Calcutta, India — Wednesday, August 1st
On Monday morning, just after 9:30, I heard a kirtan start up in the nat mandir, the kirtan hall on the floor below me. "That's odd," I thought. "I didn't know that we were having a special program today..." (although I did see some decorations in the nat mandir earlier that morning).
I looked at our Vaishnava calendar:
August 30. (Mon) Purnima. Disappearance of Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu. Beginning of chaturmasya (when started on purnima — as followed in the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math).
A few minutes later, Siddhanti Maharaj came running up the stairs to announce that Srila Gurudeva was coming to the nat mandir in five minutes! I quickly checked and fixed my tilak, and hurried downstairs.
It turned out that we were celebrating Guru Purnima (the appearance day of Srila Vedavyasa). Srila Gurudeva spoke for about half an hour (in Bengali), mentioning Srila Sanatan Goswami's name a couple of times, but mostly speaking about guru and Vedavyasa. Goswami Maharaj then spoke for about ten minutes, after which Tirtha Maharaj and Acharya Maharaj also spoke (in Bengali).
I was here in Calcutta for Guru Purnima last year (or was it the year before?) and Srila Gurudeva spoke briefly about Srila Vedavyasa during the morning darshan, but we did not have a big program like this!
Afterwards, we had a huge feast — metal buckets and bathtubs full of subjis and kitchuri, and mountains of rice! There were about eighty guests — too many to all be seated in the prasadam hall — so prasadam was also served in the nat mandir...
Tags: Feasts & Festivals
Calcutta, India — Monday, August 6th
For the past three weeks, I have been working with Nimai Chandra Prabhu, redesigning the layout of his Vaisnava Darshan web site.
If you have not already visited this web site — on which Nimai Chandra Prabhu shares "videos and pictures of Srila Gurudeva and his mission," — you might want to take a look. In addition to videos of interviews, parikramas, preaching and other activities of our devotees, many of Srila Gurudeva's morning darshans can now be downloaded or viewed online.
Layout by iMonk — August 6th, 2007.