Damodara Yatra 2012 - A report from Balaramdesh

A report on Damodara Yatra 2012 in Balaramdesh

For days I was contemplating on which book will go with the Damodara Spiritual Kit for the year 2012 and suddenly it flashed to me that “Krishna” written by Srila Prabhupada would be the Book for the Damodara Yatra 2012. Immediately after this, I went to Ekeswara Govinda Das to consult with him and he immediately agreed on my choice and also consented to import 1000 nos of this book from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Mumbai. We then, with the help of HG Veera Krishna Das, imported 2 nos of this book and Ekeswara Govinda Das Prabhu submitted them to the concerned ministry to obtain the approval from the Government Authorities. We received the approval after almost a month and then we started communicating with BBT authorities in Mumbai and after almost another 1 month, we placed an order for 1000 nos of these books and Ekeswara Govinda Prabhu’s younger brother who owns a shipping company in Mumbai, collected these books and sent them to Balaramdesh and then started our preparations in right earnest for Damodara Yatra 2012.

Damodara Yatra preperations are always very laborious and stressful and all these troubles just vanish into thin air, the moment the festivities of the Yatra commences. The month of Karthik in Balaramdesh is a very festive and joyous one and you can actually feel the excitement building up as it approaches and this time around the preacher leaders and the participants were indeed very charged up as “Krsihna” book was being distributed to all the households we would visit. Our God brother HG Rasaraja Nityananda Das made ready the beautiful Photo frames of Yashoda Krsihna and the 2 x DVD’s, one of Iskcon festivals and another containing around 500 nos of lectures. Along with this, we included a Damodara booklet comprising of Damodara Ashtaka, Temple Arati songs and other Bhajans, and our Iskcon Bahrain brochure. All the above with some dry prasadam comprised of our spiritual gift pack.

My team comprised of my God brother HG Jagadeeswara Chaitanya Das, his wife HG Rangamayi Radha DD, and their children Hari Gaura and Sudha Subhadra and another devotee couple Bharath and Reema Naik and their 6 year old child, Taksh. Jagadeeswara Prabhu is an expert in booking houses and in just 4 to 5 days of effort, almost the first 1 and a half weeks of slots were all filled up. We used to visit 2 houses on working days and 7 to 8 houses on weekends. On working days, we would start at 7 pm and complete 2 houses by 10 pm and most of the days, prasadam would be offered in the second house. On weekends, we would commence at 7 am and would complete 5 or 6 houses by 4 pm and then would once again start the second session at 6 pm and would complete the two or three houses by 10 pm.

I had difficulty sitting on the ground for long time due to my chronic low back pain and once the yatra commenced, I discovered that the pain was gone. Like this, we persevered and completed 103 houses in one month and looking back, we are amazed that we were able to do it. As the yatra came to a close, the number of people calling us to book increased and we had to off load some of the houses to the other Yatra preacher leaders. It was an exhilarating experience to meet so many of our devotees and well-wishers, wonderful altars, nice prasadam and giving away the nectar of Damodara katha and the message of Bhagavad Gita. We all felt privileged to be part of this wonderful Damodara Yatra, which was the vision of our beloved Guru Maharaj, H.H. Jayapataka Swami, who out of his causeless compassion has gifted this wonderful program to deliver the people of this Kali yuga in millions by giving them an opportunity to offer an Arati to Lord Damodara Bhagavan.

 

The duration of the Damodara program was around 75 to 90 minutes and in some cases would even extend to 105 to 120 minutes depending on the interest of the host and his guests. The program comprised of the following :

  • Settting up of a mini altar
  • A small Arati
  • Jaya Radha Madhava Bhajan
  • Narration of Damodar Leela and glories of Karthik
  • A brief explanation of a shloka from Bhagavad Gita
  • Ghee lamp arati to Lord Damodara Bhagavan with recitation of Damodara Ashtaka
  • Narasimha Prayers

The following are the details of the Damodara Yatra 2012

  • Number of teams : 31
  • Total number of devotees participated : Around 160
  • Number of houses visited : Around 815
  • Number of people who performed Arati : Around 7000
  • Total amount of donation collected for temple : BD 11,773.360 (US $ 31,146.00)

The names and Email addresses of the new households whom we visited have been included in the mailing list and all the activities of the temple will be notified to these people encouraging them to visit our temple.

The following is a list of team leaders who conducted the Damodara yatra:

  1. Udara Kirti Chaitanya Das (Temple President)
  2. Sumadura Chaitanya Das (Temple Vice President)
  3. Raganuga Bhaktiman Das/ Jagadeeswara Chaitanya Das
  4. Ranjana Hari Das
  5. Varada Gopal Das
  6. Krishna Bhadran Das
  7. Chitta Hari Chandra Das
  8. Sahishnu Krishna Das
  9. Vraja Narayana Das
  10. Satchidananda Govinda Das
  11. Sridhari Madhava Das
  12. Gopijana Krishna Das
  13. Arjuna Keshava Das
  14. Sundara Kania Das
  15. Pawan Nimai Das
  16. Nandasuta Govinda Das
  17. Subhudhi Nitai Das
  18. Karuneswara Keshava Das
  19. Mangala Ras Das
  20. Suchisrava Krishna Das
  21. Rasika Govinda Das
  22. Kirtanesha Krishna Das
  23. Mridula Govinda Das
  24. Sakha Gopinath Das
  25. Srivas Pandit Das
  26. Dayanidhi Shyamasundar Das
  27. Parthasarathy Parameshwar Das
  28. Krishna Kripa Das
  29. Damodara Deva Pawan Das
  30. Dinanath Giridhari Das
  31. Sarathy Govinda Das

Many devotees have worked tirelessly for the success of this Yatra in preparing the Damodara Gift packs, logistics, booking etc. It would not be possible to name all of them here, however, there is no doubt that Guru Maharaj’s blessings will be bestowed on all of them for advancement in Krishna Conciousness.

Last but not the least, we are once again offering our humble obeisances and thanks to our beloved Guru Maharaj’s feet for empowering us to provide an opportunity for so many people to perform Arati for Lord Damodara Bhagavan.

 

Aspiring to be a dust at the lotus feet of our beloved Guru Maharaj

Raganuga Bhaktiman Dasa

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