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3.67 

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Pandaripur- my experience
Jun 05, 2005 12:18 PM 16409 Views
(Updated Dec 08, 2006 04:09 PM)

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I went to Pandaripur sometime in the month of May 2004. I went there by RTC bus from Hyderabad. It was a long journey for about (if I remember it correct) 8 hours. Though I was sitting in an ordinary bus (not super deluxe) that too near the driver’s seat, surprisingly I was not tired by the time I reached Pandaripur. All along I was simply chanting the maha mantra ’’ hare krishna hare krishna , krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare ’ . May be I was doing this on experimental basis or may I have a belief. I can not say because I am an ardent Shiva devotee. I never worshipped Krishna. There is no idol of Krishna in my house. None of my family members worship Lord Krishna. But somehow I developed this interest to go to Phandaripur. My brother went there long,long back may be 10 years ago and I remembered about his description of the rude behaviour of pujaris, and that simply occupied my thoughts and it became a bit obsessive when I reached there. I do not know it is because of the ’’hare krishna’’ I was chanting , it seemed to me only one or two hours at best three hours but actually 8 hours passed and I finally reached Phandaripur when it was raining. It was a hot summer actually. It was hard for me to search for a good hotel. It was still drizzling and I was getting wet and my boots were filled with water but my search for a hotel did not end. Wherefrom I have got the strength I did not know. The only hotel which was air-conditioned and was also neat was very near to bus stand. It was something of an experience. The hotel fellow says that I must vacate the room early in the morning 7 am. I asked why I should. If it for 24 hours I must be allowed to stay until evening 9 pm. He told me that was fine , but I should vacate because the room was booked. I came telling him that I could not accept such a condition even though I would not likely to stay after 7 am next day.I entered and exited through many other hotels where even ankle deep water was logging in the courtyards. Finally to cut short the story I came back to nearest the bus stand and the first hotel you would see from the bus stand. I went in and from entrance it self a cow was coming out. The reception was on the first floor. He gave me a room , I think, Rs.200/= which was totally dirty and bed sheets totally ridden with all types of ’’marks’’ on them. Fan will not go to high speed , and light will not be brighter , all because of power shortage. I threw away those nasty bed sheets ,put my own which I bought and took a bath ( I had to flush out the toilet and cleaned bathroom throwing water). Finally I came out and hired an auto rickshaw to the temple. He said Rs.10/= and I said ok. Rain was still there but only a drizzle. It was a small town and water was logging even in a chow Rasta. Auto fellow finally took me to the temple and told me to get down. The moment I gave 10/= he disappeared. Thereafter some Brahmin boys sitting near the temple told me ( they were kind enough to tell me ) that I was actually on the back side of the temple !!. I should take a complete circle in the drizzling rain to go to the main entrance of the temple. I had no option and I got wet again. The moment I entered one priest came and enquired with me weather I should do special worship and ablutions. I told ’’no’’. He began to chant out various rates pujas. I just went inside. The ’’murthi’’, the idol , of Lord Vittala , an incarnation Lord Krishna is to be seen to be believed. There is something in it. Lord Krishna is in standing position with his two hands on either side of his waist. I was taken in by him. Still I thought I was a bit preoccupied by the priests there. They stood there very near to the Lord himself and devotees are putting garlands and pujaris take them out ,facilitate another one to put garland on Lord Krishna. Somehow I suddenly felt that it was very quite and I was in a dream. The priests when they saw me as much as opposite the Lords’ idol they began to ask ( or pester ?) do I need to do a special worship. One priest even because he was not getting a clear view of me went over the shoulders of other priests and was asking me. You can see the greed on their faces. You need not have high IQ to understand that they do those ’’pujas’’ very mechanically. That entire priest standing inside sanctum sanctorum like those you see in volleyball ground and shouting one over the other ’’whether you need special pujas etc ’’ is an incident you may not believe even after my clear description. After coming out I felt that I did not pay attention to the Lord Krishna and I must go again. I felt bad that I paid attention to the priests. I felt that in my nervous I did not bow and touched the Lord’s feet. After coming out by the time 10 pm or 10:30 , I tried to find a nice hotel to eat. I could not. At some hotel finally when I sat down to eat it was dirty and the food ,the rice, was so cold that I could not eat. I got up to wash my hands ,the basin was so ugly that I could have vomited. But near the lodging was a Tiffin hotel and I ate some Tiffin’s and went for a sleep in the room all the time thinking about a darshan next day. I was worried about the rush. I decided to get up early in the morning to go to the temple and I learnt that it would open 5 am in the morning. Suddenly while it was still dark I felt that someone pinched me telling me to get up. I woke up instantly and there was no one except that slow moving noisy ceiling fan and myself. I went to bath room ,had a bath and walked straight toward temple. This time I did not take an auto. I reached the temple , and I entered the temple. I was just walking inside the temple towards sanctum sanctorum and I could see the Lord now. His face was bright. There were hardly a group of devotees inside. And then I turned back. It was very surprising. Hundred of devotees suddenly started coming and by the time I was very near to the Lord , I looked back and found there was an extreme rush just behind me. They were pushing over each other and the whole queue was tightly packed inside the grills. This time I did not turn my attention towards the priests. Yet I had to see. A devotee , a woman bowed on the feet of the lord and the priest put his hand on her hips to tell her to move. I felt that he even rubbed his hand slightly. I bowed before the Lord and this time touching his feet to my satisfaction. I looked at his face and suddenly I felt he understood me. As usual the priests over there ,many of them inside ,falling over each other , asked me if I want to do any special pujas. I ignored them and walked out. After coming out I realized that I did not buy a garland and did not put one to adore the Lord with my garland. So I wanted to go inside again. I went to the entrance. There near the entrance a Muslim boy was selling garlands. I bargained one and lifted it up standing in the direction of deity. I suddenly lost that burning desire to go inside and to adore the Lord with my garland. And the Muslim boy was telling if you enter the temple now you will take so and so time to come out. I put back the garland. I looked back to a building on the left side. It was multistoried building and it was queue shed. The people inside the queue in the building ( the queue is from inside the temple to inside that building and that too multi storied ) making noise just as would hear near a poultry form. I came back to bus stand and at enquiry counter he was nice gentle man. He told me that to a direct bus to Hyderabad would take long time because your state ( Andhra Pradesh) bus has left early in the morning. He advised me to take a bus to Pune and from there I could get any number of buses to Hyderabad. That was a nice advice and it worked very well.


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