Written by Nanda Priya Devi Dasi
After a wonderful Radhashtami festival and the 45th Sanyasi Anniversary celebration, HH Srila Jayapataka Swami is spending his days here at his home, Sri Mayapur Dham. Srila Jayapataka Swami is the longest standing sanyasi within ISKCON, in terms of the number of years and the second longest standing sanyasi in the entire Gaudiya line as of now.
In the evening of Radhastami, Srila Jayapataka Swami gave out initiations to about 700 devotees! It is always a sight to see devotees receiving their beads, with their faces full of glee. Patiently Srila Jayapataka Swami handed over the beads, one by one. You can imagine how long it took to select so many names. Every name is given time and is looked into with great detail.
Due to the hectic program, second initiations were given out on the 22nd.
On the 23rd, they had arranged a Skype meeting for Srila Jayapataka Swami regarding an upcoming project in Mayapur. The development of the whole city of Mayapur is certainly one of the busiest ongoing projects. The managers here at Mayapur often seek guidance from Srila Jayapataka Swami, who personally oversees these activities and gives his valuable inputs.
On the 24th, Srila Jayapataka Swami spent a considerable amount of time at the TOVP office enquiring about the work progress, donations, and donor care. Afterwards, he inaugurated two new Sankirtan party buses. Amidst all this, Srila Jayapataka Swami gave darshan to the devotees, engaged them in various services, and kept their hearts totally charmed. It is also very inspirational to see how he never fails to have darshan of their Lordships every single day.
On the 25th morning, Srila Jayapataka Swami had breakfast along with the Congregational Development Ministry staff. They were excited since the menu was decided by him. After the feast, he spoke to them about their services. To the young staff who were present there, Srila Jayapataka Swami said in a strong voice, “Youth power: now you can make a revolution!” Like this, he is always a fountain of encouragement for everyone who gets in contact with him. I couldn’t fail to notice the importance Srila Jayapataka Swami was giving to the CDM and its activities. Preaching is after all the essence! After breakfast, Srila Jayapataka Swami gave out initiations to Madurai devotees over Skype. Srila Prabhupada would give initiations through letters to his disciples. Considering his own delicate health, he chose to give out initiations over Skype. After that, Srila Jayapataka Swami was administered albumin for the rest of the day. Although he was on his bed, he didn’t fail to continue his other activities. He was answering emails and meeting devotees. One should never forget all the physical disturbances Srila Jayapataka Swami is still facing and should continue to pray for him and render as much devotional service as possible.
Today is Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s appearance day. Srila Jayapataka Swami went to the temple hall, performed puspanjali, and was trying to hold on to the lotus feet of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. It was indeed touching to see this. On this auspicious occasion, Srila Jayapataka Swami addressed 5000 devotees from Medinipur District of Bengal. This was an assembly of devotees from only two districts in Bengal! HH Gauranga Prem Maharaja, a senior sanyasi disciple of Srila Jayapataka Swami, heads the Namahatta here in West Bengal. It is done so meticulously and follows the system given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. These 5000 devotees are such simple-hearted Vaishnavas, mostly Grihastas and totally in love with Srila Jayapataka Swami. One of the devotees from the Namahatta told me, “Just seeing Guru Maharajais enough for us. We feel we have no qualification to approach such a great personality. We are grateful to be his disciples.”
“Please chant Hare Krishna, eat Krishna prasad, do kirtan, do devotional service and go back to Godhead.” Srila Jayapataka Swami said in his lecture. The program ended with Nadiya Godrume Nityananda Mahajan!!
All glories to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.