can hear our party conducting a small programme within the
walls as we circumumbulate the periphery of the temple,
while one of the Western Brahmacharis tells us the sweet
tale of how the Deity walked here all the way from Vrndavan
to bear witness to His devotee.
Indian group soon re-emerge, still chanting, and we join
them to walk back to the bus, still chanting....
The rest of the ride to Puri goes without interruption.
We have been on the bus for well over 24 hours, mostly without
any sleep, and our bodies feel the journey taking its toll.
By the time we arrive at our Temple in Puri Dham at around
9:00pm, and 30 hours since we first boarded the bus in Nabadwip,
we are extremely happy to reach our destination, and safely
takes a while to settle everybody into their accommodation,
with their luggage - there were well over sixty people on
the bus! Prasadam distribution is quite hectic with everyone
arriving at different times, but everyone is content and
satisfied, without complaint. We definitely look forward
to a good sleep in a horizontal position though!
July 2005 - Puri, 1st Day
This morning nothing is planned for us; it is intended as
recovery time from the long, tedious but worthwhile journey.
However a parikrama of the Holy Dham led by Sripad Acharyya
Maharaj will take place in the afternoon after Prasadam.
I had been to Puri earlier this year, during April. It was
very quiet then. I had visited most places of pilgrimage,
and had developed a particular fondness and attraction for
the Tota Gopinath Temple which is situated only about a
ten-minute walk from our temple which is near the ocean.
I feel I want to go there first thing, and chant some rounds
of japa in a quiet moment, since I imagine that during the
parikrama it will be a different atmosphere with so many
people. So I go, taking three other Western Didis along
with me. It is very sweet and we spend about an hour there.