Dandavats and Pranams to one and all.
Today is Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharajas disappearance day. In the morning the devotees gathered to hear glorification of this great saint. During that time there was a brief Darshan of Srila Gurudeva on the TV screen. Later in the morning the Chinese devotees began there melodious 12 bar kirtan and kept singing for what seemed to be the entire morning. Meanwhile the rumors swirled around the compound about Srila Gurudeva giving a darshan at his door this morning. As the rumors became confirmed but the time was not yet clear the devotees started to gather in the plaza in front of Srila Gurudeva's door. The devotees were all joining in with the Kirtan of the Chinese devotees. As the rumor circulated all the rooms in the guest house began emptying out and the plaza was becoming flooded with more and more devotees.
First Madhava Maharaja appeared at the door alone, there was a brief uproar followed by a little disappointment. Madhava Maharaja then made the devotees move back from being too close to the door and too far up the stairs. Madhava Maharaja then returned to the room and closed the door. The suspense increased. The devotees were still gathering in the plaza and chanting and waiting with great anticipation for the appearance of their Srila Gurudeva. Suddenly the doors swung open and the devotees started shouting SRILA GURUDEVA KI JAYA!!! JAYA GURUDEVA!!! As Srila Gurudeva appeared at the door the devotees became ecstatic. Srila Gurudeva's back was straight, his head erect, and he was holding up his hands up with his own strength. His beaming visage, vitality and strength were very apparent for all to see, Srila Gurudeva was definitely improving.
Some devotees were offering their bead bags to Srila Gurudeva for him to touch and he began to beckon them to come closer. Madhava Maharaja told them No do not come closer. Srila Gurudeva then patted his hand on Madhava Maharajas body and said no I want them. So Srila Gurudeva beckoned them again and Madhava Maharaja arranged for the bead bags to be brought to Srila Gurudeva by one of the guards. Srila Gurudeva happily blessed them with his hand and then returned them. A few times Srila Gurudeva raised both hands above his head and waved and offered blessings to all the devotees. In return the devotees raised both their hands up in the air and Shouted JAI SRILA GURUDEVA!!!!
Then someone brought a portable microphone and speaker up to the stairs. The mic was tested and the devotees were waiting in great anticipation and excitement to hear Srila Gurudeva speak formally to the devotees for the first time this Kartika. Silence gripped the plaza and you could hear the proverbial pin drop. Srila Gurudeva began saying a few words in Hindi. At first very softly and inaudibly. As he went on his voice some gained strength and he spoke a little more audibly but still it was difficult to hear him clearly. However it was pure nectar to hear the words emanating from his lotus mouth even though most of the devotees could hardly hear him and practically no one could understand a word.
The gist of the address was to thank the devotees for coming to Vraja for the Karitka Praikrama, blessing them and telling them how fortunate they are for coming. Srila Gurudeva then invited them to come to Navadwipa Praikrama and next years Vraja Mandala Parikrama. Madahava Maharaja translated it into English after that. I will have an exact translation for you later tonight so that you can read exactly what he said. Things are looking up and the devotees are hopeful that Srila Gurudeva will continue to make progress and continue to guide us and bless us to be better and better devotees for some time to come.
B.V. Bhagavat Swami