Sri Krishna is the most personal and affectionate personality, the very embodiment of love. Anyone who serves him with true devotion is sure to have numerous wonderful and extraordinary experiences in his or her life, which makes one experience the love, care, support and encouragement of the Lord. H.G. Mukunda datta Prabhu recounts one such wonderful experience that he has had in the service of their Lordships Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Sri Radha Shyamsaundar in Iskcon Vrindavan.
At the time when he became the head pujari in 1992, the temple was low on monetary funds and owing to the fact that Vrindavan was not yet a popular destination among the general populace, there were not as many donations coming in. The temple had its own expenses to cover and therefore only 3 day dresses and 3 night dresses a year was what the temple could afford to get for the deities. These were times when all the temples in Vraja were rather simple and devotees would offer the best they could arrange, which was not always a lot. In the year 1993, it so happened, that there was just a month and a half left before one of the biggest festivals of the year, Janmashtami, and there were no funds to arrange for a new outfit for the Lords. Worried about the situation and understanding his total dependence on the mercy of the Lord, the head pujari went in front of the deities and prayed to them wholeheartedly. He prayed to them saying,”O my dear Lord! You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, complete with all opulence and the master of everything within the world. Please make some arrangement for an outfit.” Having explained the situation to the Lord, he carried on with his service, having faith that Krishna would surely make some arrangements.
Sure enough, two days later a Prabhupada disciple mataji, H.G. Lavanga Latika devi dasi, came and gave a donation for the deities, which to Mukunda datta prabhu’s surprise and bliss was the exact amount that was needed for the outfit. Blissful to have received the donation and thanking the Lord profusely, he made all arrangements for the outfit to be made and offered on Janmashtami. Although he had the faith that Krishna would surely arrange for something, this incident made his faith even stronger. This was the first time that he had experienced such a wonderful reciprocation from the deities but it was surely not the last. It happened on a few other occasions that the devotees came and gave the exact amount required for making a dress for an upcoming festival. At other times, devotees would come and ask if anything was needed in the service of the Lord, and when informed that a dress needed to be sponsored they immediately provided the required donation.
Now, after more than two decades having passed , the deities are offered around 20-25 day dresses and 10-15 night dresses in a year, many of which get booked months before the festival. Certain devotees are steadily sponsoring dresses every year for a certain festival. Despite the financial strain and uncertainties due to the Corona virus pandemic, the deities were offered almost as many outfits in 2020 as in any other year.
This year, once again a festival is coming up and due to the unpredictable situation caused by the Virus, a donor who had promised to sponsor the outfit for Nityananda Trayodashi is unable to do so, and there is an opening for anyone who would like to sponsor a dress for the pleasure of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai on the auspcicious occasion of Nityananda Trayodashi. If you would like to perform this magnificent service for Lord Nityananda, please write to us at [email protected] .