Sri Sri Guru-Gaurangau Jayatah!
The Holy Visit of Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj to Mexico.
Begging the grace of all the Vaishnavas I will attempt to describe something of what happened in Veracruz during the last days of November when His Divine Grace visited the community of devotees here. The devotees assembled in Veracruz from 22 to 29th November.
Our Srila Gurudev arrived happily at Veracruz airport on Wednesday at 2.30 p.m. after having spent a day in Mexico City extending his mercy to Srimati Laksmirani Didi and all the Mexico City devotees.
That day of his arrival to Veracruz many devotees from different parts of the country were there already, some of them waiting since some days before for this precious moment. They, headed by the inconceivable and intrepid service of Srimati Madhuchanda Didi, made innumerable arrangements in preparation for the arrival of Gurudev and his entourage. Srimati Madhuchanda secured a beautiful residence in a miraculous way that reminds us that Lord Krishna is always looking after His devotee with infinite care. It was the house of a very pious and affectionate lady, Señora Magda Villarreal, who spontaneously and happily gave it completely for the purpose of giving lodging to our Srila Gurudev. This mansion is very spacious and beautiful, with many rooms where His Divine Grace and his entire entourage stayed the whole week of their visit. The mansion has several large verandas with plants, and the house itself is on the banks of a river that flows into the sea just a short distance away. The surrounding landscape is very peaceful and beautiful, and resembles in some way the atmosphere of India because it looks very green and there are coconut trees.
That day of Srila Gurudev's arrival many of us went to his room to drink the nectar of his saintly face and his merciful dealings with everyone. At last he was with us, after two years of separation. Inside the room everyone looked extremely happy.
The next day, and every day following, we had darshan very early in the morning in the spacious hall inside the mansion. This was the time for spontaneously putting questions to him or simply hearing whatever nectar he wanted to distribute. We received important instructions for the spiritual well-being of the devotees, heard the recountings of his divine pastimes, and witnessed his eagerness in praising the devotees' service -- almost in an inconceivable way for us, putting himself as a humble worshiper of them. Srila Gurudev constantly reminded us of the necessity to establish our spiritual practices according to the command of Sriman Mahaprabhu: trinad api sunichena... "Be humble, tolerant and give honour to the others." The translator from English to Spanish was Sripad Bhuvan Mohan Prabhu from Brazil who is expert in other languages. He is a very educated and fine Vaishnava in charge of publishing the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math books in Brazil.
Traditional dance and music
In particular one of the ladies who has given performances abroad played the harp very expertly. She also chanted and sometimes offered some gracious words as part of the play for the satisfaction of Gurudev and his devotees. Sometimes the devotees applauded at the function, sometimes they went in the middle of the assembly to dance for the pleasure of Gurudev who accepted mercifully all these demonstrations of joy and happiness of the devotees. On another occasion there was an evening fireworks show. Srila Gurudev expressed that he dressed as a sannyasi and he has no personal interest in seeing any of these performances but (affectionately) he accepted all this on seeing the happiness of the devotees. He said: "Seeing the devotees' happiness I also feel very happy." All these demonstrations of dancing, applauding, laughing and being happy were in fact the outbursts of the devotees for their joy at the presence of the most divine presence on earth: their Spiritual Master.
The children graciously presented, under the direction and care of Srimati Gaura Vani Didi and Srimati Sharanagati Didi, their innocent service to Gurudev in the form of chanting a selection of slokas depicting the main incarnations of the Lord. They then chanted more, presented their drawings and showed some hatha yoga exercises under the instructions of Srimati Rohini Shakti from Brazil, all for the satisfaction of their beloved Well-wisher.
There was a public program in a rented Hall with an attendance of almost 300 persons. The introductory programme with talks by three of the sannyasis present -- Sripad Sudhir Goswami Maharaj, Sripad Kusum Ashram Maharaj and Sripad Padmanabha Maharaj of Brazil -- was in the morning time, and the main programme was in the evening when there was the conference of Gurudev, chanting and Prasadam distribution.
Prabhu Vrajanath personally presented to Gurudev his very attractive publication of the Spanish version of "The Benedictine Tree of Divine Aspiration." This is the first Spanish book of Srila Gurudev and it was put on sale to the devotees right there at the meeting. Also, a second book was presented to Srila Gurudev: in preview form "Divine Guidance" was presented in the name of the whole Mexican community of devotees. Prabhu Bhagavan of Morelia offered to His Divine Grace a preview of the Spanish translation of "The Search for Sri Krishna, Reality the Beautiful."
Vaishnavas crown Srila Gurudev's visit
The main note of all the festival here in Veracruz with almost 300 devotees attending at the weekend, was that everyone got some mercy, some nectar for their eternal life, and we received the most precious gift in the universe: sadhu-sanga of the highest order. The infinity descended here and extended his domain of sweetness, love and harmony to all.
All of us are eternally indebted to the most affectionate service and sacrifice of Srimati Madhuchanda Didi, her husband Sripad Raghunandana Prabhu and their family, to Srimati Laksmirani Didi, to Srimati Yuteshwari Didi, to Sripad Jayadev Prabhu and his wife Srimati Jahnava Didi, to Srimati Krishna Priya Didi, to Srimati Radhakanti Didi, to Sriman Pitambar Prabhu, Sriman Gaura Kinkar Prabhu, Sriman Anumitra Prabhu, Sriman Dvija Mani Prabhu, Srimati Rasa Mayi Didi, Enakshi Didi, Srimati Gauravani Didi, Madhava Priya Didi, Srimati Madhu Kanta Didi, to Señora Magda Villarreal, to Señor Lic. Genaro Jaimes, to the Secretaría de Gobernación, to the authorities of Veracruz Port and City and Boca del Rio, Ver., to every one of the Veracruz devotees and to the many others who offered their loving service to Gurudev and the Vaishnavas during this sacred visit of His Divine Grace. And overall we are all indebted to our venerable and dear Guardian, Sripad Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj, who Gurudev himself has praised as a personality worshipable for him. Sripad Ashram Maharaj is the well-wisher of all and the fountainhead of inspiration for everyone.
We prostrate forever our heads unto the merciful dust of the lotus feet of Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Sri Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj and his associates who blessed all the planet with their wonderful and divine thoughts, words and deeds: Pastimes non-different from the Pastimes of the most munificent incarnation, Sriman Mahaprabhu.
All glories to our Guru Parampara and all glories to the high crest jewel of that Parampara: Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa Sri Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj!
All glories to all the Vaishnavas in the past, present and future!
5 December 2000. Slightly updated 10 December 2000.
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