by Kamal Krishna Prabhu, a university student from California,
currently on pilgrimage in India.
Tuesday September 20th, a small group of devotees headed by
Sripad Acharyya Maharaj left the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math,
Nabadwip, around 8am to make a trip to the recently acquired
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Siliguri, a lively town at a
cross-roads of cultures and countries in North Bengal. Unbeknownst
to us there was a bus operator strike and the long distance
direct bus we were planning to take was not running that day.
But without hesitation we boarded a local bus and went on our
way. I can say for myself as a foreigner, I didn't really piece
together the situation until the day unfolded. It turned out
to be a long trip.
a brief summary, we arrived in Siliguri a little after midnight
no worse for the wear after sixteen hours of travelling which
included two heavy lightning storms, four different buses and
a few hundred kilometres of 'unpredictable' roads.
devotees had stayed up waiting for us and after an affectionate
welcome immediately served us sumptuous prasadam. Punyasloka
Prabhu, Visvanath Prabhu and Visvarupa Prabhu graciously accommodated
us during our stay, and the words of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
come to mind, "Bhakata-seva, parama-siddhi, prema-latikara
mula." (Service to the Vaisnavas is itself the supreme
perfection and the root of the tender creeper of divine love.)
enthusiasm as a small group for their service in this new Centre
was inspiring. The next three evenings Sripad Acharyya Maharaj
preached forcefully and led fervent kirtans. I can say I was
pleasantly surprised that during the nights of his stay there
was an attendance of over forty which overflowed beyond the
capacity of the cosy temple room. Kamal Indu Prabhu and Chinmoy
Prabhu travelled to the Siliguri Ashram with us to take up residence
there and engage in some undoubtedly appreciated service in
this small community. Kamal Indu Prabhu's charming personality
is well suited to the collection efforts he quickly initiated,
and with the addition of these two devotees the Ashram seems
to be in capable hands.
Om Visnupada Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj,
Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharyya Maharaj ki jaya!
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Siliguri, ki jaya!