Go to HOME page

Go to the “Other News Page

Pilgrim's Diary - Saying Goodbye to Puri
By Vipramukhya Swami

CHAKRA (Jagannath Puri, India) - February 25, 2001 (continued): Well, as you can see, the new Internet Service Provider works. Better than VSNL, in fact. It's a different company. I was even able to browse the web and take a look at CHAKRA. I was surprised to see these Pilgrim's Diary stories are occupying the whole home page.

It's a little past 5 in the afternoon. I'm sitting on the roof of the Birla Guest House. On my left I can see the top of the Jagannath Temple. In front of me is the ocean, and to my right is the fading sun - perhaps another hour or hour and a half before sunset.

I can see Mahavidya walking out to the ocean from here. He's got a bead bag in his hand, wearing swimming trunks and a white t-shirt. He's just reaching the water's edge now. He stopped, looked at something in the sand. Now he's walking and chanting. A big black bull is walking by on the road in front of the beach. He made a deep grunting noise. It is windy and cool - almost cool enough for a sweater. There are some sailboats out on the choppy water. They are fairly primitive looking crafts from what it looks like. The wind is making the water choppy today. I see white caps far out to sea.

On the way back from the ISP place, Mahavidya (who came with me) and I stopped at the place where they burn the dead bodies. In India, cremation is the most common form of funeral. But in Puri, cremation means building a fire outside and burning the body in a rather primitive and simple setting. We saw them burning someone's body today. His legs were clearly sticking out of the fire. Mahavidya pointed out that people would walk through the cremation area as a shortcut to go to the ocean, as if nothing unusual was going on. I saw this myself. A couple, man and wife, came strolling through right by the burning body on their way to the sea. It just seems like an ordinary thing to these people. Amazing. The Indians look at death in a different way than I do, perhaps because of a strong belief in reincarnation from childhood. I took a photo of the simple cremation, but I think I'll spare our CHAKRA readers of having to see it.

February 26, 2001 - my last full day in Puri. By this time tomorrow, if all goes as planned, I should be in a taxi on my way to Bhubanesvara. This will be my last day of sending daily Pilgrim's Diary stories to CHAKRA.

I know I promised I would document my trek to the Himalayas in search of Salagram Silas along the bank of the Kali-Gandaki River, and I definitely will do that, but obviously while I'm there I won't be able to send daily e-mail stories to CHAKRA. There's no e-mail in the Himalayas. Rather, my plan is to keep a written Diary record, with photos, and send it all as one big story when I get back.

Whether that will happen when I get back to Mayapur, or whether that will happen when I get back to England, time will tell.

I don't know how many readers have been following these daily updates on CHAKRA, but I have tried to give you a verbal picture of what it's like to be in Jagannath Puri, especially for those who cannot come here for one reason or another.

A cow walks along the beach in Puri in the early morning before sunrise.

I am sitting on the beach again. There was no electricity this morning. I woke up in the pitch black, and had to use my "torch" (flashlight) to brush my teeth and take a shower. Now again I am sitting where Lord Chaitanya bathed Haridasa Thakura's body. It is a little windier today than previous mornings. The sea is choppy, but the waves are no bigger than usual.

Thank you, Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra, for allowing me to stay the last 9 nights in Your Holy dham. Thank you Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for allowing me to visit Your sacred room called the Gambira at Kasi Misra's house. Thank you for allowing me to chant under the Siddha Bakul tree and pray for benedictions there. Thank you for allowing me to have a carving of sad-bhuja, Lord Chaitanya's six-arm form carved out of a broken branch from that very Siddha Bakul tree.

Thank you Lord Tota Gopinath for allowing me to have your darshan. You mercifully sat down to assist your devotee Gadadhar when he thought it was getting difficult to worship you in his older years. Lord Chaitanya ended His pastimes in this world by entering into Your body. You kindly give darshan to everyone, including the Western devotees.

Thank you Lord Nrsimhadeva just outside the Gundica temple, for allowing me to have Your darshan yesterday. Thank you Radha-Kanta, the deities at Kasi Misra's house, for allowing me to have Your darshan again.

Thank you Srila Prabhupada for revealing the importance of the Holy Dham to the devotees. I am a most insignificant disciple of your divine grace. Please bless me that I may give up all my anarthas (unwanted desires in the heart) and surrender fullyto you.

Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share my realizations and experiences here with you. I have kept this daily diary mostly for you, and partly for my own purification as well, selfish though I am. I hope that you have enjoyed reading the experiences at Puri. I hope you have learned a little bit, and I hope that you also will one day visit here as I do each year.

This man struggled over choppy waters to get his log boat in the water this morning.

I'm watching these two fishermen on their log boat trying to get over the breaking waves. They didn't make it and they were pushed completely back to shore. Now they're going to try again.

Two sadhus walked by on the beach. One is wearing plain cloth, the other saffron. They have sacks over their backs and look detached from the world. They are wandering, and must have come here from a long way off. There are many such transcendentalists that visit Jagannath Puri.

9:45 AM

We went to the Tota Gopinath temple at around 7:30 AM. There was a small group of ISKCON devotees there and we held a kirtan. Now I'm back at the Birla. I'll take Jagannath Prasadam one last time this afternoon. This is probably the last time you'll hear from me until I get back from the Himalayas, and possibly until I get back to England in the middle of March. Hare Krishna.

© CHAKRA 26 February 2001

Go to the “Other News Page

Other News
You are here
Book Distribution
Book editing (changes)
Child Abuse Page
Current Events
Earlier Topics
Letters from readers
Links to important sites
Poison Issue
Ritvik theory
SP disciple database
Temples (issues)
Traveling Swamis
VNN Page
Women's Page
Youth Page

Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

© Copyright November, 2003 by oldchakra.com. All rights reserved.

For information about this website or to report an error, write to webmaster@oldchakra.com