BY MADAN MOHAN DAS
It was not an accident when Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke the following words.(Siksastaka Verse 2)
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
When any activity is undertaken there are many thoughts, plans and actions that go into it. Many times we have the notion that the results of our activities depend on how well we execute these plans, actions etc. This notion was completely smashed by Mahaprabhu on the 21st of Septmember 2008 when the devotees experienced first hand, the purport of the above verse.
It was a Sunday morning as the devotees gathered to continuously chant the holy names of Krsna for a complete 12 hours time period, starting at 8am in the morning and ending at 8pm at night. Seeking the blessing of Srila Prabhupada the kirtan session began with Sri Guru Vandana, at this point there were only a handful of devotees. Right after glorifying Srila Prabhupada the devotees then started chanting the holy names of the Lord.
The main focus for the session was laid out as follows:
1. There should be no distractions while chanting the holy name
2. Krsna was to be remembered at all times when chanting
3. Srila Prabhupada was to be remembered for giving us the holy name.
These three were the focus points for the entire session. The devotees were constantly reminded of these points as the program unfolded. The program which started with just a handful of devotees grew to a huge entourage of devotees. As the chanting of the holy name intensified more and more people started coming in. As the kirtan heightened, the most amazing thing happened; Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai Ji arrived completely catching the devotees off guard. H. G Pushpagopal prabhu very lovingly carried the deities in; it was as though The Masters of the Holy Name had come in to directly reciprocate with the devotees who were calling out to them. It was simply wonderful.
The devotees then conducted another type of kirtan, and that was to hear from Srimad Bhagavatam. The devotees were naturally attentive to the topics of Bhagavatam after hours of chanting. Srimad Bhagavatam cemented the power of the holy name as the devotees carried on to chant the holy names right after Bhagavatam class. In between kirtan devotees honoured Bhagavad Prasad. At every juncture devotees constantly kept themselves in touch with Krsna either through kirtan, Bhagavatam or prasadam.
The kirtan continued as people thronged the temple. At about 6pm the temple hall was filled with about 300 people. Devotees briefly explained the glories of the holy name and continued chanting intensely. Some devotees split themselves into groups and went out to distribute flyers, inviting people to join the kirtan. The people who had come in to join the kirtan danced in unison with the devotees while chanting. Everyone was completely at ease, without any form of tension, hankering or anxiety.
As the kirtan came to a close, devotees started prasadam distribution. Waves of people rolled in to receive the mercy of Krsna. A total of 800 prasadam plates were served. It was truly an amazing sight to behold; the mercy of Mahaprabhu was so clearly evident.
The entire program was a huge success, and the formula was simple. The devotees planned to chant, their thoughts were on the chanting of the holy names and their action was to keep chanting. In this way, the entire program was complete with the Lord being personally present to oversee everything.
Jai Hari Nama Sankirtan Yajna Ki Jai!
Jai Srila Prabhupada Ki Jai!