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Puri Dhaam and Tsunami
By Swami Gaurangapada
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! As I began chanting on the first day of the English Calendar New Year of 2005 (our New Year is on 25th March 2005 - the Most Holy Appearance day of the Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu), I was intensely pleading at the two lotus feet of my Lords Nityananda-Gauranga, to please grant me more and more taste for Their Holy Names. My only desire is to not only to behold Their forms in meditation while chanting Their Holy Names but also to dive deep into Their pastimes.
My ashram is located just 100 metres from the sea and you could hear the ferocious sound of the gigantic tidal waves so very close to you in the night. Due to the absorption in the Holy Names, I was sitting at around 12 pm in the night at the lotus feet of my Deities of Nityananda Gauranga and I was so happy and was even ready to embrace the Tsunami tidal waves if they come to Shri Puri Dhama because they would give me the rare chance to die in Shri Puri Dhama chanting the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna which is not even available to the demigods.
Suddenly at that time while chanting when I looked at my Lords Nityananda Gauranga, I heard Them speaking to me. They are very tall and imposing and They assured me not to worry at all. They said that since They are there in my ashram, no Tsunami wave has the power to even touch the ashram. I told Them that this is not what I want from Them. My only desire is to die in the Dhama (Their Abode) while uttering Their Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga. Namacharya Shrila Haridasa Thakura disappeared from this world in Siddha Bakula in Shri Puri Dhama while vibrating the Holy Name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya while holding the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga on his chest and beholding the lotus face of Lord Gauranga with his eyes. I know I cannot achieve such an extreme good fortune as I am very very insignificant compared to Shrila Haridasa Thakura but at least I can embrace the feet of My Deities of Nityananda Gauranga and vibrate Their Names in Puri Dhama at my last breath.
They told me that I have to live more for spreading Their Holy Names and Pastimes and I felt so reassured because it meant that They are accepting and recognizing my insignificant service of single-handedly trying to preach Their Holy Names on one insignificant planet which is within one insignificant universe among the zillions of universes in Their own creation. That was it and as I kept on chanting I could not hear Them anymore but still I felt Their strong presence.
Someone told me the next day that the Tsunami waves had come 18 miles off the shore of Puri Dhama and were disperesed and redirected just like the whirlwind cyclone in 1999 and I was not at all surprised. In the Padma Purana, Lord Krishna has told Lord Shiva: ananta brahmanda kale jakhana samhare, tabu se sthanera kichu karite pare..."Even at the time of the Elemental (Prakritika) Devastation on this material creation after every 311 trillion years (100 years of Brahma) when all the zillions of universes in this material creation enter the body of Lord Advaita MahaVishnu, Shri Puri-Gambhira Dhama is not even touched."
There are four types of cosmic annihilation—occasional (Naimittika), elemental (Prakritika), continuous (Nitya) and ultimate (Atyantika) described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.7.17. At the time of the Elemental Prakritika Annihilation, there will be no rain for 100 years and drought will lead to famine, and the starving populace will literally consume one another. The inhabitants of the earth, bewildered by the force of time, will gradually be destroyed. The sun in its annihilating form will drink up with its terrible rays all the water of the ocean, of living bodies and of the earth itself. But the devastating sun will not give any rain in return. Next the great fire of annihilation will flare up from the mouth of Lord Sankarshana. Carried by the mighty force of the wind, this fire will burn throughout the universe, scorching the lifeless cosmic shell. Burned from all sides—from above by the blazing sun and from below by the fire of Lord Sankarshana—the universal sphere will glow like a burning ball of cow dung. A great and terrible wind of destruction will begin to blow for more than one hundred years, and the sky, covered with dust, will turn gray. After that, groups of multicolored clouds will gather, roaring terribly with thunder, and will pour down floods of rain for one hundred years. At that time, the shell of the universe will fill up with water, forming a single cosmic ocean. As the entire universe is flooded, all the elements will be gradually dissolved beginning from earth. Finally pradhana will be formed which is the sum total of the material creation and will enter the body of Advaita Maha Vishnu.
Lord Krishna states that even at this time, His Abode of Shri Puri-Gambhira Dhama is not touched or effected in any manner. So what can a Tsunami tidal wave which is very very insignificant in comparison do to Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama.
So let us make a resolution to determinedly increase the quality and our taste for chanting Nityananda, Gauranga, and Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, throughout this year of 2005 and not to miss our chanting for even one day for all the 365 days of 2005, and thus render the greatest benefit to ourselves and the whole world. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!