Gauradesh Yatra: Mentakab Retreat
Posted by iskconklnews on December 11, 2008
By HG Gaura Chandra Prabhu, Bhakta Gautam
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!
vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca kripa sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
Gauradesh Yatra organized a trip to ISKCON Mentakab temple on Monday the 8th of Dec 2008. The trip was very enthusiastically and expertly arranged by HG Krishna Chandra Prabhu. It was successfully organized to encourage devotees in their spiritual life and to benefit them by chanting and associating with fellow Vaishnavas. The events for the trip were planned and put into action by HG Gaura Chandra Prabhu. The theme was the ‘ABCD’ of Krishna Consciousness [A – Association, B- Books, C- Chanting, D – Diet Prasadam]. The focus for the day was on Chanting and Association of devotees.
The day started with all the devotees assembling at Sri Jagannatha Mandir in KL at around 7.30 am in the morning. We all had breakfast prasad in the temple by the courtesy of Talvan Prabhu before we left for Mentakab temple on the bus arranged. We started our journey with Narsingha Dev pranams, asking for the mercy and protection of Sri Narsingha Dev to make our endeavor pleasing to Krishna and the devotees. Then all devotees did japa in the bus for half an hour. Afterwards we did Vaishnava bhajans to invoke auspiciousness and the blessing of our dear Lordships Sri Sri Radhe Shyam. Then Mayur Prabhu conducted a spiritual quiz for the devotees about the sankirtan movement. Mayur Prabhu also rewarded the devotees with Maha Prasad in the form of Gulab Jamun to the devotees with correct answers. There was a lot of competitive spirit which helped devotees learn more as well as have a very spiritually enjoyable time.
We reached the temple as soon as we finished the quiz and were very gracefully received by the devotees of Mentakab temple. The reception team consisted of HG Sukhirupa Mataji and HG Tirtha Gautanag pr, both ex-KL devotees, who very humbly washed the visiting devotee’s feet with chandan scented water and anointed their forehead with nice chandan paste. The temple is situated away from city life and announced a lot of peace very conducive for spiritual life. We entered the temple with loud kirtan and were pleased to receive the darshan of Sri Sri Nitai Gauramani and Sri Balaji deities. They looked splendid and the temple itself had a special calming feel to it. The weather was damp and it was raining, but it did not affect the devotees’ spirits and we carried out loudly doing the bhajans for the pleasure of the deities.
Afterward we all settled down in the temple premises and then we had a very motivating class full of very beautiful examples on the importance of the holy name by HG Upendra Prabhu. Upendra Prabhu also gave us useful tips as explained by our acharyas on how to do japa and make our sadhana stronger. Upendra Prabhu gave the class in Hindi and Gaura Chandra Prabhu translated it in English. The class lasted for about 2 hours and Upendra Prabhu, calmly blissful as always, infused in us an eagerness to strengthen our sadhana and make our spiritual life successful for our dear ones and ourselves.
Then we had a break for lunch Prasad which was not less than a feast. Prasadam was taken care of by the Mentakab temple and was blissful, as is always the case with Krishna prasadam prepared with love and devotion. The trip also coincided with HG Krishna Chandra Prabhu’s wedding anniversary and he treated all the devotees with cake prasadam. We were received by the children of the Prabhupada’s Children Home in the Prasadam hall cum dormitory. The Temple President, HG Markandeya Rishi prabhu, then explained in detail the vision he has for his temple and other associated projects.
After finishing lunch Prasad we went back to the temple and had kirtan in the temple hall to keep us all awake after such a nice Prasad! Finally we had the concluding event for the day, which was another spiritual discourse by Upendra Prabhu on the importance of association. We ended our retreat with newcomers pledging to start chanting regularly and existing devotees pledging to do more japa rounds per day to strengthen their sadhana. Those newcomers who decided to chant on a regular basis were given complimentary beads. After the class we again had some light Prasad, courtesy Mentakab temple. The temple devotees also gave us pictures of Their merciful Lordships Sri Sri Nitai Gauramani and Sri Balaji as souvenirs from our spiritual trip to Mentakab. Then the recharged Gourdesh devotees got back into the buses and returned to KL around 7pm; all spiritually recharged to continue their service to Srila Prabhupada.
We would like to thank all the devotees who participated in this day retreat and especially HG Krishnachandra pr for his leadership and for being the main sponsor; HG Gaurchandra Prabhu for the organization, HG Upendra Prabhu for his deeply thought-provoking class on how to improve our sadhana, and Bhakta Mayur and Bhakta Gautam for organizing the quiz. Many thanks to the Mentakab devotees, especially HG Markandeya Rishi pr, HG Sukirupa Mtj and HG Tirtha Gauranga pr and the cooks for being such exemplary hosts.
Jai Srila Prabhupada!!!