Navadvipa Festival

Posted on March 30, 2011 by Raghava 6 Comments

by Anita dasi

Isn’t it amazing how even at the largest festival Srila Gurudeva always managed to find a way to connect with each person and give them a moment, a realization, a lesson. This was the first parikrama without Srila Gurudeva’s manifest presence. No one really knew what to expect. But I know for myself that he still managed to make that connection. For me it was through the books.

I have heard devotees say that he is always with us and never leaves us and now is the time to connect with Srila Gurudeva internally, but I don’t really know what that means practically. I am a practical person. I was organizing the book stall when, “ding, dong” it hit me. I was surrounded by Gurudeva. He is non-different than his vani, his teachings. Anytime I want to connect with him, feel his presence, hear his wisdom – I only have to reach for a book. Its so simple and so obvious, but it really hit me.

Offering our efforts to Srila Gurudeva's Samadhi

Navadvipa is so sweet, visiting all the islands of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, hearing the katha, wandering here and there barefoot on paths of lava – opps no one did the end-of-parirkama-Jedi-mind-trick (waving the hand and stating, “Forget all the hardships and go home and tell everyone how nice the parikrama was”). The parikrama was wonderful, but for me the juice was helping at the book table.

First of all, distributing books to devotees is such a pleasure. As Sulata didi put it, “this is so different than the street, everyone really wants the books.” We had a few new books: a special memorial edition Vyasa Pujya Harmonist, Harmony, the Specialty of the Gift of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sripad Madhava Maharaja’s first volume about Srila Gurudeva.

More exciting was seeing devotees fill up their suitcases with books to bring home. Some came of their own accord and loaded up with books for their sanga or distribution. Armed with her dimples and a scale, Vasanti didi convinced many others to top off their luggage allowance. In his book form, Srila Gurudeva climbed in to suitcases bound for Holland, Kentucky, London, Australia, Mysore, Bangalore, Caninig, San Francisco, Australia, Florida, Guyana, Trinidad, Germany, Phillipines, Malaysia, China and other corners of the world. The book distribution sponsorship program was able to sponsor about 2,200 books of the 5,500 English books distributed during the festival.

One of the highlights of helping with book distribution at a festival is always to come to Srila Gurudeva with the money and the report. His eyes would twinkle as we would report the total sales, and if we were lucky he would pat us on the head. It didn’t feel quite right without that. The morning before I left, a few of the ladies who helped and I went to Srila Gurudeva’s samadhi and offered the money and reported to Srila Gurudeva the sales. Just as with any other festival I felt that connection with Srila Gurudeva.

6 Comments

  1. Bhanumati dd
    1211 days ago

    Wonderful message Anita dasi! Indeed Srila Gurudeva travelled with us back to Holland to touch all the readers :)

    So inspiring – thank you!

    Reply

    • Raghava
      1211 days ago

      They’re now gracing our home and waiting for someone to come and take them.

      Reply

  2. Swami BV Sajjan
    1211 days ago

    Gauravani…. Guruvani ki jaya!

    Thank you Anita didi for the heartfelt and affectionate glorification of Srila Gurudeva’s presence in Navadvipa!

    “You can be assured that Gurudeva pats you on the head for this wonderful seva!”

    His presence was aslo so much felt by the organized effort of so many to insure the success of the Parikrama by so many in attendance! Premananda prabhu’s kitchen crew, Tirtha Maharaja’s pre preaching efforts to bring so many sweet Bengali’s, the inspiring Harikatha,
    Gurudeva was deep in the hearts of all in attendance smiling and blessings us all!

    And most of all for me was his loving and harmonizing presence in the meetings after the festival as well.

    Srila Gurudeva ki jaya!
    In our hearts forever by his “Heartly Blessings!”

    Reply

  3. Taruni dasi
    1210 days ago

    Beautiful message, thank you. Am looking forward to receiving some of the books, so kindly brought back to England for me by my dear friend Candra kala (she rocks!) :) I will remember this, and the jedi mind trick while reading ;)
    Thank you.
    Hare Krishna!
    Dandavats!
    Taruni dasi (UK)

    Reply

  4. anandini
    1210 days ago

    Anitadasi, sweet Anita from Colorado. Real grace to see your face to help me remember.
    How else could anyone get your attention except through the books.

    Ananda from America stayed at the ashram last year and went to the Festival with ypu all. This was also grace.
    Please give Angile my regards.

    Reply

  5. tarunkrsnadas
    1203 days ago

    Haribol Didi
    Nowadays I find so much shelter and solace in Srila Gurudeva’s books and recorded lectures, especially the really intimate books.
    It’s not really just the books themselves and the info therein, it’s the people; the people who distribute, the people who read, proofread, publish, transcribe, package, etc, etc.
    It’s about the personal beauty of the devotees, thank you for being who you are.
    tkd.

    Reply

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