Pastimes of our Jagannath
19.03.2012 – Ananda Vardana Prabhu
Dvadashi morning, 08:00: before taking a bath in Radha-Kund, I went to a disciple of H.G. Mahanidhi Swami, Ameya Prabhu, to download Maharaja’s lectures. Ameya offered me some water, but I refused: then he brought Jagannath’s maha-prasadam and said: “This you cannot refuse! This is directly from the plate, from the altar of Jagannath! Tulasi leaf is on it. This is not an ordinary maha-prasad!”
Oh! What luck can come through devotees! I took a piece of it and with respect tasted the nectar.
“The rest I will wrap up to take away for the next time! ” – I said to Ameya.
I took a bath in Radha-Kund, and in the temple of Jagannath offered obeisances and asked Him to manifest in His Deity form, because there were some obstacles. It was not clear what Jagannath wanted, and why His Deity form was spoiled during the journey from Puri to Vrindavan. Five minutes later, a phone call from Amala Bhakta Prabhu (Andrei). Andrei had received initiation in Mayapur. Now that he was in Vrindavan, he had to see if the Jagannath deity was ready, the one that we had given for restoration to Anjana Prabhu – a Russian artist whose paintings are known to Vaishnavas.
“Haribol, I’m at Anjana’s. Jagannath is ready! Anjana finished, painted, and lacquered and said that everything is going to be fine!”
Jai Jai Jagannath, today You manifested in Your final form! We already thought that we should bring in another Deity from Puri. I had even given money to associates, who were going to Puri for a week from March 21-28. Immediately, I remembered today’s special gift from Jagannath – His caritamrita maha-prasad. I decided to write that down at the beginning of book about the lilas of Tallinn’s Yatra Deities – Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maya.
A bit of a background story: In Tallinn there were two big asanas – big, beautiful, a gift from Zurich: on one throne, Sri Sri Nitai Caitanya Candra, on the other, a picture of Panca-Tattva. However, the asanas themselves were meant for Panca-tattva and Jagannath, which was seen in the ornament on the top.
The first Ratha Yatra in Tallinn was organised with a chariot in the summer of 2010. The chariot and the Deities were brought from Kaunas (in Lithuania). For a few days during the festival, Deities were on the altar and appeared to like being in Their own home. But I thought that no one would allow us to install Jagannath in the temple, because the temple was being rented from the city. It was an old building, and the standards we had were really poor. We had no brahmanas for puja. I pushed the thought away.
2011. Summer – Ratha Yatra again, and again the Lithuanian Deities are guests at the temple. Every day is a festival, for almost a week: kirtans, harinams, Krishna-katha.
We rode “Shyam” from the winter Lithuanian festival. We have two vehicles for sankirtan: “Shyam” and “Balaram”, one micro bus is dark blue, the other is white, both with tilakas, inscriptions, and pictures of Jagannath and Baladev from the winter Lithuanian festival. I was driving, next to me was Vishvavasu Prabhu. For some reason we touched upon the topic of the Deities, the standards of worship, and talked about Jagannath.
Vishvavasu prabhu said: “Ask the GBC. Maybe they will allow you to install Them, even if there is a low standard, especially if it would be useful for the community.”
He spoke about different varieties of worship, which inspired me to call the servant of his Divine Grace Bhakti Caitanya Swami immediately upon our arrival. He gave the phone to Maharaja and I asked,
“Can we bring Jagannath from Puri and install it in our temple?”
He answered, “Yes, the installation and bathing should be done in the reflection of a mirror…”
That was something! Because it’s kind of not allowed by GBC standards, but no “install!” Immediately, we started collecting donations, clothing, paraphernalia for the Deities. I called Gajendra Patra from Puri, who sells Deities, and ordered Them 38 cm , a bit less than the Lithuanian Deities, because for our altar they are a bit too big and heavy for the mataji-pujari.
Interesting how to get them from Puri…our brahmacari wouldn’t go there. Ishupriya and Dima were going to Mayapur, and soon afterwards Andrei Prabhu bought a ticket to India, as well, for the exact same plane as Dima and Ishupriya!
“Each will carry a Deity in their hands and bring it to Tallinn.”
I called to Petersburg, so that they could organise a nama-hatta in February. I planned to be there from February 6-8. Rasatattva brahmacari said that their group from Petersburg was going to Puri. Oh! I asked him to bring the Deities from Puri and he agreed. On the 6th of February, I brought him the money, and relied on Krishna. They say, “If you want to do something properly, do it yourself”, but I didn’t want to travel to Puri. All that was left to do was to hope that, through Rasatattva Prabhu, Jagannath would manifest in some Deity form.
15.02.2012 – Vrindavan
Trying to reach Rasatattva by phone to find out what happened. No response. 18.02…I finally reached him. He said that our order had not been placed, and he ran directly to the master, who creates the initial deities, Jagannatha Patra who promised to make copies of the initial deities with noses! I’m in anticipation. In the last days of the Petersburg group”s stay in Puri, finally there was a phone call:
“We have received the deities, and we are taking them to Mayapur!”
Arrived in Vrindavan from Radha-Kund to see the Deities. We opened the crate – Balarama! Subadra! And here was Jagannath! But it seemed that the Deity had not been properly dried off when they were putting paint on the fabric: bubbles were on the face, mold had appeared, the paint had swollen. What should be done? Take off the paint, sand it, paint again? But how to order the repair of a whole Deity? I started to call everyone we knew in Vraj to ask questions. In the end, we went with Amala Bhakta to Anjana prabhu and showed him. He took on this task and said that you can’t peel the paint, because no one could paint like that, even though he himself was a master artist.
“This is natural draftsmanship, with one hand, one swing of a brush. But here it is not so straight, it looks like something alive… here the resident of Puri invested his heart! I will just slightly correct it, where the paint inflated. Meanwhile, you buy some notebooks and start to write a book about the lilas, the stories of the Deities.”
And this was the first lila – Jagannath wanted to have Himself painted a bit more! Jai Jagannath!
During breakfast, a mataji called. It was hard to hear what she was saying, since she was speaking English. The mataji was calling from Delhi, India. The first thing she asked was if the deities of Jagannath, Baladev and Subadra were in the temple. When I said, “Yes”, she said in anxiety that it was already the second day that Jagannath had came to her in her sleep and had said that He was being fed badly.
“Three days before He had really good offerings, but after three days, the offerings were bad.” she said.
Exactly three days ago when Kirtan Mela just finished, everyone was praising the prasad. After that the bhogas were more humble. Also, the mataji said that one bhakta whose name starts with M was serving Him badly. She also said that Jagannath wanted a mango. Today someone wanted to offer one to Him, but didn’t do it. I had actually wanted to offer Jagannath three mangos, left over from Kirtana-Mela, but I didn’t do it, thinking that the green mango wouldn’t satisfy the Lord. Mataji asked to verify everything, and said that she would call back in half an hour. I fed Jagannath with mango and sat down to take breakfast. The mataji called again asking if I had made sure that Jagannath was being fed well. I let her know that I also fed Him some mango.
“Good,” she said. “How often do you feed Him?”
“Two times with milk,” I said.
“No,” she said, “you have to give something else with milk. You very sincerely called Jagannath, and He came to you. But please feed Him nicely.”
Mataji’s name is XXX… She asked me to write to her and send a photograph of Jagannath, so that she could make sure everything was fine with Him.
Bhakta Dmitri 18th of April
After receiving all the news from XXX… mataji, I was lucky enough to receive two other calls from her within a short period of time. During these conversations, she described how Lord Jagannath manifested again in her dreams. Regarding my question about how she knew about Tallinn, Estonia, she replied that before this she did not a have a clue that such country existed in Europe, which she has also never visited. She said that in the first dream she saw Jagannath and received from Him a request that He should be fed better, etc. After this dream, she was praying to God that He would reveal the place where He was staying. And on the next night, she saw a temple, an altar room, and Bhakti Caitanya Swami, but all of the signs were not in English. On one of the signs, she saw “Estonia”. In the morning, she went on the Internet and started searching for the Estonian temple. But none of the websites said anything about Jagannath. She decided to call anyway, and she had bewildered us with her call. The next call came from her husband, who was really inspired and thanked us for an opportunity to do service. We also thanked him in return. Now we had established a contact with him by email and sent out the photographs of Jagannath.
Bhakta Stanislav ( now Svarupa-Siddhi Das, having received initiation from H.G. Bhakti Vigyana Goswami.)
18.04.2012 Ananda Vardana Prabhu
I called Srivatsa prabhu and told him everything. We have decided to offer properly three plates to Jagannath, Baladev and Subadra, putting out three portions, with asanas on the floor, and then inviting the Deities to these asanas. Then we would take the prasad to the Pujari’s room and transfer the prasad into the plates of Sri Nitai Caitanya Candra and feed them. Then I was about to phone Sri Tulasi mataji to ask her to make pillows, but it turned out that she was already in the Pujari room making garlands! I told her the story, and she said,
“It would be a good idea to buy beads for the Deities.”
She found some in one store, but where would we get the money? I told her that we would find some! I was leaving the Pujari room, when in from the street door came Dasha mataji and gave me two packages, one with fruit, the other with beads for the Deities! Jai Jagannath!
At 15:40, XXX…mataji from India called again. This time, with a trembling voice, she expressed her concern that Jagannath again had come to her and said:
“I am very satisfied with the service of the devotees. Yesterday in the evening I was offered cheese. I liked it very much.”
And indeed yesterday, Dima had made some incredible sandwiches with fried paneer, and Ananta Kirti offered them with milk.
“This is the perfection of life, Krishna accepted your offering.”
Ten minutes before we received our message from Lord Jagannath, two matajis had brought Him a kilogram of paneer and fruit. This meant that Jagannath had engaged these two matajis in service, and unknowingly they had fulfilled the desire of the Lord!
24/04/12 Jagannath went for a ride on Tallinn’s observation wheel, accompanied by kirtan. Then He was decorated with flowers from the flower stalls.
Ananda Vardhana Swami:
“In 2012, the Deities of Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhada came to the Krishna temple in Tallinn. Since then, they have shown their games there.”
Ananda vardhana Swami: “after the Deities installation, various lilas occurred that showed everyone that Jagannath was fully manifested and desires real relations with devotees. There are records about these lilas, a diary, videos.
I wanted to show Tallinn city to Jagannatha, took Him and with kirtan we went by a car around the city in which He will now live and pour mercy. .
Near the down town, we saw Ferris wheel, and I went to negotiate with the man, and then with a boss – and we all sat down and flew free….showing Tallinn to Krishna… “
Jagannath went to Sillamae and Kohtla-Yarve on Harinam!
We rode in two cars with Jagannath to the Ratha-Yatra in Riga. We were warmly welcomed in the temple, where they fed us very nicely. Many devotees participated in the Ratha-Yatra.. (photograph)
16.05 We’re heading to Kaunas (Lithuania) for the Ratha Yatra!
17.05 Early this morning we drove to the Waesaw Ratha-Yatra.
18.05 We started out early and traveled to the Wroclaw Ratha-Yatra.
Ratha-Yatra! Four days in a row!
In the morning, just before we were about to leave the temple, a devotee came by and gave us two pineapples as a gift. While I was talking to him, another came by and gave us another pineapple! Jagannath had decided that three pineapples were needed, because there were three of Them!
We drove to Dresden, Germany in sunny weather. We ventured into the center of the city. We stopped at four rows of parking spaces for cars. All of them had payment meters, and all were occupied. But near the driver (I was driving), Jagannath was sitting in a special chair, smiling.
Doyal said: ”We have no coins.”
I said: “Go distribute some books, while we wait for a place.”
We were waiting until a space opened, but Jagannath already wanted to go on Harinam and directed us secretly. For some reason, I drove the car into the first row out of four possible ones to wait for a place. Not even five minutes had passed, when a car pulled out of a space. We quickly occupied its place and found that the previous car’s payment voucher had paid the parking fee for the whole day! Almost at the same time, another car had driven out, and another free ticket was given to one of our brahmacaris, also for the whole day! We parked the second car and went on Harinam with Jagannath strapped to the chest of one of the brahmacaris.
Super Harinam! People were watching, taking photographs.
Afterwards, we left the city (it was already 18:20). It was going to take us another 1.5 hours to get to the BVG retreat. We stopped to take a late lunch.
Doyal picked up one pineapple and said: “Shall we?”
I said: “Let’s offer all three. There are many of us.”
Then we realised that, given our current traveling conditions, it would be really difficult to make an offering to Jagannath (I didn’t understand why such thoughts were now coming to me). So we decided not to offer the pineapples, thinking that we would offer them later on. I suddenly understood that Jagannath did not want to eat all three pineapples because Baladev and Subhadra were asleep in the car at the time. They had been put to bed for the long journey. Jai Jagannath!!! He had taken care of His brother and sister! I said to Vrajanatha pujari that he should offer each of Them a pineapple tomorrow on separate plates.
P.S. Pineapples were offered, then we gave away them to 70 devotees on a retreat of H.G. Bhakti-Vigyana Goswami Maharaja.
19.05 – 24.05 Jagannath charmed everyone.
24.05.2012 Harinama in Chemnitz, after which we went by chance to a nama-hatta with one of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, Veda-Vyasa Prabhu.
Based on the words of a devotee from India currently living in Chemnitz, all this week I had been meditating on the nama-hatta, which we had decided to organise for today with a family. By the time the nama-hatta had begun, only a few people had arrived. Today, as I said, we had a very important guest, Veda-Vyasa Prabhu (a disciple of Srila Prabhupada). In the kitchen, a feast was being made for a minimum of 25 people. Here I realised that it was time to pray. I really, really asked Krishna to send devotees here. To my surprise, after 15 minutes I heard cheerful shouts from the open window, “Haribol! Hare Krishna!” I looked outside the window and was shocked to see a group of devotees. At first I did not understand just how many were there, because, in a cheerful mood, I had gone out to meet them. Devotees were coming in one after another! Krishna, you are really unbelievable! Then Lord Jagannath came in royally, and I realised Who was behind this. I was glad to welcome Him and His associates here.
Nama-hatta was really amazing, in my opinion. : “Jai Jagannath!”
P.S. Ananda Vardana Prabhu
We were doing a Harinam in Chemnitz, when a mataji came over and said that there was a disciple of Prabhupada in the city on a nama-hatta. I said to them, “We want to go there!” There were also another 8 devotees in two cars with us.
25.05 Ratha-Yatra in Leipzig
26.05 Ratha-Yatra in Wroclaw
27.05 Morning in Wroclaw in the temple. We spent a night in the temple of Sri Gaura Nitai. I woke up Jagannath and fed Him with honey and tea. On a table near the altar were garlands made from clove flowers. I understood that the local mataji devotee had made three garlands for Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra yesterday. I inspected the garlands. For some reason, there were only two. I was surprised and felt sad for Subhadra. I decided that I would dress the garland later, and I went to transfer the morning Maha-prasad and wash the dishes. Near the kitchen on the first floor I met Ananda Vardana Prabhu, who was wrapped in his chaddar and reciting his japa. I asked him when I should dress the garland. Should it be done immediately, or should I do it on the road? I complained that I only had seen two garlands for some reason. Ananda Vardana’s facial expression immediately changed. At that moment, I noticed that on Ananda Vardana’s neck under his chaddar was that third garland, which was missing. He never puts Maha-prasad garlands on himself, but here on his neck was one that had not yet been offered. It was quite a sudden fright and shock. Later on, as it turned out, these garlands had already been offered yesterday. Early this morning, Ananda Vardana, while reciting japa, had gone into the altar room. Something provoked him to take that garland, smell it, and put it on. I believe it was done out of the best, warmest feelings. And Jagannath played him like that. We laughed a lot. Jai Jagannath!
Amala Bhakta Prabhu
An impressive picture of Krishna Shyamasundara hangs in the brahmacari ashram at the ISKCON Riga temple. It is my favourite out of all that I have ever seen. Very lively, unbelievably attractive, with all the attributes of His spiritual being, He mysteriously, mildly, and mercifully was glancing at me… from there… from the spiritual world… Oh Krishna! For hours I could just sit down and look at You! In Your yellow clothing, with a flute, and a crown made from forest flowers, You are standing against a red background. There are signs about Prabhupada’s books, about laws of karma, and vegetarianism. Prabhupada was right when he said that pictures that portray Krishna are windows into the spiritual world. Thus I so many times, inspired by practice of Krishna consciousness, gazed into these spiritual windows with gratitude, looking at your lotus eyes, Oh Krishna! I remember that at some point I felt an urge to open my heart to You and ask You:
“When will that moment come when, my dear Krishna, I will be able to embrace You, fall at your feet, and, by placing your feet to my chest, bathe them with tears of gratitude towards You???”
It was a good thing that no one was in the ashram. Because of that ecstatic feeling, I wanted to “break the glass of the spiritual world window” which separated me from You, to climb through it and shout, “Accept me, Oh Govinda! I have no other shelter but You!”
Time passed. On a retreat given by Devaki mataji, I constantly sat down near the altar on which Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra stood. Insulting thoughts came to my mind regarding the fact that I didn’t feel an alive, spiritual strength coming from You. A devotee saved me with the story about the unoffered mango. Feeling an increasing flow of bliss, I ran to Jagannath, and with a playful smile said cheerfully:
“You are the best pranksters!!! My faith in You has started to increase! But… why don’t I see anything myself? Why, Lord, don’t You manifest something for me? Although You state that in the spiritual world You and I have a personal and loving relationship? Am I really so fallen, that I’m dead to you and have become useless? And my faith started to diminish rapidly… no, not in you Jagannath, but in myself… that I could ever reach You. Then for what reason should I present myself as an ape in a dhoti, if I can never come to You??? But You came to me through devotees, so that one of Your servants wouldn’t perish.”
But here by grace of Ananda Vardana, I with beating heart took Jagannath into my arms on a harinam, when he asked me to do it as a serious service. Jai Jagannath! Because exactly on that blissful day for me, at that blissful harinam, for a moment You lit my heart with a thought like a strong flash, that you now are carrying Me and embracing Me, just as you sincerely dreamed about it. Each time I remember this, I am never tired to repeat: Jai Jagannath!
2.06.2012 Ananda Vardana Prabhu, Warsaw
We went to the centre in the morning to prepare for Ratha-Yatra. When we arrived, the weather was bad…wind, with rain starting to dribble. Sitting in the car, Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra were on the knees of devotees. We thought that we were still going to do a harinam in the rain, but without the Deities. They would remain in the car. But, no! After five minutes, the sun showed itself, literally out of nowhere – the whole sky had just been covered in clouds! Oh, Jagannath does not want to sit in the car! He wants to go to the streets of Varshava. Polish devotees have arrived. We took the Deities in our hands and went together to a harinam. For the first time, all three of Them were going on the arms of the devotees. Usually, They are carried on the palanquin, or Jagannath alone is carried on the arms. The devotees were in ecstasy. We had walked just 200 meters when a light rain started. I ran to the car for the umbrellas. I returned, and we covered the Deities with umbrellas. One umbrella broke immediately by the force of the wind!
I prayed: “What are You doing? Jagannath, we are serving You as best we can. You are in control of wind and rain. Let’s have a nice walk today, because we have already gone out!”
We managed to spend two hours on the harinam. Then we sat in the car and again it started to rain! Jai Jagannath!
We went right after breakfast to Krakow – 300 km south in Poland. Ratha-Yatra there at 15.00. We arrived and it turned out that there were a few local devotees. We decided to go without the palanquin and again to carry the Deities in our hands. On harinama, we went to the central square where there were chariots, carriages drawn by horses. I wanted to give Jagannath a ride on the carriage – exactly as if he were hurrying to get to Vrindavan from Dvaraka.
I asked how much it would cost… 50 zloty. A local female devotee gave the money and we put Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra on the carriage and went to the centre of the city with devotees on harinama behind us. Harinama for two hours…sun, then clouds. We went to the place in the park where we wanted to take prasadam, sat the Deities on a chaddar on the ground, and fed Them under the umbrella, because it had started to rain. The devotees sang, then honoured prasadam, and it started to rain heavily.
The devotees asked: “Where will you sleep?” (In Krakow there was no temple or a centre yet.)
We replied that we would sleep in tents, but that it would be better for Jagannath and His pujari if they stayed at someone’s place for the night. The devotees were talking about something in Polish among themselves and in the middle of their group, one tall one who was loudly talking and waving his hands, came to us and said: “We are going to put you in the hotel, 200 m from here.” I became a bit shy… how much would that cost… better to stay in tents, than to give difficulties to the devotees. But he insisted, and we went to the hotel. There we took one room with 14 beds and spent a warm night, but out on the street a strong torrent of rain poured all night! Jagannath took care of us! The name of the devotee who paid – Purushottama Das!
I remember how, on our way to Kaunas, our white vehicle, driven by our young drivers, was hit in an accident, with Sri Baladev riding in the front seat on the knees of a devotee.
Usually, I drove the first car, “Shyam”, using the navigator, followed by “Balarama”, the white Ford. We drove out of Prague on June 8th after the evening harinama to the devotee farm. Dennis from Prague was showing us the road there. I looked into the rearview mirror: “Balarama” was falling behind. I slowed down. They were shouting out of the window: “It does not go faster than 90 km per hour!” I was going exactly ‘90’, but they still were falling behind. We drove into the gas station. Sasha, who was driving “Balarama”, said that the wheel was being pulled, that it was already hard to drive at 60 km per hour, and that it looked as if the gimbal or something else had broken. We decided that driving forward to the farm would be closer, and that “Balarama” should drive first, as best he could, with Dennis, our guide, getting into their car. “Balarama” went first, and I saw that the front right wheel was swinging. I started to signal them. They stopped. It turned out that all the bolts were loose, halfway unscrewed. If they had driven for a bit longer that would have been it! The whole wheel would fly away and the car would crash! We fixed the wheel, and “Balarama” went really fast. After 10 kilometres, “Balarama” slowed down his speed. He signaled a right turn and shifted to the right. We also slowed down, when suddenly he turned to the left, right through the solid line, taking a turn. I watched it just like in a movie – a light red vehicle tried to stop and crashed right into the side of “Balarama”. Already it was 20:40…fines… the police had been called out. We were debating up until 23:00 P.M. It was our fault, obviously. It was good that the fine was not huge, because not only were the monks guilty, but the victims were, too! They had driven their red car into the oncoming lane, crossing the solid line, when they should have stopped and not passed my blue Ford. As it turned out, both cars were driveable in spite of the accident, which did not seem to have damaged the chassis’ability in either car.
Two days later, Doyal was riding in “Balarama” through the gates of the Wroclaw temple (Poland) and hit the gate slightly with its side, scratching it. One day later, he started to go in reverse in “Balarama” and hit a pole. There were lots of sounds, but he was lucky. He only damaged a part of the hitch. At this point I thought: on one hand, something big might have happened to “Balarama”, but we had escaped with only a little damage; on the other hand, with Sri Baladev on the devotee’s lap, in His presence, how could something like this even be possible? Did He fall asleep maybe?
Jagannath in Kaunas, Lithuania.
A story with sweets.
Jagannath came to Lithuania for Padayatra and placed Himself on the altar of the Kaunas temple. Our Sankirtan Jagannath immediately started to make everyone worry. First, in the morning, He brought one mataji-pujari to the point where her hands were shaking and her voice was trembling. She became very worried, because the plates with the offerings did not fit on the table. Then I told her to lay down some covering on the floor and put the offerings there. I hope Lord can forgive a demon like me! She, however, offered to put two plates instead of three on the table.
“But our Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra each have plates of their own. In addition, all of them are different. That is why we should put them on the floor,” I said.
She was really worried, but I felt that our Jagannath was satisfied.
In the evening of the same day, I went to the deity kitchen, to make sure that the evening sweets were going to be ready. Pujari Prabhu, who is a really noble devotee, cheerfully said to me that he was just thinking that it was time to give Jagannath some treats and wanted to find someone who knew what He likes to eat in the evening.
“Milk and sweets are good,” I said.
How wonderful! Jagannath had already organised everything. Milk had already been heated up and sweets were on the trays. I glanced at the offering: everything was arranged accurately and beautifully. Jai Jagannath! I went to chant the mantra. After 15 minutes, I went into the room which is connected to Pujari’s room, and opened the fridge, cherishing the hope in my heart to get some Maha-cake or something else for my taste. I opened it: a young potato was looking at me. At that moment, Pujari called me and I shut the fridge door closed. I had a feeling that he would say: “What are you doing here?” Instead, he called me to the pujari kitchen like a spy.
He started to speak quietly: “Does this often happen to you? Look at this!”
And he took one of the Jagannath’s plates that was covered with cloth from the shelf. He took off the cloth and pointed at the sweets:
“Look! This plate was at Subhadra’s. Can you see she was eating?”
On the top lay a sweet that was slightly bitten.
He rephrased: “Does that happen to you?” He was worried.
The sweet was bitten. I looked closely. Remarkable, but it was true: Subhadra Mattaji had eaten. Pujari was anxious.
So many things have happened! For some reason, there are no volunteers to write down the lilas. I personally just don’t have any strength or time, but I want to share how Jagannath personally responds to prayers and requests.
Yesterday we began our way to England on a big bus, a Setra 213u1. (There is a special pastime how we got the bus!) We drove 10 kilometers away from Kaunas and stopped on the road, because Radha-Mohan called and told us that he would bring generators and pumps. I thought that he would come quickly, but 50 minutes passed and there was no trace of him.
I took a walk, but in my heart is Kartika…Ratha-Yatra…the chariot has stopped moving… thoughts about asking Jagannath so that He would move. I turned toward the bus and fell to my knees before Krishna and Balarama:
“We came to spread Your glories everywhere, but why then have we stopped? Who needs that? Help us, let’s go already.”
I didn’t even manage to finish talking, when the next moment devotees were shouting that Radha-Mohan had come with the belts! We took the belts and left immediately. Twenty-two people slept in the bus in a truck and car park in Poland. On the same morning, somehow we took baths from bottles filled with water, and prepared some buckwheat on a gas stove. During the night, someone had broken the front door: it was not closing. We turned off the air and closed the door manually, but then the alarm kept signaling that the door was not functioning properly.
I said, “It does not matter, we’ll tolerate it and go. There is no time.”
After an hour we saw an auto repair shop and asked about the repairs. They said that the bus park was two kilometers away. In the park, we went with some sweets to the person in charge and said, “We are monks, and there has been a small breakdown. Please help!” The manager instantly agreed, repaired the door, replaced the belts, and charged no money!
But as bus drivers, we also got a lila!
Jagannath sent one devotee’s brother named Eduard from Riga to the Lithuanian festival, and one pensioner, Svastidakshina das, from St. Petersburg. They came to me after a lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, on my request. They both agreed to drive our bus for two months! Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gone far.
Documents, payment, purchase… everything by the will of Krishna! He Himself wants to see Harinam Sankirtana everywhere, and helps in wonderful ways.
Lakshmi for the bus was also a miracle. We had no lakshmi, but we found the bus for some 15 500 euro. Although we sold our white minibus for 3300 euro, and added everything we had from sankirtana, it turned out we hadn’t gathered even 6000 euro. In two weeks we had to make all the payments.
We made a film, “Bremen Hare Krishnas”, spontaneously, with the whole group doing kirtan inside the microbus and outside on its roof while we drove! Devotees started to pray really hard so that we would get a bus. I called H.G. Janananda Goswami, who fell in awe of our idea about the Sankirtana Harinama bus. He asked one of his disciples to help, who donated the rest of the remaining sum of money!
The bus is yellow, the color of the face of Subhadra devi! This is also Her lila, because I was dreaming of a third vehicle that would be yellow, so that it would ride between our blue Shyam and white Baladev. So this year I had already been looking out for vehicles in Germany and Poland.
But Subhadra devi decided everything Herself: “I don’t want a small car, I want a big and yellow bus!”
———- Next Year Stories ——————
I think this happened on Monday, because on Mondays we have a brahmacari day, when we somehow try to eat a bit more, sleep a bit more, and cook something extraordinary. So on that day, I was responsible for the kitchen, responsible for what would be cooked. During japa, when I sat down, a certain meditation started to manifest: “Oh, what should be cooked for Jagannath today to please Him?” The first thought that came was “kitchari”, but on the brahmacari day we try to do something extraordinary. Since we eat kitchari quite often during the week, I thought: ”Let’s do something else.” This thought about kitchari I pushed away quite calmly, but when I started to cook, I remembered that at that time Gaura-Sundara Prabhu was our guest in the temple. So I asked him to help to prepare the brahmacari festive lunch. I asked him to make some Gauranga potatoes. He kind of agreed, but he said that he wanted to make something he could do really well. He said that one thing he could do really well was “kitchari”. =) Immediately, I felt that behind all of this was the work of the black hand of Jagannath. So in the end, we decided that we would do Gauranga potatoes and kitchari. And we did. Jagannath was in ecstasy and so were the devotees!
Hare Krishna, Bhakta Nikita (Subal)
Regarding how merciful and responsive Jagannath, Baladev and Mother Subhadra are:
The preparation for the festival is happening, the devotees are immersed in their service, the temple is lively, and everyone is trying to satisfy Krishna and the Vaishnavas with their humble and small service.
The day started out really hard, but by the mercy of caring Vaishnavas like Ananda Vardana prabhu, who is for us a father, a mother, and the closest friend, everything turned out in a really unpredictable way. I was supposed to go on a shopping trip, but the commandant of the temple, Dima prabhu, rearranged this and went himself. He asked me to help arrange the pandal. It was really interesting to do this service together. It felt really warm in the heart, and feelings of gratitude manifested. I really strongly wanted to embrace Krishna and pull Him closer to my heart. I was so jubilant inside that I wanted to embrace everyone and Gauranga and Nityananda and Baladev and Mother Subhadra with all my heart.
After some time, the commandant’s helper, Nikita prabhu, reminded us that we had to organize the cleaning of the altar room. After calling Ananta-Kirti prabhu, I received an answer that he would find someone. Harinama had literally just begun, but since for some reason it appeared that my service for the festival was not yet complete, I remained in the temple. After 15 minutes, in came a really amazing devotee, Sasha prabhu, whom everyone called Sachitananda. It turned out that he had come to clean the altar room. He asked to relocate their Divine Lordships Sri Jagannath, Sri Baladev, and Srimati Subhadra Devi, as well as Sri Sri Nitai Chaitanya Chandra, in such a way that no dust would touch Them. With great satisfaction, I went to help out. So at that moment when Jagannath was in my hands, Krishna gave memory and I remembered my desire to embrace Krishna with all my heart. It was a really blissful moment. Shyamasundara turned out to be really generous and responsive to those who don’t really deserve it. My heart instantly melted. Then, at the moment when Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra Maya were in the pujari room together with Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda, Kostya prabhu came and brought two trays with sweets. In this way, Krishna also gave me an opportunity to feed Him with sweets. Once again Vrindavan-Chandra had manifested His amazing qualities.
Thank you, dear Shyamasundara! Thank you, Ananda Vardana prabhu!
Sri Jagannath, Sri Baladev, Sri Subhadra Maya, ki jay! Sri-Sri Nitai Chaitanya-Chandra ki jay,! Srila Prabhupada ki jay!!!
So we are on the road again!!! =) We will continue adding new stories whenever we get a chance.
Please accept our obeisances.
One mataji from Ukraine found me through Vrindavaneshvari. She wanted to serve our Tallinn deities in the following way. She wrote to me something unbelievable:
“I have had lilas with Them starting from Puri, from the moment when Svarupa-Siddhi prabhu told me about Them on parikrama. I understood that all these pastimes with Jagannath that have been happening to me for three years of my spiritual practice are not my imagination and that Lord can manifest Himself even before neophytes like me.))
After the brahmacari forgot to reply to me about Their measurements, Your Lord came to me in a dream and said that He would let me know.
Also I dreamed about the message you would send, which was written in the same way as you later wrote to me. I remembered from it only one item, something about 40 centimeters, more or less. I was astonished when I saw the numbers that you actually sent me!))) I really want to make Them some clothes. I have already planned all the colors and details, but in order to make the chalma I need to measure it on Them.
I also was talking about and showcasing a video of your temple and the deities to one mataji After a few days, she told me that she had seen Jagannath.. She said that she had felt Him even when she woke up and opened her eyes. She stated that she knew precisely that this was the Tallinn temple’s Lord!!! After this dream, she decided that she wanted to pay for the natural fabrics that I had chosen)))
Please bless me so that I can do what Sri Jagannath wants.
“Subal get up, border checkpoint, time to show the passport!”
Quickly getting up, I took my japa and went into the bus, because the passport was there and so was Sudharma Prabhu’s passport. It turned out that everyone in the bus had already gone through passport control and the bus was already on the other side of the border. The guard let us through there, and having taken our passports, we went back to the border checkpoint. Looking at my passport, the frontier guard nodded, but Sudharma Prabhu had problems with his visa and he couldn’t get out of Slovenia in order to go to Budapest. Okay, so then he asked for permission to go to the bus to grab his belongings, because we had run out without taking anything with us except our passports. We were granted permission to do so. In the meantime, the Campervan also passed through border control and went after the bus towards Zagreb.
“Shall we run?”
“Oh yeah, running on the border checkpoint will only get us shot!”
“But maybe we are not allowed to stand here. They will drive away some distance and then wait for us.”
(As later on it turned out, in the bus they thought that we were riding in the Campervan, but in the Campervan they thought we were riding in the bus).
After walking a kilometer forward, we understood that no one was waiting for us. Therefore my path was to the Zagreb temple and Sudharma Prabhu’s towards Ljubljana temple. Having wished good luck to each other, we embraced at parting. The first man to whom I turned agreed to give me a lift to Zagreb. I always dreamed of riding in a big freightliner. Glories to Jagannath, the driver was benevolent, and no alcohol, cigarettes, or obscene pictures were in the cabin. Having said goodbye to him, I hopped out somewhere on the outskirts of Zagreb at a petrol station. I started to pray to Krishna that He would show me the way. He immediately responded, and in the end I went to some boys who had a mobile phone with internet and there I found out the address of the temple and the way I could get there. In the next five minutes, Krishna directed me to two merciful jivas, who dropped me off at a bus stop, from which I could get to the bus station.
After I used the cafe’s toilet, I started a conversation with the barman who instantly started saying, “You are unusual. Where are you from, and where are you headed, if it’s not a secret?” I told him that I am learning how to become a monk, and that I am traveling around the world and distributing the Holy Name. Then I preached Krishna Consciousness and how I managed to end up at this bar. He was really joyful. It turned out that he also liked to travel by hitchhiking, and he was interested in yoga and mysticism. He turned out to be really pleasant and shared some juice with me and told me how to travel without a ticket. Having left him the address of our website, I moved on. In about an hour, on multiple buses, I arrived at the temple. The devotees instantly sent me to honor very delicious prasadam. Our group still had not made it to the temple because they were on harinam. We had a few hours to cook some prasadam with the local brahmacaris.
Sometimes it may seem that stupid things or some sort of injustice happens to us and it should not be like that. But there are no accidents. It’s all the will of Krishna, and He is our best friend and well-wisher. All that he arranges for us is for our own good, so that we can pray to him sincerely, so that we can ask from him and basically establish a relationship with him. So I felt that in this situation I prayed more sincerely than before, because without devotees it’s a dead end. Knowing well my own strengths and abilities, I had to admit that without Krishna I am not worth anything and that I would have perished. Then Krishna responded and I felt that He was satisfied with my prayer and advised me what to do next. Of course, He does not whisper into the ear, but He gave intelligence and directed me to whom I should go and what I should say. Later on, after we made lunch, I inspired my partner just in time to stop so that he would not offer through pictures but wait for Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra so that the offering could be directly made to Them. Oh, and what apple halava we made! This type of halava they only cook on Goloka! Basically you cannot get bored in the company of Jagannath. I wish you to remember that all of the pastimes that He engages us in are just His expressions of love towards us.