This year, 2007, the festival was observed in India on July 30. To make himself easily accessible, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja sat in four places – Mathura, Vrndavana, Govardhana and New Delhi – over a four day period (July 29-August 1).
Knowing Srila Narayana Maharaja to be a representative and manifestation of Sri Vyasadeva and Vyasadeva’s entire disciplic succession of self-realized spiritual masters, each day several thousand devotees, and especially in Mathura and Vrndavana tens of thousands, gathered to have darsana and worship him. Each day, around 8am, he would offer arati to all of the gurus in his line, to his diksa and siksa-gurus, his grand-spiritual master (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura), his great-grand-spiritual master (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) and to the entire disciplic succession up to Srila Vyasadeva and ultimately to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Their associates.
After that he sat on the Vyasasana until about 2 pm, at which time, on behalf of Srila Vyasadeva and his disciplic succession, he accepted garlands, gifts, pranami, and prayers. At that time he also gave his heartfelt blessings to all present, and to their families.
In each place the temple management made a very good arrangement for the guests to line up (although sometimes the temples looked more like a USA international airport arrival lobby) to see and make their offerings of gifts and garlands, and also to ask for blessings or initiation.
On the evening of July 30th, Srila Narayana Maharaja visited Gopinatha Bhavan, just next door to Sri Krsna’s famous pastime place Imlitala on the bank of the sacred Yamuna River, where the first two weeks of the annual Vraja Mandal parikrama will be hosted.
Srila Maharaja and the devotees present saw how, at one end of the enormous lecture hall, an altar is being constructed for Sri Sri Radha Krsna and Mahaprabhu. Srila Maharaja discussed with Sripad Gopinatha dasa, about the simhasana (throne of the Deities), cooking facility, and storage for the Deities' paraphernalia. After inquiring about the path for doing parikrama of the Deities, he took that path around the altar.
He then toured the area where the kitchen for the parikrama party will be situated, and heard about the managers’ plans for building rooms to store prasada and further construction.
Editorial Advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja, Sripad Brajanath dasa, Sri Prema-prayojana dasa
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