Sri Sri Guru-Gaurangau Jayatah!
Srila Gurudev presided over the day-long program, showering the devotees with love and encouragement. He constantly expressed his feelings of surprise and happiness at the efforts of the San Jose devotees, led by Kum Kum devi dasi and Jivana devi dasi.
After seeing the new house a few days prior, Srila Gurudev said, "The impossible has been made possible." He sat in the stately and freshly renovated temple room. The high ceilings contributed to the elegant atmosphere. The walls glowed a saffron-tinted beige, delicate lace curtains veiled the long windows, and Sri Gauranga Sundar's altar was surrounded by ceiling-to-floor green velvet drapes. In addition, a shiny wooden floor spanned the whole upper portion of the house.
As Srila Gurudev gazed at the impressive interior, he said that the devotees had worked with "whole-hearted sincerity." Appearing very satisfied with the participation of so many people, Srila Gurudev commented, as he often does, that soon there will devotees in every part of the world.
So, inspired by such an auspicious welcome from Srila Govinda Maharaj, everybody prepared for the arrival of the deity, Sri Gauranga Sundar, to His regal abode on East St. James Street. The event began on the morning of November 11th around 8:00. Many went to the previous ashram on 17th street, where Gauranga Sundar still was.
An energetic kirttan began as the deity descended on His palanquin. With much care, and under the divine guidance of Srila Gurudev, a few devotees secured Gauranga Sundar, offering flowers, incense and laksmi. Slowly, the deity emerged on His palanquin (supported by the shoulders of four hearty men) and lit up the city streets of San Jose.
The parade proceeded on foot throughout the urban neighbourhoods, attracting the attention of many passers-by. Children waved flags, a couple of women fanned Sri Gauranga Sundar and blew conchshells. Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaj and Rajaram Prabhu led a high spirited kirttan from start to finish.
Unfortunately, Srila Govinda Maharaj could not walk the distance between the two ashrams, but he lovingly greeted all at the end of the parade. Finally, as Sri Gauranga Sundar rose above the steps of the front entrance at the new house, devotees cried out in ecstasy. There inside, He took His place on the altar, which was adorned with ornate flower arrangements. Arotik was then offered to the deity for the first time in His new temple.
The grand room was packed with devotees, maybe 200 or more attended. Throughout the whole day they engaged in chanting the Holy Names of the Lord and feasting on His Maha-Prasadam. In the spirit of Mahaprabhu's divine teachings, all of the devotees, young and old, big and small, came together to glorify the Lord. Srila Govinda Maharaj shed his mercy on us all, harmonizing the whole environment with his affectionate glance of grace.
-Vrindavanesvari Devi Dasi
21 December 2000
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