their bodies are checked from morning to evening. During the night, they are not given any food. On the next day, their bodies are again checked.

The patient’s result finally comes. Because he has indulged in unrestrictedly eating many kinds of foodstuffs, the result will be that his right hand will be amputated. To nurse the jivas and to arrange for their treatment, Krishna facilitates the appearance of the Ekadasi day. Ekadasi is Bhakti janani, the mother of devotion. She checks to see who has bhakti. This day is not ordinary.

On the previous Ekadasi, we heard how Ekadasi-devi appears with Krishna’s senses. She embodies no other’s senses. This personality appears to help the eleven senses of the jivas. She makes the jivas’ senses strong and able. Being empowered, they will perfectly serve Krishna. Therefore, try again and again to attentively follow this holy day. She comes and helps the jivas all the time. But the jivas have no desire to be helped. They don’t like this unconditional and causeless help. If nothing happens, then go near Ganga, Yamuna, Tulasi, Harinama, Ramayana, Gita, and Bhagavatham. Go near this paraphernalia of the Lord. If you have no taste for serving, then go on parikrama. If you also have no taste for parikrama then on the following morning, tell your mind, “Go near Vaisnavas and bhaktas.” If you lack taste for even these activities, then immediately bathe in a holy river. After bathing in the river, pray. Ekadasi-devi will help. But, if you don’t follow the rules and regulations, a big punishment will come.

Therefore, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is very serious. When he was in Jagannatha Puri and other places, he would preach village to village and open nama-hatta centers. During those days, the villages had no electricity. So, he would use a kerosene lamp, a torchlight, and a pair of karatalas for kirtana. People would come from different places and assemble. By the aid of this kerosene oil lamp, he would have an entire area illuminated. Having the place illuminated, he would start harinama-sankirtana. For the entire night of the Ekadasi, he would have the villagers perform kirtana. And during the morning, he would give everyone Jagannatha prasada and make them break their fast at the appropriate time. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura would use all the money he received as a salary from the government for harinama, hariseva, and to help the jivas. He would travel to many villages on a horse. He was the magistrate of Jagannatha Puri. He was the ideal Jagannatha sevaka who had all seva adhikara. He would go everywhere and open nama-hatta centers. He would preach every day, but on the special day of Ekadasi he would for arrange for kirtana to be performed throughout the day and for the entire duration of the night.

During one such occasion, he had everyone engaged in harinama sankirtana for the entire night and in the early morning, distributed Jagannatha prasad to everyone and came to the Jagannatha temple. He observed that everyone outside the temple followed Ekadasi, but none of the Jagannatha sevaks inside the temple followed Ekadasi. What did the sevaks in the temple do to the deity of Ekadasi-devi? They turned the deity upside down. They proclaimed, “Nobody in the Jagannatha temple follows Ekadasi. Jagannatha prasadam is more than powerful.”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, “This is not true. Mahaprasadam comes every day, but Ekadasi comes only once in every fifteen days. Mahaprasadam is available every day, but Ekadasi is not available every day.” Not following Ekadasi, they only have the attitude of enjoying. They neglect Ekadasi and take Mahaprasadam. But no insignificant personality sends Ekadasi-devi. Krishna Himself sends her. This day is the embodiment of Krishna’s own senses and body. Ekadasi-devi comes and helps the eleven senses of the conditioned souls.

People think, “The sastras state that everyone must follow Ekadasi from the age of eight to the age of eighty. After the age of eighty there is no need.” But, once in Mathura, one Maharaja said, “I am 92 years old now. There is no need for me to follow Ekadasi anymore.”

Srila Gurudeva replied, “For your complete life you have followed all Ekadasis. But now in your old age, you have decided to stop following Ekadasi. This can only mean that you have never followed Ekadasi. You did not take shelter near Ekadasi-devi’s lotus feet.”

It is very painful to know that someone who has practiced following Ekadasi for more than 80 or 90 years has now stopped his observance of this most holy day. Never neglect Ekadasi. Don’t disobey the scriptural injunctions. Don’t forget to observe the day of Ekadasi. On this day, try to abstain from eating grains and drinking water. Don’t listen to mundane music on this day or be engaged in some programs. Only be absorbed in harinama sankirtana; this is a symptom of your good luck and good fortune. By this sincere service of the holy name, Ekadasi-devi will be pleased.

Everything is lost in this Mrtyu-loka, Mara-loka. But by following Ekadasi, Ekadasi-devi will protect you. She will form a protective barrier around devotees. Even Kala, time personified will not be able to enter this area and steal one’s time. Prarabdha, aprarabdha karma, and anarthas will not affect the devotees. Therefore, it is said in the Srimad Bhagavatham:

ayur harati vai pumsam
udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita
uttama-sloka-vartaya

Time will steal a person’s life. How? The sun will steal one’s life during the day and the moon will do the same during the night. The sun and moon steal one’s life with every passing day, week, month, and year. But there is only way, by which they will not steal? Uttama-sloka-vartaya, by remembering the glories of the Lord, the sun and moon will not reduce one’s life span. It is not possible. Anyone who follows Ekadasi will be protected by her. Sometimes, her followers may go the wrong way; they stop chanting and lose taste in chanting the guru-mantra also. They lose taste for service. But, Ekadasi-devi will strengthen you with renewed determination to follow the devotional practices. On the next Ekadasi, she will appear and renew your strength and energy. Then it will not be possible to lose your will to follow bhakti. Therefore, the Guruvarga gives nama and diksa and tell the disciples, “You must carefully Ekadasi. This is your austerity.”

In one complete year, there are twenty four Ekadasis, and sometimes there are twenty six. There are also the holy occasions of Janmastami, Nrsingha Jayanti, Rama Navami, and Gaura Purnima—there are four vratas. Hence, twenty six Ekadasis and four appearance days of the Lord and His incarnations make one month of vratas. For one month, you will not take any grains. But, for the next eleven months you can take as much as grains as you want, no problem. But on the days of Ekadasi and the appearance days of the Lord and His incarnations, you should respect the holy occasions and offer your obeisances. This is very conducive for following Ekadasi. But by not following Ekadasi, great punishment awaits. Then it is not possible to attain liberation.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura and our Guruvarga started this program of nama-hatta and hari-vasa. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, “This holy occasion is hari-vasa, Hari resides on this holy day.” Does Ekadasi-devi come alone on this day? No. She comes within God. To anyone who respects and follows Ekadasi, God says, “I Myself will be there. I will always be ready to help them.”

One should not think, “After Ekadasi-devi has left, the person who previously took shelter of her is now a refugee.” God will immediately accept any person who comes near Ekadasi-devi and give that person His help. This is like an admission to attain the Lord’s mercy. By following Ekadasi, your position as the Lord’s servant is cemented. Then by being engaged in the Lord’s service, you will have no more problems. God is Himself present on this day. On your behalf, Ekadasi-devi will pray to the Lord, “Please help this soul.” The followers of Ekadasi will never be hungry, thirsty, or beset by suffering. They will never have a restless mood. Before they think for their own spiritual well-being, God thinks for them. God makes all arrangements for them. This is good arrangement.

Therefore, Ekadasi-devi may appear in any country or state. Her followers of those regions will respectfully follow her appearance and know for certain that Krishna Himself will descend on these days. This is His promise. Krishna never neglects that person who follows Ekadasi. It is not possible. Krishna never hates that person. The person who follows Ekadasi will never suffer. But it is not Krishna’s responsibility to care for those persons who don’t follow Ekadasi. God has no responsibility to them.

Therefore, seriously follow Ekadasi. Yesterday was the return Ratha yathra of Jagannatha. Today, Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra, and Sudarsana are outside the temple giving darsana to all. There are many coconuts here. Today, all are going to grate the coconuts and make coconut milk. Then we will mix the milk with sweets and offer them to Jagannatha. He will drink the coconut milk. Tomorrow, He will eat big rasagullas and many other sweets. He cannot forget the Vrajavasis, so He stays outside on the streets for three continuous days and nights. He does not eat the rice and dahl cooked by Lakshmi-devi. He only eats fruits and many types of sweets. He also drinks many kinds of juices. Today, He wears a golden dress. He will stay outside on the street during the night and He will also stay outside tomorrow. Day after tomorrow, He will enter the temple. Also, tomorrow everyone is going for darsana of some places at 5’o clock. Those who are going will return by 2 or 3’o clock.

Those who are going to Navadvipa-dhama should know that their train is at 10:30 in the night. But, this train is not going directly to Navadvipa-dhama. Before, it would go directly to Navadvipa. But, people should not assume that it is going directly to Navadvipa. The train is going until Bhandel junction. Alighting at Bhandel, we will catch a local train to Navadvipa. Also, devotees sometimes lose their passports, visas, and other important documents. They then greatly suffer. So, they should give these documents to their guardian or authority who will keep them safe. Otherwise, the train is not safe. You may fall fast asleep, and on waking you will find yourself shirtless. Even during the Vrindavana and Puri Ratha-yathra, I gave an announcement to people to safeguard their valuables. But, devotees did not hear me and they lost many things. Your passport, visa, money, mobile, credit card, and other belongings should be kept safely with you or else you may lose them while you sleep at night. This train is a useless train. Any other train is superfast, but this train is a buffalo train. So, be careful on your journey.

In Navadvipa during Guru Purnima, we will offer guru-puja. As on every year, devotees offer their puspanjali at Gurudeva’s lotus feet. We should pray to Gurudeva, “How can we come near your lotus feet Gurudeva? All are at a distance to you Gurudeva. You have not forgotten us, but all have gone very far away from you.” We can have a close relationship with Guru-pada-padma’s lotus feet by offering puspanjali and remembering his glories. We should pray to his glories and not think about eating, sleeping, and resting. Guru Purnima is a very auspicious day. During his lifetime, Srila Gurudeva always said, “Don’t follow my birthday.” In Mathura, he would never give a chance to the devotees to celebrate his appearance day. Gurudeva would often say, “Guru Purnima is the appearance day of Sri Vyasadeva. His appearance day and all gurus’ appearance day is the same. Vyasadeva is the root of all gurus.” Srila Gurudeva would always be present in Mathura to follow the Guru Purnima day. He would never give the devotees a chance to follow his birthday.

After Srila Gurudeva went to the Western countries, some devotees started to follow Gurudeva’s appearance day. On the Guru Purnima day, everyone would come and take Gurudeva’s blessings. He would offer his blessings and mercy to everyone. All would offer puspanjali, arati, and wash Gurudeva’s feet. Gurudeva would easily give his mercy. Many devotees would arrange programs for Gurudeva in Mathura, Vrindavana, and Govardhana for three successive days. The programs were divided, otherwise, how could thousands and thousands of people touch Srila Gurudeva’s lotus feet and offer puspanjali. There would be no chance for anyone. The people would come line by line to touch Srila Gurudeva’s lotus feet. Now, Srila Gurudeva is present in Navadvipa-dhama. On the day of Guru Purnima, everyone should very seriously try to offer their humble obeisance to Srila Gurudeva. Parents cannot tolerate the crying of their babies. Sri Guru’s heart is inconceivably softer and kind. He definitely helps and accepts those who pray for his shelter.

I want to make one more announcement. Tomorrow, while boarding the boat, everyone should be careful to not be restless. You should not exceed the boat’s maximum capacity. Otherwise, there is a chance of the boat capsizing. During Srila Gurudeva’s time, one boat capsized during the Navadvipa-dhama parikrama. The ocean is huge, there is no safety. Before, I was afraid and thought twice if I should go or not. But many devotees have come, invited me, and arranged the program. But be careful. Don’t be hasty; wait your turn to get inside the boat. There is enough time for everyone to safely board the boat. Hence, we will go for darsana and return for harikatha and kirtana. We should seriously follow Vaisnava etiquette. Don’t think, “I will go first!” Don’t run and jump inside the ocean; if you do so, you will go down. It is impossible to swim in the ocean. It is also not possible to be saved by a boat; the ocean current is swift. Everyone is already dead; but on drowning, a rotten body will be found.

Therefore, I request everyone to be serious. Or else, there is no need to go there; you can stay back and listen to harikatha. Offer your obeisances and take Mahaprasadam; this is much better. Also, if anyone desires the darsana of Jagannatha during the night, then stand in a line and wait for your turn. Don’t think, “I will climb the cart and touch Jagannatha.” This is not possible.

Tomorrow, everyone is leaving to Navadvipa-dhama. Therefore, if anyone has a strong desire for Jagannatha’s darsana today, then go during the night. But don’t go in a group, two-three people can go at a time. They are now arranging stairs for the darsana of Baladeva, Jagannatha, and Subhadra. Tomorrow is a nice program, but tomorrow, all are going; so how is it possible? during the night. But don’t go in a group, two-three people can go at a time. They are now arranging stairs for the darsana of Baladeva, Jagannatha, and Subhadra. Tomorrow is a nice program, but tomorrow, all are going; so how is it possible?

You may go in the evening. But you must be in the railway station early; the train is at 10:30. Or else, you will miss the train.

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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