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White Rice and Shak Experience
Location: On the train to Navadvipa. By Swami Gaurangapada
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! While chanting the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga, and Hare Krishna, I went to the Shri Tota Gopinatha temple to see my most worshipable and beloved Deity of Lord Tota Gopinatha worshiped by Shri Gadadhara Pandita. Shrinivasa Acharya dasa from Mumbai was with me and one more devotee. When I entered the temple, I was chanting and deeply meditating on the pastime when Lord Nityananda brought the most finest white rice from Bengal for Lord Tota Gopinath and how Shri Gadadhara Pandita cooked it for the Lord with special shak vegetables and how Lord Gauranga could smell the fragrance of this offering from Gambhira and rushed to Tota Gopinath for honoring the Prasadam.
At that time while chanting, a deep and wonderful fragrance of this maha prasadam of Lord Tota Gopinath entered into my nose and I felt goosebumps all over my body. I could understand that the Holy Names have the power to reveal every aspect of the Lord's pastimes. The Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna are touchstones fulfilling all my desires.
While chanting, I could hear Lord Gauranga telling Shri Gadadhara Pandita, "O Gadadhara, Lord Nityananda's rice, your cooking and Gopinath's maha, and you did not invite me? Why Why Why? Anyway I have come without invitation to join you in this feast." As I was chanting mentally with my tongue moving a little but not the lips, I could feel Lord Gauranga present in the main hall of the Tota Gopinath Temple. I took some deep breaths as if trying to inhale the fragrance of Lord Gauranga divine body and that of Lord Gopinath's mahaprasadam and fill my consciousness fullly with it.
Then while deeply chanting, I looked at the form of Lord Tota Gopinath and I could see His lotus eyes so open that He was stunned in ecstasy and He trying to blow the Holy Names of Shrimati Radha in the flute and inform Her about the night meeting place and pastimes. I becamse stunned to see this. The Holy Names were again showing me that Lord Gopinath is not stone, He is there playing the flute. His flute is so so enchanting. While chanting, I could easily meditate on Lord Tota Gopinath's flute for hours if not days. Then I began chanting intensely and felt the strong urge to sing some kirtana loudly but some devotees were chanting verses of the Gopala Sahasra Naam so I became more absorbed in my own chanting.
Shri Tota Gopinath is the most divine and special place in creation, most ideal for bhajan. When I go there while chanting the Holy Names, I always feel the direct presence of Lord Gauranga, Lord Tota Gopinath, Lord Nityananda, Shri Gadadhara (Shrimati Radha) and I can see Lord Advaita also dancing there in bliss. I thanked Gopinath for giving me the realization of the glories of His maha prasadam. I kept on chanting and looking intently at His face and Lord Gopinath showed me His lotus face of Lord Gauranga like He always does. He is Gaura Gopinath. I remembered how Shri Shri Radha Ramana in Vrindavana manifested from one Shaligrama and became one in front of the lotus eyes of Shrila Gopala Bhatta Goswami as Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
I was meditating like this while chanting the Holy Names constantly. And lo and behold! The greatest miracle happened. The new mahanta of Tota Gopinath Krishnadasa Maharaja and the head pujari came and requested us to sit down. And they brought some empty leaf plates. And I could not believe the next thing which happened!!! They came with pots of white rice and shak (spinach) just like what I had meditated during my chanting. The offerings of Lord Tota Gopinath has just come out. This was the last rice offering till Ratha Yatra. I immediately had profuse tears in my eyes. I could not believe that the mahaprasadam which I had the divine fragrance of during my chanting meditation was actually right in front of me. I could not honor it immediately as I could not see due to the ecstatic tears in my eyes. This was the first time I had the good fortune of tasting Gaura Gopinath's rice and shak. I could understand that Gopinath has been merciful to us as the mercy had come to us due to His causeless desire. The taste of shak as we ate defeated the greatest nectar of the heavenly planets. Oh I can become an insect in Tota Gopinath temple to taste this maha prasadam daily. For this one time, I threw away my vow of not eating grains which I am following for more than two years now. How can I refuse this divine Gopinath mahaprasadam which I have been meditating on for months and years while chanting? So please remember all devotees, all perfection and all desires will be fulfilled by chanting Nityananda, Gauranga, and Hare Krishna. Never ever doubt this even for a moment.
Oh when I will get the supreme Mantra Siddhi in chanting Nityananda, Gauranga and Harinama and can directly participate in these divine pastimes! I went to Gambhira, Siddha Bakuka and Sarvabhauma Math and had beautiful chanting realizations there but I will talk about them some other time. I am very enthused by the feedback of devotees to my last realization so I keep on writing these realizations. Please keep your mercy coming to me through your feedback and realizations too.