Flood of Mercy in Dalhousie

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Dandvat Pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

In January 2010, our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami, out of his causeless mercy accepted me as his disciple and named me as Sumedha Krishna das and since then, he has been constantly guiding us and taking care of us, in spite of his apparent physical absence from the world. Since I serve the Indian army, I get posted to various places. In December 2010 I got posted at Dalhousie located in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the famous tourist places in India. In the army, we can hardly meet devotees. So we (my wife Vinaysheel devi dasi and I) were suffering from a disease called 'No Devotee Association'. It is a disease which a devotee does not want to even think of in dreams. Reminded of Maharaj's instructions, we made sincere endeavours to chant our rounds, read Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam and perform daily Mangala-arati very sincerely. We prayed to Maharaj, Srila Prabhupada, and Krishna to help us and by Their mercy, I was able to tell people under my command about the four regulative principles – no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling, no illicit sex. It was easier for most of them to accept the last two items but not the first two. In the army, meat and liquor are given free of cost which brings maximum people in that category. Most of them understood why they should follow these principles. After four months of starting Krishna conscious programs, the number of meat-eaters reduced from 60% to 5%.

Bereaved of the devotee association, we went to the South in the month of May to meet a few of our God-brothers and God-sisters who inspired us a lot in practicing devotional service. Boosted by their association, we decided to conduct house programs. In reality, we are not capable of preaching to anybody, but by Maharaj's mercy, we were able to start Sunday Feast and Wednesday Rukmini Sabha classes. In Sunday Feast around 25-30 jawans started coming and in Rukmini Sabha conducted by Vinaysheel devi dasi 20-22 wives of jawans with children were coming. It all started on 19th June 2011. There is a very beautiful verse in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu verse 1.2.234.

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ

Therefore material senses cannot appreciate Krishna's holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord's holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is.

Our beloved Maharaj always says, "Do unalloyed, unmotivational, unintentional, fully dedicated seva to Krishna and after that He reveals you in no time. He is always there with you. Just do seva to become devotee." Slowly and slowly, just by hearing and chanting and eating prasadam, jawans and their families became very much devoted. They started bringing prasadams from their houses. Around 60 Bhagavat Gitas were distributed amongst them in all the different regional languages. I could personally see the drastic changes in many of them. One person who just could not live without meat (pure non-vegetarian) started hearing and singing Hare Krishna song the whole day on mobile by his earphones. He started taking prasadam and eventually gave up eating meat to everyone's astonishment. One of them said that his child never used to listen to him, but after taking the name of Krishna, he is completely changed now. One of the jawan was suffering from diabetes for many years. He got so much frustrated that he had stopped taking diabetic medicine also which was supposed to be taken every day. He started eating prasadam at his house after attending the Sunday feast programmes. After four months when he got himself checked, he had no sugar at all. All glories to Sri Krishna Maha Prasadam! One of the families even left eating onion, garlic, and got Laddu Gopal Deity at their home and started worshipping Him properly. Most of them have started chanting one round daily and some of them are chanting 16 rounds. HDG Srila Prabhupada always says, "Krishna Consciousness is dormant in everyone’s heart, you just need to awaken it." We could realize this practically because, without any past experience or our own endeavors, all these souls have taken to the bhakti process so naturally.

Two months of continuous Sunday feasts and Rukmini sabha continued. Now was the turn to give our gift to Lord Krishna. We all decided to celebrate Krishna Maha Janmashtami in a grand manner but space was less. We had a very small temple in the company (a subunit in the army). Somehow (by the transcendental energy of the Supreme Lord) I was ordered to shift the temple from that place. It was difficult to choose a new place in Dalhousie as the place is very congested, being a mountainous area, so we had no choice but to shift our company items from one of the fully packed garages to another place and convert the same into a temple. Janmashtami was only 10 days away. The main problem was finance and nobody was ready to help us as they had other things in priority. Then there was a flood in Dalhousie, the flood of the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna, HDG Srila Prabhupada, and HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj. The people of Himachal are very fortunate to have this flood. By Krishna's mercy, one of the contractors who was doing construction in one of the buildings nearby was ready to build the place. We started with making a stage for the altar, then the tiles, ceiling of the garage, painting of the temple, etc. All this got completed in around 7 days. Indeed as Srila Prabhupada says in purport to verse 3.31.18 - "By the transcendental energy of the Lord EVERYTHING is possible."

One of them suggested that we should have a big altar and deity for the temple from Rajasthan. The same person volunteered and went to Jaipur, Rajasthan and brought Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities for the temple. We could realize that if Krishna wants to come, no one can stop Him. Now we were thinking how to celebrate Janamashtami. Everybody decided to donate Lakshmi for the Lord. We were only 40 people in the company at that time and the total collection went upto Rs 25000. The Deities came on 20th August and Deity Installation was done on 21st August will full josh. We felt as if Maharaj is actually present in Dalhousie and getting it all done. We were thinking of naming this temple. We thought a lot and then with the help of one of the senior devotees we named Their Lordships as "Sri Sri Radha Govinda ji" and the temple was complete in all respects now named as "Sri Sri Radha Govinda ji Mandir". This temple is our humble dedication at the lotus feet of our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj and His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

On 22nd August 2011 morning, Janmashtami day, Mangala arati was done which was attended by more than 60 people. Thereafter we all were busy in decorating the temple, deities, preparing prasadam and we felt so good. The Janmashtami programme started with the reading of Bhagavad Gita from 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm followed by Abhishek of deities, kirtan, discussion on the appearance of Lord Krishna, and arati till 11:59 pm. Hare Krishna maha-mantra was very loudly and very beautifully sung by the devotees. The environment was completely Krishna conscious and everybody was very happy. Then Lord Krishna appeared at 00:00 hrs and Sri Sri Radha Govinda ji gave Their gorgeous darshan to everybody. Everybody had prasadam thereafter and the programme continued till 02:30 am.

We pray to all the Vaishnavas to please bless us and also pray for us so that we continue to serve Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Govinda ji, Srila Prabhupada, and Srila Gurudev in a manner pleasing to Them. 

Sri Sri Radha Govinda Ji ki Jai! Srila Prabhupada ki Jai! Nityaleela Pravishta Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj Ki Jai!

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sumedha Krsna das
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh.