BY JEYANTHY PILLAI
KLANG, Malaysia – My son, Vinodh was so excited when he found out that the Guru Parampara deity installation would be done on his tithi birthday. He dressed up our Nitai Gaura Sundar deities the night before so that he could perform the mangala arati on his birthday. He is very attached to these deities. It is nice to see the blooming love he has for these deities. He was born on the disappearance day of Raghunatha dasa Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami and Krishnadasa Kaviraj Goswami. So he must have got some special mercy from the gurus. He was thrilled when HG Simheswara prabhu called him the Guru Parampara boy.
There was so much to do in preparation for the Guru Parampara installation. After seeing the lovely garlands that the devotees in Seremban and Butterworth made, I was inspired to also try my hand at making garlands. There seemed to be so much more beauty which the deities emanate when They wear garlands made by the devotees.
I had ordered orange and champagne colored roses to make the garlands. However, the florist didn’t get her supply of roses that day. I was feeling a little queasy thinking if I will ever be able to make the garlands I promised to make for the deities. I looked around the florist’s place and saw pink and blue pom-pom flowers. The florist said it was reserved for a customer but she had made some extra ones which had come along even though she didn’t order them. At that moment, I knew those extra flowers were meant for the deities and they must have planned it that way. I quickly purchased them along with some yellow daisies.
It took me quite some time to make Srila Prabhupada’s garland as it was the first time for me to make such a big garland. I prayed it will turn out okay. However, the daisy garland for Krishna was much easier to make. My whole family helped out. We made smaller garlands for the Guru Parampara but with the same colour combination as Srila Prabhupada’s garland. We then plucked petals of the remainder of the flowers for the ‘puspanjali’. After a couple of hours we still had some small flowers which we decided to make garlands for our own Nitai Gaura Sundar deities. They looked magnificent.
It took us a while to get to Klang. The traffic was really bad especially near the Klang bridge. We reached in time to give the garlands for the finishing touches for Srila Prabhupada and the Guru Parampara deities.
After the evening arati and kirtan, it was time for the much awaited abhishek for the Guru Parampara deities. The deities looked pretty real. They were made in Ujjain using optic fiber, the same material as the life size Srila Prabhupada deity. They are about 10 inches high and 6 inches broad. Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s small deities were dressed in saffron whereas the other 3 deities, Srila Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja were dressed in white.
HG Mahesh Advaita who had kindly donated these deities to Iskcon Klang was one the first few to perform the abhishek to these deities. As we waited for the deities to be changed, HG Simheswara prabhu gave us a lecture after singing the Guru Parampara song. He said in the early days, many gurus used to visit Iskcon Klang when they came to Malaysia, and it’s probably the reason why Iskcon Klang was bestowed the mercy of getting the first set of these deities in South East Asia. He talked about all the things that Srila Prabhupada had given us – deities, temples, Vaishnava attire, his books, bhakti, how to pray, how to cook, how to chant etc.
While the lecture was going on, the Guru Parampara deities were dried, cleaned and dressed in their clean outfits. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura even had his spectacles on this time. The deities were brought out and placed on the their little ‘simhasanas’ which were a perfect fit for them. The polished wood looked regal and majestic. After reciting the Guru Prampara pranati and other pranams, it was time for the ‘puspanjali’. And what a colourful night it was. The prabhus showered the blue petals on the deities while the matajis were given the pink petals for showering the deities. There seemed so much life in the air. The kirtan started again, this time making everyone jump with joy. Click here to see more
As we danced and sang to our hearts content, HG Mulakaranam prabhu who had come to take photographs of our deities remarked, “You were right in your website, people here are really simple at heart’. “You should come here more often, prabhuji”. I said. I added, “What I like about this place is that there is so much humility shown by the seniors, and that’s how they imbibe this mood in us. Perhaps that’s why the Guru Parampara have decided to come to Iskcon Klang to shower Their mercy”. And he said “Yes, Simple at heart, yet high in devotion”. I was delighted he felt the same way as I did.
I reminisced on the quotes about humility that HH Radhanatha Maharaj often speaks about.
Humility is ornament which attracts Krishna’s heart.
Theoretical knowledge cannot touch the heart without humility.
Beginning of all knowledge comes from humility.
Bhakti and humility cannot be separated like sweetness from sweet.
There is false humility and genuine humility, and between them there is a desire (by the practitioner) to become humble.
Fierce determination and gentle humility are the ornaments, which make attractive in the eyes of common people.
Humility is not part of devotional service. Humility is the heart of devotional service.
Humility is practical application of knowledge.
When we have opulence we get pride. But one opulence attracts Krishna – humility.
Should we take the risk of offending a Vaisnava for any of our own temporary feelings and prestige? It’s not worth it. We’ll get it. But ultimately we loose it all. This is co-operation. Never to offend devotees. Or to create a difficult tense atmosphere, simply for our own recognition. Because it is temporary. What the spiritual masters, the previous acaryas and all the Vaisanava world and Krishna will see is your humility, your sincerity, to do the very best you possibly can in the spirit of co-operation and service. And if we develop this wonderful consciousness amongst us, the temple will be an effulgent place. That will change and transform the hearts of so many people.