Today morning, Krishna Chandra offered his help and I accepted, even though he stubbornly refuses to shower in the morning, for peaceful relations purposes. I prepare the chandan and the Lords’ wash cloths for Krishna Chandra, he bathes and decorates Them while I prepare Their breakfast offering. When I returned with clean puja thali, he was still applying the chandan on Radha Raman and Banke Bihari when he yelped, “Oh, Mommy, did the Lord just blink? I saw it, They’re eyes just blinked at me!” My eyes widened as I remembered similar incidents with Their Lordships and asked, half skeptically, “Who blinked at you?” “They did. Them. They scared me.” as he gestured toward my two sets JBS deities. “Oh…” my voice trailed off and I stood there stunned, not knowing exactly what to say, “did Lord Jagannath scare you?” “Yeah,” laughingly “They really scared me. I think They’re trying to move. They want to talk to me.” Hmm… I still didn’t know what to say but I took his word for it; Jagannath Baladev Subhadra and I have a history of strange pastimes and I wondered exactly what was going on. Several times, crowns, turbans, jewelry, cups and spoons have moved, disappeared or been thrown from the altar… I suspect it was Jagannath but I can’t prove anything. Usually, Lord Baladev starts laughing hysterically like He’s having some kind of fit when I start interrogating Them about it while Jagannath remains utterly still and silent. I convince myself that I’m just hallucinating or losing my mind then dismiss the incidents. After this incident, Chandaneswar prabhu arrived and we were getting ready to pick flowers and perform Tulasi arati when Krishna Chandra approached me again, “Mommy, I can’t finish Their chandan.. I can’t handle Them easily. There are too many deities!” I asked him if he was frightened by Lord Jagannath, if that was the real reason he wanted to quit his service, “Nooo… I just can’t handle too many deities, its too hard.” I tried to finish up whatever he had left to do when I told Chandaneswar prabhu what happened earlier and to ask Krishna Chandra about it. I noticed everything was already finished, KC was little but fast; I only had to offer the fruits, flowers and water and do Tulasi puja.
Lord Balaram with Gada
Chandaneswar prabhu asked me what was for breakfast, “I was thinking to make either blueberry pancakes or kichuri, we still have a lot of blueberries left over...” He suggested kichuri would be better, I could make a jam with the berries since we had to stop by the market later this afternoon anyway, I could pick up some pectin at the same time. Great! Everything was settled and he started making kichuri while I did finished puja and Tulasi Maharani’s arati ceremony. During breakfast prasadam, we reminisced about Vrindavan kichuri, achar and dahi breakfasts. Shyamkunda prabhu joined us and talked about the superiority of Vrindavan kichuri over all other kichuris, “I don’t know why but Vrindavan kichuri always tastes… great.” and his voice trailed off. I could tell he was deep in contemplation of Braja Dham. Then Chandaneswar prabhu brought up the kichuri festival of Govind Ghosh in Agradwip, West Bengal and retold the story of Gopinath and Govindo Ghosh. As Chandaneswar prabhu spoke, I noticed his body became covered in goosebumps and the hairs on his limbs were standing up, as if he was immersed in an ecstatic emotion. I quickly looked back up and tried to ignore it when I caught Shyamkunda prabhu was also staring very deeply at Chandaneswar prabhu’s condition. I could tell Shyamkunda prabhu had also noticed the symptoms of ecstasy overwhelming his body, covering from the top of his head to waist area.
Puja thali with fresh garden flowers
If you ever find yourself in West Bengal, make your way to Agradwip for Govinda Ghosh’s disappearance day festival, when Lord Gopinath performs the pindo-daan and shraddha ceremony as if He were Govindo Ghosh’s own son and hear the full story behind this festival for yourself. There is a short version here at Srila Govinda Ghosh's Disappearance from ISKCON Desire Tree but you really have to hear about it in the Holy Dham for the full effect ;)
Well, I received the new Back To Godhead magazine a few days back, so I have some reading to catch up on… but I did remember to take photographs this morning. You can see more at Jagannather Lila album.