A report with photos
On March 7th, two days before the Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama was officially about to begin, Srila Narayana Maharaja said to the assembled international pilgrims, "Here in Navadvipa, I am remembering my Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. After the disappearance of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, preaching entered a dark period, and thus there was practically no more parikramas of Vrndavana or Navadvipa. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura then appeared to my Gurudeva three times in dreams, at which times he told him, "Our preaching has practically stopped. You must take sannyasa, the renounced order of life, and preach everywhere."
When I see that you have all come here from all over Bengal and around the world, I am reminded of his mercy. By his mercy, he restarted Navadvipa and Vrndavana parikramas.
My Gurudeva always used to say that guru-nistha, strong faith in the bona fide, self-realized guru, is the backbone of devotion to Sri Krsna. Without faith in the lotus feet of the siksa and diksa-guru, we cannot perform bhajana. We cannot be properly absorbed in devotional practices. By great fortune we have achieved this human form of birth, and now we have the opportunity to realize that we are eternal souls, servants of Lord Sri Krsna. By the influence of maya, however, we have forgotten that. Now, by doing this parikrama, we can re-establish that relationship by the mercy of Gurudeva.
We are also reminded how, here in Koladvipa, my Gurudeva kept his own life in his hands (risked his life) in order to save the life of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Some dacoits in the shape of caste brahmanas and others tried to kill Sarasvati Thakura here, but by the insistence of my Gurudeva, he took the red cloth and danda of his Guru Maharaja and gave him his own white cloth. In this way the dacoits would not know who was who. By this exchange he was actually being given sannyasa, and he later took formal sannyasa initiation from Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja in Katwa. There are so many pastimes to remember.
How can we manage such a big parikrama? We have no ability whatsoever; so we have to raise our hands and pray for the mercy of Sri Nitai-Gaura. They can make this parikrama successful; otherwise it is impossible for anyone. We also remember how our guru-parampara, and especially Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, preached in all the foreign countries and in India, and by their mercy many people are coming to Sri Navadvipa-parikrama.
What is the purpose of doing Navadvipa-dhama parikrama? Krsna enjoyed four rasas when He was present in Vrndavana 5,000 years ago, but He could not give the process to achieve Vraja-prema. In the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He was able to do so. By performing Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama, people not only learn about this, but they can also relish this sublime truth.
March 8, 2006
Srila Narayana told his audience international pilgrims, "You
will not see this event taking place anywhere else in the world. In
order to maintain the activities, of the parikrama, such as prasadam
distribution and so on, please register your names.
In Antardvipa they offered respects as they passed many temples and
Mathas, until they arrived at Sri Caitanya Matha. There, they had
darsana of Srila Bhaktivallabha Tirtha Maharaja, who gave a wonderful
lecture to all the devotees about how the island of Antardvipa represents
self-surrender. At the end of his speech Srila Tirtha Maharaja humbly
and whole-heartedly expressed how he felt unfortunate because of being
deprived of seeing Srila Narayana Maharaja due to both of their health.
He concluded that since Srila Narayana Maharaja could not come there,
he had sent all of his disciples there to give him their association.
Visit the Photo gallery of pictures accompanying this report.
Tour Report - Sri Navadvipa Parikrama, March 7 - 9, 2006