All India Padayatra Returns After Month Long Break.

All India Padayatra Returns After Month Long Break.

All India Padayatra Returns After Month Long Break. 
By Acarya Dasa. The All India padayatra had spent almost a month in Navadipa Mandal. All the padayatris are so fully engaged in walking from one city to another during the year, that they do not have a chance to hear lectures or kathas from senior devotees. The padayatris therefore attended the sravan utsava[1] or festival of hearing in Mayapur which Acarya Dasa said was a “feast for our ears – we eagerly awaited this occasion throughout the year.” The padayatris also attended the Navadvipa Mandal Parikrama and took darsana of the various lilasthalis of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
On March 28th after spending almost a month in Navadvipa Mandal sheltered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we were back on India’s streets. The padayatris are full of energy and enthusiasm to continue with our mission of preaching and book distribution all over India. We now have 30 devotees in our party after having begun this leg of the padayatra in ISKCON Chennai. After our month long break we experienced a malfunction with our tractor. When the tractor is not in use, the wheels are removed. Now that we were ready to continue on our journey we had attached the wheels onto the tractor again. After traveling about 10 kilometers the wheels of the tractor came loose and a few of the book cartons that were loaded onto the tractor fell – but by the mercy of the Lord no one was injured and the books were not damaged. We managed to repair the wheels and continued with the journey.
This year the Tamil Nadu branch of the ‘Back to God Magazine (BTG)’ printed 40 000 special issues in the Tamil language in honor of the All India Padayatra. After reading this issue many people became aware of this wonderful padayatra that travels all over India, and our achievements. The magazine interviewed the padayatris, and I being the padayatra leader gave them further details. The magazine featured articles about padayatra, the realizations of the padayatris and the various preaching activities of our party- and on the front cover of the magazine was a picture of our Lordships, Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar with the padayatris. There are about 30 000 BTG members in Tamil Nadu, all of whom received a copy of this special issue and our party also distributed 10 000 more issues on our travels. We were very encouraged and happy by the articles featured in the BTG magazine.
Summer has begun and our journey is filled with more hardships. People often wonder who these people are walking in the heat and scorching sun. We walk more than 15 kilometers every day. Sometimes we don’t get good accommodation and we are forced to sleep in the shade of tin roves where it’s very hot. The bulls who carry the ratha sometimes do not get cold water to drink and the padayatris contract ‘prickly heat rash’, an itchy rash of small, raised spots that causes stinging or prickly sensation on the skin. The chances of sun stoke are also high. When we walk the hot wind blows but we are under the full shelter of Guru and Gauranga. We do not care about this body and we leave everything to the Lord – to please the Lord and our spiritual master we carry on with this mission without any hindrance. When Nitai Gaurasundar and Srila Prabhupada are on the ratha, how can we stop? They are our only shelter and They will take care of us, we are fully confident about this. As our Gurudev, Lokanatha Swami says, “A devotee should always be full of enthusiasm, he should be uttsahi (one should always be excited)” So we walk with these words in our hearts and everything becomes easy with his mercy. 
Sri Sri Nitai Gaursundar ki…jai!
All India padayatris ki………jai!


Author: ISKCON Outreach Committee

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