30.08.2011 by Nimai Pandit dasa
The Balinese people daily prepare many offerings, actually the whole island does puja, we named Bali Puja-loka. During our visit in Bali we noticed that the Balinese devotees have the natural ability to serve, are very humble and hospitable. They are expert in conducting festivals and their kirtana sounds like songbirds from the Gandharva regions. I had not been to such a grand festival and such a nice festival since the times when His Divine Grace Srila Acarya Thakura was personally on the planet.
The festival for the installation of Srila Gour Govinda Swami’s murti took place on the auspicious day of his Divine Grace’s appearance, which was the 30th of September this year.
The first part of the festival was a maha fire-yagna presided over by our godbrother Uddhava prabhu, who was assisted by four other priests (brahmanas). During the fire ceremony there was very nice kirtana being performed by the Balinese devotees in the background, which really set the mood.
After the fire yagna His Divine Grace’s murti was moved to the centre of the pandal where a maha-abhishek was performed. Thereafter His Divine Grace was dressed and placed on his vyasasana where the cloth around his eyes was removed. There was Gurudeva, in all his divine splendour. Many could feel his divine presence there at the festival.
During the installation of His Divine Grace the Balinese kirtaniyas began singing:
paramananda he madhava
anande bolo hari hari
Gurudeva’s song. When we heard this I feel everyone went, and to coin a well used colloquialism, “a little misty”. Then they began to chant Jaya Acharya Thakura, Jaya Acharya Thakura, Jaya Acharya Thakura…! This just set the mood brilliantly.
As far as the importance of the murti of the spiritual master is concerned Srila Prabhupada has said:
“…The murti of the spiritual master should be treated as good as the Deity. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih, kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. The guru should be treated as good as God. This is stated in all the sastras. The difference is that God is master-God and guru is servant-God. So the installation ceremony for such a murti should be similar to that done for other Deities…” (from a Letter of January 29, 1976)
Therefore we can only conclude His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami is now residing in Bali and the pujari for His Divine Grace is our dear god brother Isha Avatar prabhu, who looks after Gurudeva very nicely and we feel that Gurudeva is in good hands.
All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Acarya Thakura Gour Govinda Swami.
All glories to the Balinese devotees and thank you for hosting such an amazingly wonderful festival, for making us feel welcome and for making it possible to glorify our divine spiritual master.
Your lowly servant,
Nimai Pandit dasa