04 November 2006

Kartik Diary 18

The Ocean of Lord Caitanya's Mercy

Sri Guru Carana Padma
Vraja Mandala Parikrama 09

Dear Devotees
Jay Jagannatha!

The Indian Ocean is really great, mighty and awe inspiring. This is true particularly now as we are heading towards purnima or full moon. We went to the sea this afternoon but the waves are so mighty and huge that one cannot stand ones ground very long or enter too far into it.

The beach is sandy and flat but the waves are just too huge to swim. Once past purnima the sea will calm somewhat we have been told. Unfortunately by then we will have left Puri already. It should also be mentioned that the water is so warm and pleasant that one could easily spend hours on end in it. Jimmy went a bit too far into the breaking waves so the mighty sea took his glasses from his nose to claim it her property. Fortunately he has a second pair with him.

The ISKCON Temple in Puri

After our bath in the sea and some deserved rest from the odorous train journey we ventured into town centre to visit the ISKCON temple with its beautiful Radha Krishna deities and a deity of Lord Caitanya. However, there were only a few devotees present. Next we headed towards Lord Jagannatha's grand and famous temple which has been standing there for countless centuries.

On our way through the busy and narrow alleyways of Puri we passed many shops, ashrams and temples, some of Durga and others of Kali etc. till we finally spotted Lord Jagannath's chakra and flag reaching majestically into the calm evening sky. It looked like they were touching the clouds. It is the very same chakra which Lord Caitanya worshipped when spotting it from a distance on His first journey to Puri.

A Glimpse of the Jagannatha Temple in Puri

It is also the same chakra crowning the dome of Lord Jagannath's temple to which Haridas Thakur daily offered his respectful obeisances from a distance as he was not allowed to enter the temple because he took his birth in a Muslim family. Rupa and Sanatan were both equally excluded due to accepting service in the Muslim government of the day. As Westerners we are also not permitted to enter Lord Jagannatha's temple. We therefore feel in good company.

Jagannatha Swami Ki Jaya!

With love and affection,

Your servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

Gauranga Sundara Das


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