How to describe the feelings of joy, hope, and gratitude that were shared amongst the fortunate gatherers at Madhuvan to celebrate the glories of Sri Nitaichanda? It was as if the all-merciful crest jewel of avadhutas gracefully danced his way between the banana groves and pineapples of this lush land of honey sweetness, inundating all present with a deep sense of love and commitment to the seva of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
A hive of activity soon formed following mangala-arotika as devotees began cooking, decorating, and preparing for the abhiseka. Being the root of the devotional serving identity, Sri Rama Nitai was enthusing all to take full benefit of this precious opportunity to dedicate and grow. Abundant milk and cream generously delivered from the cows ensured a sumptuous feast and auspiciousness was further attained by the arrival of the young calf Gita. The atmosphere was truly that of Navadwipa with banana and coconut palms adorning the walls and streams of mango leaves ornamenting from above. Such natural wealth of Madhuvan Dhama is only increasing with each year.
By 8.30 am Guru Maharaja eagerly sounded the temple bell signifying the resuming of sweet kirtans for the pleasure of Sri Nityananda. As one deeply enriched by the love of Nitai, Guru Maharaja poured all his emotions and enthusiasm into the first song, “The Song of the Broker,” by Thakura Bhaktivinoda. Awed at the great magnanimity of Nitai-raya, Guru Maharaja shared with gusto, reaching his arms out and inviting all to come partake of this sweet mercy—boro doyal Nityananda! There is no shelter without Nitai’s lotus feet—Nitai-carana vina ar nahi asraya! Guru Maharaja had so much fervor that he changed the refrain from Khoda-Nitai to Doyal-Nitai, loudly exclaiming his allegiance and gratitude.
As we continued our praise of the great vendor of the Holy Name, we remembered how Nitai’s request is so easy and cheerful—all that is required is our faith and enthusiasm. Giving up what is unfavorable and adopting a compassionate disposition, all can abundantly reap the bounty so generously offered by Nitaisundara. Soon the kirtan arrived at the dancing stage with devotees losing all sense of shyness. Sripad Ashram Maharaja really took us to another level and appeared like a caped hero soaring high above, enlivening all in his wake. Oh how ecstatic!
Soon followed Guru Maharaja’s class where he elaborately described how Nitai-Caitanya are indeed our two beloved Lords of Madhuvan, Dauji Gopala, and how they have come to afford all the opportunity for the wise love of Vraja. He explained how the mercy of Nitai is extended to the present day through the empowerment of Srila Prabhupada and naturally his close successors. How fortunate we are! Who will not take advantage of such generous grace?
The morning’s festivities were exuberantly concluded with a spectacular feast, Madhuvan style! Those that know Madhuvan know what they have missed. A variety of devotion-laden preparations filled each devotee’s banana-leaf plate, most appropriate for such a celebration. Everybody relished the feast and each had his or her own favorite. Was it the curd subji? Or was it the pakoras and chutneys? Was it the huge samosa? Or was it the cake or sweet rice? I guess you should all come see for yourself. As Madhuvan’s festivals get larger, so too do the loving exchanges. There is plenty of space here for all in Sri Madhuvan. Jaya Nitai! Jaya Dauji Gopal!