Srila Maharaja in Oahu.
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A report with photos
Honolulu Airport, Honolulu, Hawaii
February 1, 2006

The following is a brief overview of the Hilo, Hawaii Vyasa-puja festival, and the belated meeting of Srila Narayana Maharaja and his followers just after the festival: This report was written by Nikunja-vasini dasi:

"Srila Gurudeva arrived in the Honolulu airport from Houston, Texas. Due to health reasons he had remained in Houston longer than expected, while devotees around the world and especially about 400 in Hilo, Hawaii, were celebrating his Vyasa-puja festival (the anniversary of his divine appearance day). After seeing the heart-wrenching live web broadcast and his externally frail health, it became apparent to the devotees in Hilo that he was not going to attend this festival. Those at the festival discussed amongst themselves that in this way, by his transcendental potency, the expert physician was training the devotees to go deeper within their hearts and to find him, along with all the truths of Krsna consciousness that he had been teaching for so many years, without depending upon his external presence.

"Conversations continually took place at the festival in Hilo, about how deeply the hearts of the devotees were touched by him, and how inspired they were to follow him and his disciplic succession in spreading the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Onlookers were amazed at the depth and height of the conversations, as the devotees present discussed the goal of life that they being offered by their Gurudeva – service to Srimati Radharani.

"The sadness and feelings of separation from Srila Gurudeva generated an intimate mood among the devotees in Hilo – a great bonding. That bonding was further magnified by the classes given by the sannyasis and others, who spoke with sastric reference about guru-tattva and who shared their remembrances of Gurudeva which revealed both his divine powers and his divine love for all.

"About 80 of the devotees and guests flew into Honolulu to greet him at the airport on the day after the festival was officially over. As Srila Gurudeva arrived, it was evident that he was still weak, but at the same time he was sending out spiritual strength to all those around him, by his glances and by his mere presence. The devotees were clearly overwhelmed to see his external condition, and at the same time were enthusiastically chanting and showering him with many flower garlands one after the other. His servant Sripad Madhava Maharaja took off the garlands one by one, and passed the maha-prasadam garlands back to the assembled devotees. Srila Gurudeva looked very grave and did not speak, but was as powerful as ever throwing his intently deep and merciful glances in reciprocation with the devotees.

"One of the stewardesses at the airport was immediately attracted to the sight of the pure Vaisnava and appeared to be awestruck. She was encouraged to come forward, and she folded her hands in prayer out of respect for him.

"Another lady, who had just sold flower garlands at a discounted rate to the devotees because they told her it was for their Gurudeva who had just arrived, became very attracted to him when she later saw him. She asked one of the devotees who he was, and she said that she didn’t know why she liked him so much. By then he had gotten in his car, and she was immediately taken to him. He mercifully glanced at her and raised his hand to offer blessings. "

Visit the Photo gallery of pictures accompanying this report.