Bhakta Prabhajan, part of His Holiness Lokanatha Swami Maharaja’s padayatra, recollects this once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is not a fairy tale but a true account.
“The news spread like wild fire. We were already attracting attention with our dress, bulls, cart, etc. and suddenly our padayatraparty, thanks to this “crazy” man, was a sensation in this small town near Allahabad.
As the padayatra takes six years to complete one full trip of the country, we couldn’t really recollect having met this man so many years ago. Others in the town, however, informed us that this gentleman had bought a Bhagavad-gita during our last visit here and as he began reading, declared he will observe mauna-vrata, a vow of silence, until we came back again. Now the town was abuzz with excitement, anticipating him to at last break his six-year silence. We were also informed that during this period, he followed all the regulative principles strictly, in fact keeping his association with his newly wed wife also to a bare minimum.
A huge pandal was erected and the whole town was there. Men, women, and even children filled the maidan to its capacity. We made the best use of being on center-stage by distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books by the hundreds. As the momentous hour arrived, he entered the podium with the whole crowd cheering him and showering flowers on him. He then delivered a fiery speech, speaking uninterruptedly for next four hours. He spoke nothing but pure Krishna conscious philosophy presented by Srila Prabhupada. If the audience was spell bound, so were we by the convictions and confidence that exuded from his talk. At one time of the speech, his mother made a dramatic entry and declared her guru to be God. This man, outraged by her audacity, roared back that this so-called guru of hers is a bogus mayavadi and, smashing the philosophy to shreds, he repeatedly quoted fromBhagavad-gita as it is.
A huge feast was sponsored by the town folk and we later left this place wondering what new surprises awaited us at our next destination.