Centenary Celebrations at Chakdah  

Under the auspices of Mahanam Sevak Sangha of Chakdah town in Nadia district, a five day long centenary celebration of Mahanambrataji was observed from 8th to 12th February, 2004. The venue of this celebration was “Mahamilan Parishad Angan”, Narendranapply , Chakdah.

On 8th February, the auspicious inauguration of the celebration started with the Nagar Sankirtan with the accompaniment of 100 drums a special commemorative meeting was arranged at 5pm. It was presided over by Prof Dhyanesh Narayan Chakravarty, national Research Scholar on Vedic subject Government of India. Among other notable speakers were Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, Srimat Asit Krishna Adhikari (president Sri Chaittanya Sevashram Sangha, Ranaghat) and Srimat Haran Bandhu Brahmachari (Adyapeeth). On 9th Feb evening Srimat Asit Krishna Brahmachari recited from Bhagavad, followed by a rendition of Divine-pastime Kirtan by Srimati Susmita Roy on 10th Feb, dawn to dusk ‘Hare Krishna Naam’ and ritual on worshipping were performed subsequently Srimati Reena Kar De presented Leela Kirtan. Dawn to dusk Mahanam Kirtan was continued on 11th Feb, and it was followed by Kirtan recitals by Sri Nanigopal Pal on 12th Feb. the celebration was concluded after morning nagar kirtan and midday offerings to the deity.



Centenary Celebrations at Agartala, Tripura

Baishnavacharya Sriman Mahanambratajis sacred birth centenary was celebrated with great-fanfare by the devotees from 12th to 15th February at Tripura’s capital ‘Agartala’. As a precursory propaganda for this celebration the centenary celebration committed of Agartala carried on a fort night long Bhagabad recital at Durgabari under the generate ascetic Srimat Nababrata Brahmachari. This was accompanied by padabali kirtan recitals by Srimati Rupa Ghosh. Resides Durgabari, such programmes were intermittently arranged at other places too. On the morning of 12th February, a huge procession of Nagar kirtan commenced from ‘Astabal-Maidan’. Under the sacred presence of Srimat Swami Kriplananda Giri and led by Srimat Bhaktikamal Baishnav Maharaj the sankirtan- procession passed through the various streets of the city and finally terminated at the temple of Sri Sri Anandamoyee Kali. Such type of processions were arranged earlier on more than one occasions at big celebrations of Mahanambrataji. The religious convention started at 3.30pm Srimat Swami Purnaatmananda, president of Ramakrishna Mission, Agartala, inaugurated the conference. Srimat Swami Kripalananda Giri Maharaj (President, Bholananda Sevashram, Agartala) presided over this religious conclave. Srimat Brindaban Das Kathia Baba, Sri Satyabrata Chakravarty (Print Media), Sree Maa Arunamoyee, Srimaa Gayatri Devi and Srimat Sadananda Das Kathiababa- enriched the audience with their speeches. In the morning of 13th February, at 9am, book- display was arranged at Sri Sri Mahanam Angan. At 4pm in the afternoon, the religious congregation was addressed by Srimat Kinkar Samananda, Dr. Braja Gopal Ray (Ex-minister), Srimat Mani Maharaj, Srimat Premdata Das (President, Iscon, Agartala), Tridandi Bhikhu Bhaktikamal Baishnav Maharaj (President, Sri Sri Jagannath Bari, Agartala). At Mahanam Angan, at 10am on 14th February, blankets were distributed among poor people. Sri Shankar Das , the Chairman of Agartala Municipality was the chief Guest. At 4pm in the evening the following luminaries presented their talks in the religious conference – Srimat Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari, Dr. Pravash Chandra Dhar, Srimat Dindayalananda Maharaj, Sri Prasun Kumar Roy (Ex-President), Sri Dipak Sengupta , Sri Jamatia Huda, Srimat Bandhusathi etc on 15th February, Sunday, 9am in the morning, the Nagar sankirtan procession by Nikhiltripura Gouriya Vaishnav Mahamandali will be ever remembered as a memorable event in history. Thousands of Vaishnavs walking while chanting harinam kirtan, was finally terminated at Durgabari. There in their annual religious convention glowing tributes were paid towards Srimat Mahanambrataji. Later on food offering were arranged for all. At 4pm in the afternoon a discussion seminar was addressed by Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, Dr. Sitanath Dey, Prof. Dr. Rabindranath Sastry (Ex-President) and Brahmakumari Kavita these wide spread events at Agartala were nicely executed under the leadership of everybody’s beloved Dr. Kusum Lal Roy here is an exhaustive list of those institutes and Agencies that participated in the ‘Nagar-sankirtan’ on 12th February at Agartala:-

Nikhil Tripura Mahanam Sevak Sangha, Sri Sri Kathiababa Ashram, Sri Sri Chaitanya Gouriya Math (Jagannath Math), Srimat Bishnu Purijis establishment Sri Sri Maa Ananda Sadhak Sangha, Sri Sri Bholananda Sevashram, Ajachak Ashram, Sri Sri Maa Anandamoyee Ashram, Prangapita Brahmakumari Ishwaria Viswavidyalay, Sri Sri Anandamoyee Kalibari (Choumohani Bazar), Agartala Hindu Milan Mandir Ratanmani Seva Mission, Sri Sri Ramakrishna Sadhana Kutir, Buddhamandir, Sri Sri Maa Karunamoyee Ashram, Sri Sri Maa Snehamoyee Ashram, Alekh Sevak Sangha, Kalyan Ashram, Sri Sri Gopinath Jiu’s temple, Kashipur, Sri Sri Gourbari, Mahabharat Sadhak Seva Sangha Ashram, Sri Sri Upajati Vaishnav Sampradaya, Purba Bangla Saraswat math (Dhawajnagar), Sri Chaitanya Sangha (Barojala), Sri Sri Paramahansa Sohahang Muni Ashram (Brajanagar), Sri Sri Loknath Life Divine Mission, Sri Sri Baba Loknath Ashram (Pratapgarh), Vedvani Chakra (Yogendranagar), Sri Sri Ramthakur Sambeta Utsav Mandir (Pratapgarh, Sri Sri Ramkrishna Sarada Ashram, Sri Sri Ramthakur Sevashram (Ranir Bazar), Sri Krishna Mission (Iscon), Sri Sri Ramthakur Seva Mandir, Sri Sri Dindayalananda Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Society, Sri Shankar math, Sri Gorakhnath Mandir and Mahanirvana Math.

Centenary Celebrations at Barasat, West Bengal

Between 6th to 14th March 2004, the birth centenary celebration of Sri Mahanambrata was organized at Prabhu Jagatbandhu Ashram at Tuntepara Dakshin Para at Barasat. First seven days were specially dedicated to Srimad Bhagavad recitation . On 12th March, Mahabatari Prabhu Jagatbandhu’s divine-pastime was enacted on 14th March at 10am a huger Nagar sankirtan accompanied by 108 drums was taken out under the auspices and cooperation of Bashirhat Harinam Seva Samiti with the completion of the great celebration at Midday- a religious conference was organized in the afternoon. In this programme at the grounds of tuntepara special tributes to Dr. Mahanambrataji was offered by Dr. Dhyanesh Narayan Chakravarty, Srimat Devananda Brahmachari, Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, and Srimat Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari. This whole programme was conducted and accomplished by almost solo efforts and sincere endeavour of Young Brajabandhu Brahmachari a direct disciple of Mahanambrataji and the worshipper of Tuntepara’s Jagatbandhu Ashram.

Centenary Celebrations at Old Malda

At the premises of Kalachand High School of Old Maldah, three day long birth centenary celebration of Sri Mahanambrata was observed from 18th to 20th March. At 2.30 pm on 18th March a colourful procession of Bhuban Mangal Harinam Nagar sankirtan with the accompaniment of 108 drums, was taken out from Mangalbari. It ended at Kalachand High School. Thereafter, the centenary lit up 100 benign oil lamps. The religious discussion seminar was participated in by Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari (welcome address). Dr. Ujjala Kundu, Srimat Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari, president Sri Bibhutibhushan Ghosh (Chairman, Old Maldah Municipality), Nabaranjan Singha Barma (Vice Chairman) and Subhas Chowdhury (President, centenary committee) opening song was presented by Srimati Sabita Kumar and a Rabindrasangeet was presented by Nibedita Sarkar, famous singer Sri Kumar Chattopadhyay charmed everybody by his rendition of devotional songs at the end of religious discussion.

Second days religious conclave was presided over by Sri Kalachand Mukhopadhyay, the headmaster of Kalachand High School, Srimat Swami Divyananda Maharaj , president of Maldah Ramkrishna Mission was the chief guest. Eminent social service personality and phenomenal eye specialist Dr. Pinaki Ranjan Roy was the special guest other honorable guest included A.B.A. Gani Khan Chowdhury (MP), Sri Goutam Chakravarty (Chairman of Maldah District Council), Sri Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury (Chairman English Bazar Municipal Corporation) and Sri Nikhil Gupta (Chairman Maldah Bar Association). After this panel discussion, a dance dram ‘alor dishari Mahanambrata’, directed by Sri Binoy Roy was staged 3rd day was dedicated solely to dawn to dusk Sri Sri Naam Yagna. In the evening padavali kirtan was presented by Sri Madhusudan Nath. This complete programme was neatly and successfully executed by the untiring efforts and proper coordination of Srimati Sabita Agarwal (Sevadi), Srimati Shivani Agarwal and Sribas Kundu and the likes.

Centenary Celebrations at Puri, Orrisa

Vaisnavacharya Sriman Mahanambrataji’s, auspicious birth centenary was celebrated in Sri Khetra- Puridham from 25 to 29 March 2004. On 25th Srimad Bhagvad recitation was done by Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari and it was followed by ‘Adhibas-kirtan’. Continuous Mahanam kirtan from dawn to dusk was the main feature on 26th’s programme. On 27th Mahaprasad of Jagannath Dham was offered to pandas and Vaishnavites. Monks and ascetics were entertained with food at Ashram on 28th on the same evening a religious conference was arranged at town hall Swami Narayananda Saraswati Maharaj (Divine life society, Puri), inaugurated the religious conference by presenting floral wreaths to Sri Jagannath and Sriman Mahanambrataji. Thereafter, guests were garlanded. Opening song was presented by Sri Khetra Sangeet Vikas Parishad. Secretary Sri Gurucharan Das presented the welcome address. Little girl Kumari Indulekha Guha, captivated everybody by her fluent speeches in Oriya and Hindi. The main stream speeches were delivered by Dr. Neelkanta Pati (Jagannath University, Puri), Srimat Swami Prajnananda Saraswati (West Bengal.), Srimat Adwaita Das Babaji (Mohanta, Haridas Samadhi Math), Srimat Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari, Dr. Harihar Hota (Reader, Jagatnath University), Sri Kishanlal Bharatiji (Cuttack), Srimat Subal Das Babaji (Mohanta, Chatuh Sampraday, Puri), Dr. Umesh Chandra Chinhara (S.C.S. College, Puri), etc. Another special programme of this day was felicitation of persons of high social acclaims. About 25 renowned persons from various levels of society were felicitated. After this religious conference, Sri Anjan Upadhyay presented Leela Kirtan. The weather being very hot and apprehending poor public participation at Town hall, the venue of 29th programme was shifted to Ashram premises. On the day also Anjan Upadhyay enchanted the audience by his superb ‘Leela kirtan’. About one hundred devotees from Kolkata participated in this celebration.

Centenary Celebrations at Devagram, West Bengal

Dev-gram Darakata is a very unfamiliar village at the remote area of Nadia near Ranaghat. The nice programme, which was arranged there by the ardent urge of the local devotees, would be remembered, by lovers of Sri Mahanam, forever. This area though very undeveloped, yet it has its intrinsic treasures for holding any celebration at any point of time. In the auspicious presence of Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, the birth centenary was celebrated here from 2nd to 4th April 2004 on 2nd a huge Nagar kirtan procession was taken off’ followed by a religious congregation. Those participating in that religious meet offered their spontaneous tributes to Mahanambrataji and their panel discussion on Mahanambrataji’s life philosophy was simple unique. The speaks being of common status, but their of common status, but their fountain of respect and devotion, arising out of their core of hearts, practically quenched every ones hearts, we praise for the villages of Devagram. Under the presidentship of Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, the following speakers threw light on Sriman Mahanambrataji’s life philosophy: S/Sri Raghunath Sarkar, Sunil Kumar Biswas, Radhikaranjan Khan, Bimal Mitra and Nandadulal Biswas. They were all from teacher fraternity. It is worth mentioning the efforts and pains taken by headmaster Sri Nandadulal Biswas and Sri Biren Mitra to neatly manage this celebration. In fact this three days long celebration was conducted in the temple premises of Sri Mitra’s house.

Centenary Celebrations at Salt Lake City, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Vidyut Bhavan, is the central point of east Kolkata’s Salt Lake City or Bidhannagar Township, in the R.N. Chowdhury auditorium of this Bhavan, the birth centenary celebration of Sri Mahanambrataji was organized on 11th April afternoon . It created a special dimension in the minds of the audience present there. The programme was primarily meant for some specific speakers to discuss on a particular topic. At 5 pm on this date, this well- decorated, air-conditioned hall, accommodating 500 people, was almost full to its capacity by eminent persons from the society. The conference started with the chanting of benign invocations by Srimat Bandhu Gourav Brahmachariji. Sri Bikas Kumar Rudra, Vice president of the centenary committee presented his welcome address by according felicitation to the guests. Introductory speech was presented by Srimat Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari – the secretary of the celebration committee. In this introductory speech, Upasak Bandhuji, elaborated nicely and lucidly on the divine-life of Mahanambrataji. There after it was the turn of Srimat Soumendranath Brahmachari most adored by Mahanambrataji, (Acharya of Dev Sangha of Deoghar). Though he started delivering his lecture on the scientific consciousness of Dr. Brahmachari, yet the mostly expressed his personal relationship and memoirs of his close association with Mahanambrataji. His lecture was full of humorous anecdotes. Instead of delving deep into serious topics, his evaluation of lovable Mahanambrataji was by itself, contained deep personal application and great regards for him. Next orator, Sri Amalesh Bhattacharya, dealt lucidly upon the deep theosophical and heart touching aspect of Ved-purush Mahanambrataji Sri Bhattacharya, brought out various events lively while he wrote Ved-Vedanta Dr. Amalendu Dey, president of Asiatic Society, being indisposed, his written lecture was read out by Sri Jyotirmoy Guha. Srimat Kinkar Samananda was the last speaker. Srimat Samanandaji is the direct disciple of Sri Thakur Sitaram Das Omkarnath Dev and he is blessed with immense compassion. Knowledgeable Samanandaji, the right resource, evaluated Mahanambrataji’s spiritual contribution from the philosophical angle of vision. But due to paucity of time, his lecture had to be curtailed and caused some lack of satisfaction to all. Sri Basudev Sarkar, presented vote of thanks in the valedictory session. Child prodigy and little speaker Indulekha Guha simply charmed the audience by her small crisp presentation on Mahanamji. The whole programme was conducted by Srimati Krishna Chattopadhya (Kolkata T.V.) and Srimat Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari.

It is pertinent to mention the untiring efforts and pains taken by the devotees of Salt Lake, especially Jyotirmoy Guha (Goutam) and Ashok Kundu. The opening and concluding songs were presented by the choir of Salt Lake devotees. This programme was partly telecast in door darshan’s news channel.

Besides, this in memoriam of the birth centenary ‘Mahanam Gate’ was erected in Kolkata’s book fair and a seminar was organized there on 7th February 2004.



Centenary Celebrations at Vrindavan

The train was to start from Howrah at 9 A.M.; main objective was to reach Vrindavan. On Monday, 21st November 2004 reached Vrindavan Dham early morning after alighting at Tundla Station at late night. Arrived at the city of love, straight from the city of darkness. Offering were paid to the temples in the afternoon and prayers for Prabhu Sundar were sung in the evening. With flower decorated portraits of Sri Sri Radhakrishna, Sri Sri Nitai Gour Sundar, Sri Sri Prabhu Jagatbandhu Sundar and Mahanambrataji; accompanied by 108 drums; a procession was taken off, on the morning of 22nd November in the city of Braja-Dham, bustling with love & devotion. In the evening ‘Krishna-Kali’ ‘Leela-Kirtan’ was presented by Krishna Pal. The citizens were enchanted by ‘Kirtans.’
On 23rd November, 2004, right from the morning there were religious – preaching by Mohantas and about 150 Mohantas were entertained by feeding – later on, the much awaited religious conclave was organized in the afternoon.
The stage of the religious conclave was flooded with a galaxy of monks and noble souls, cultured persons and learned erudites. It was presided over by Dr. S. N. Pandeyji. Sri Ompal Singh, Organizing Secretary of R.S.S. of Northern India and U.P., was the Chief Guest. As a most respectable guest, Swami Vidyanandaji Maharaj, The President of Vrindavan’s Katyayani Peeth, graced the occasion. Among the guests, the Dias was decorated by :- Srimad Govindananda Teertha, Prof. Govnda Sharma, Dr. Naresh Bansal, Prof. Dibakar Dwibedi, Sri Sri Phanilal Goswami, Surendra Sharma, Ramgopal Goswami, Chindananda Goswami, Kunjaballav Goswami, Birendralal Rai Banik, Km. Indulekha Guha etc. The stage was conducted by one of the leading stalwarts of this celebration, Dr. Vinod Bandopadhyay. At the conclusion of this meet, Odisi Dance was performed by Guru Pratapnarayan Tahara and his troupe.
On 24th November, Mother’s conference was presided over by Dr. Archana Sharma of Birla Institute of Technology (Pillani). Chief Guest’s Chair was accepted by the Ex-President of R.C.A. College of Mathura and Most-Loved person of Anandamoyee Maa, Mother Premananda Giri. Srimad Fuldolji Maharaj, of ‘Chatuh Sampradaya’, was a special guest. The conference began after the opening song of praises by Gira Bhowmick and her Group. Among the Guest speakers were Smt. Manju Sharma, Prativa Sharma, Nilima Sharma, Bani Bandopadhya, Prabha Sharma, Sushmita Guha etc.
Km. Soma Bandhopadhya conducted the whole programme. At the end of this conference, Krishna Pal’s ‘Padavali Kirtan’ enchanted the devoted audience.
On 25th November, morning 15 mile cross-country journey started with the accompaniment of ‘Kirtan.’ It was a wonderful sight of love & devotion.
Along the streets of Braja Dham, on the terraces & windows and here & there, inpatient devotees were eagerly waiting. The journey originated from ‘Keshi Ghat’ and finished there via Bandhukunj. Evening was earmarked for the felicitation of eminent persons.
Ramaprasad Kamal, Ex-Minister of U.P. Presided over this event. Sri Pradip Mathur, M.L.A. of Mathura-Vrindavan constituency and Assam’s Ex-MLA Prof. Sukhendu Sekhar Dutta were Chief Guest and Special Guest respectively.
Eminent persons from the diverse spheres of social-services, administration, education, music, culture and mass-media; were felicitated. Srimad Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, the Chief Advisor of these programmes of Braja-Celebration and Secretary, Mahanam Sevak Sangha, was accorded a warm felicitation. Besides, 40 renowned persons like Sri Sri Mahesh Khandelwal, Radhakrishna Pathak, Mohanta Dolbehar Das, Mohanta Premdas Sastry, Ramesh Goutam, Sohan Singh Shisoda, Kapil Upadhyay, Sri Rup Raghunath, Abhoy Vasisth, Dr. Upendra Ratna, Krishna Sarada, Shailendra Pandey, Prof. Govinda Sharma, Naresh Bansal, Dr. S. D. Sharma, Maj. Brijendra Singh, Sishupal Singh, Arun Yadav, Vivekananda Ghosh, Srimati Prava Sharma and the like. The whole programme was conducted by Dr. Vinod Bandopadhya. He was ably assisted by Srimad Bandhu Gaurav Brahmachari, Sri Hari Om Sharma, and Sri Jagannath Adhikari.
At 7 PM in the night, the auspicious inauguration of Mahanam Yajna commenced. This 24 hours wide ‘Naam-Yajna’ continued all throughout the day and night of 26th November. The night of this autumn month (kartik) was flooded with the moonlight on this full-moon night of ‘Raas.’ A spectacular & wonderful query, inquisitiveness, urge, passion, and love-infusing inspiration floated on the mental canvas of religious-cultural scenario.
At 11 A.M., under great enthusiasm and fanfare, the auspicious ceremony of laying the foundation stone of ‘Mahanambrata Gate-way Arch’ on Mathura Road was completed. The viewers were not only seeing this by their eyes, but also savoured this unique event by their heart-mind & soul. The sacred memorial edifice of Bengal’s supreme Honorable Sriman Mahanambrataji’s was inaugurated in this land of Uttar Pradesh.
The inaugural plaque was unveiled by the Honorable President of Vrindavan’s Municipality Committee, Sri Jagadish Prasad Sharma.
The following was inscribed on the plaque:-
“In Honour Of The Auspicious Birth Centenary Celebration Of The World Famous Philosopher, Bhagabad-Gangotri, Vaishnavacharya; Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachariji; The Foundation Stone Of This Huge Mahanam-Gateway-Arch’ ‘Katyani Peeth’; In The Precients Of Vrindavan.”
The plaque contained the names of Sri Arun Kumar Gupta, Resident Officer, City Municipality Committee, Upasak Bandhu Brahmachari, Secretary, Central Committee, Mahanam Sevak Sangha, Mohanta Premdas Sastry, President, Sri mOhanambrata Centenary Celebration Committee and Dr. Vinod Banerji, The Principal Secretary, Committee, Vrindavan.
The programme was presided by Sri Vidyananda Swami, ‘Katyani-Peeth’ – Vrindavan. Sri Jagadish Prasad Sharma, President, Vrindavan Municipality, was the Chief Guest. Among the specal invitees, there were, Srimad Upasak Banbhu Brahmachar, Srimad Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari, Prof. Chidananda Goswami, Vinod Banerjee, Mohanta Premdas Sastry, Hari Om Sharma, Jagannath Adhikari etc. All the worshipping etc. in the Foundation-Laying Celebration was carried out by Pandit Gopal Acharya.
In his letter to Chidananda Goswami, Joint Secretary of The News-letter ‘ Mahanam-Angan’; Hon. Sri Jagadish Prasad Sharma sent a written comment as follows:-
“By the construction of this Gate-way in remembrance of Sri Maharaj Mahanambrataji, the possibilities of Rapid-Progress of this Sacred-Land of Vrindavan has increased manifold.”
:- Jagadish Sharma, 26/11/2004.
On 27th November, morning, a special function was arranged at the temple complex of Bandhu Kunja for reading out from sacred books. Recitation was carried out from Srimad Bhagabad, Gour Katha, Bandhu Leela Tarangini etc. as composed by Mahanambrataji. Evening was dedicated for cultural programmes. Most of the artists were from Kolkata. Devotional songs presented by Ms. Kabita Mazumdar, Chanda Saha, Jagannath Adhikari, Gita Saha, Gita Bhowmik, Susmita Guha, Keya Mazumdar, Sumita Pal, & Anjana Pal. Thereafter, Krishna Pal charmed every body by her presentation of ‘Leela-Kirtan.’
28th November, Sunday, was earmarked with the Journey around the city with the accompaniment of ‘Kritan.’ The whole of this abode of Vrindavan was enchanted by this mobile ‘Kirtan’ singing – ‘Nagar Bhraman korey bandhu elo gharey’ and culminated with the curd & turmeric festival. It is worth mentioning that in this exquisite celebration, the complete galaxy of monks and sages and mohantas accepted ‘Offerings’ of the devotees. The whole temple complex was agog with ecstasy, with this event of ‘Prasad-Taking’ Ceremony by almost four thousand monks & saints.
29th November, 2004, was special allocated for visiting around the ‘Braja Dham’ and have the blessed vision of various important historical, ancient places of ‘Divine-pastime.’ 30th November was fully engaged in a totally different variety of activities. Boat ride on Yamuna and a picnic by the riverside of Yamuna was the main attraction. This event was exquisite, unthinkable, unparallel and heart-touching one; and it evoked a feeling of emotional vibration in body-mind & consciousness no one could forget this at all. Hence it will remain as ever green in every body’s memories. Each and every stages of this ten-daylong grand celebration at Vrindavan was enriched by the instructions, suggestions and directions of Srimad Upasak Bandhu Brahmachariji. The role played by stalwarts like Dr. Vinod Bandopadhya and Hari Om Sharma was worthy of special mentioning. We also recollect the untiring cooperation of Srimad Bandhu Gourav Brahmachari from Kolkata.
“Jayatu Mahanambrata, Jayatu Bandhu Sundar, Jai Radha Rani.”
Boat-Ride on Yamuna – a picnic on the river bank.
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It was the historic Keshi Ghat where almost 200 devotees lined-up along the bank of Yamuna. 15 boats were anchored on the shore, n waiting a huge enthusiasm and a new surprise was in store. Many people had the typical or so-called experience of picnic at Kolkata or any place around. This was totally of different fervour. Against the back-drop scenario, there lied a strange feeling of shivering sensation of lust-for-love, consciousness on devotion, sacred –historical-query, and inquisitiveness, boating on Yamuna and touching the auspicious soil on the bank of Yamuna.
The Boats were full of devoted passengers.
The Yamuna that was the epicenter of unending, infinite divine-pastime of Radharani’s Sri Krishna, the Yamuna where divine pleasure-trip were conducted on boats, the Yamuna that witnessed Rai’s everlasting secret sojourn with a plea to fill up her pitcher, the Yamuna which was the place for eternal safari; in that blackish water, there floated a column of boats one after another. The autumn morning was agog with the loving chanting of ‘Glory to Radharani’s’ by the devotees. On the swaying boats every body and souls were pleased and contended. Dancing and devotional ‘Kirtans’ were performed on the boats. Tapas Bandhu Brahmachari was dancing and singing under an emotional spell.
Boats were sailing for almost one hour or so; passing through many islands here & there, along the swirling course of the Yamuna. Far-off one could see villages and hamlets, farm land full of mustard plants and birds like parrots, mynah, suk & sari. On the slanting slope of the river sides, there were the colonies of turtles. Squirrels were running to and fro. In the clear azure sky, white swans, as though, were extending their greeting calls.
At one spot along the shore-line, the boat-riders could locate bushes of white ‘Kunda’ flowers. Their minds were fully charmed. The garland made of ‘Kunda-flowers’ was Sri Krishna’s very favourite one.
The river cruise came to a halt at the ghat where Deohari-baba breathed his last. He was also famous as ‘Baba on Scaffolds.’ The lead-boats contained the life size portraits of Prabhu Sundar and Sri Gurudev Mahanambrataji. Tapas Bandhu and another Brahmachari, lead the way along with those divine portraits to Sudama-Cottage. The picnic was arranged thereonly.
Instead of the hermitage of Deohara Baba, the picnic was arranged at ‘Sudama-Kutir.’ On reaching ‘Sudama Kutir,’ ‘Radharani’s-Kritan’ was started. Radha-Krishna must have performed their divine-pastime over here too. Back-tracking thousands of years, we reached that time-immemorial date and all those astonishing moments swayed in our inner-consciousness. Bhagwan Dasji, the Chief Priest of Sudama Kutir, narrated some emotionally-charming description about the greatness of that pristine place. According to him, this place was very much attractive to the tourists. Every year large number of tourists visit this place. Many eminent persons like Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi have come over here.
A large tract of land, full of trees, creepers and shrubs, laden with flowers and fruits; this place was exquisitely beautiful in sun and shade. Bhagabandas said, that this place was on the Vrindavan side bank of Yamuna. It falls in the jurisdiction of 84 miles journey. ‘Man-sarovar’ was hardly two kilometer away from here. Being emotionally passionate on Sri Krishna, Sri Radha cried at this place. Her incessant tears caused this lake and hence named ‘Maan’-sarovar. It is a very sacred place. Here only Sri Krishna consoled Rai and pacified her.
There after, was Math Gaon. Vrindavan is only 4 KM. away from here; and Math-Gaon is only 10 KM after. Krishna, mischievously broke the earthen pots of curd & butter; brought in by the Gopinis. And those curd and butter only fell over here. ‘Wood-Apple three-forest’ is also nearby this place, where Lakshmi temple is situated.
About 12 KM away from Sudama-Kutir, there was ‘Bhandari-Van.’ Here the divine-pastime of ‘Maha-Raas’ was enacted. ‘Gopeswar Mahadev’ – himself arrived there to witness the ‘Raas.’ Gopis, on guard-duty, naturally prevented Shiva to enter. But even after putting obstructions, Gopis advised Shiva to take the garb of ‘Sakhis’ for entering that place. But Krishna, could sense all such tricks. And both Krishna and Mahadev smiled mischievously. ‘Mahadev’ enjoyed ‘Maharaas,’ and where? - at Gopeswar temple by the banks of Yamuna. Every evening, candle light worshipping is performed there. When offerings are paid, Mahadev, accepts that in the form of Gopni.
With emotionally enchanted heart and while watching Grain-silos, cowsheds, meadows & greenfries, it was time for breakfast. Then we enjoyed the midday meal of the picnic.
The sun was about to set. Under the shade of sun’s mellow glow the boats were on their return trip. Birds were flying back to their nests after traveling across the blue firmament. We were also on our retreat to Bandhu Kunj after traversing along the banks of Yamuna. We preserved an exquisite and unthinkable feeling along with us for ever.