Amol Katkar Prabhu, Rahul Prabhu, and I reached Parbhani (in the Marathwada area of Maharashtra) by bus on the 20th of June, 2007 for the wedding ceremony of Purushottam Prabhu. It was nice to be travelling with Amol Prabhu. That way I did not have to spend time with childish non-devotees. Purushottam Prabhu was very very happy to see Amol Prabhu :-)
After the ceremony, the three of us went by auto to Pokharni where there is a very nice temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead -- Lord Sri Sri Laxmi Narsimha Dev! Almost everytime I go home to Nanded, I go with my parents to Pokharni. All along the way (its around 17Kms from Parbhani) we were loudly singing kirtan. It was quite a nice experience going in an auto on the highway looking at the vast tracts of farmland on either side. The weather was also pleasant.
There was a rush in the temple. Someone was getting married and they had come to Pokharni with all the others to take blessings from Lord Narsimha. The Deity Darshan Room is about 4ft by 3ft I guess! Ya, its very small. Also, the entrance to it is about 3 feet high I think. One has to squat to get in. The Darshan of Lord Narsimha is typically a bit difficult :-) After taking Darshan we recited the Narsimha Prayers loudly (though our voices were overridden by the general noise all around of the marriage parties). The few people who were close to us were looking at us with what I would term as mixed surprise and admiration. "Who are these well-dressed guys who look to be from some city far away from Pokharni? And what brings them here? And how is it that they love Lord Narsimha so much?" Perhaps these were the thoughts running through their minds :-) And ya, two more nice things. One -- there was a frame of our (ISKCON) famous Lord Narsimha painting, the one that is on every alter of an ISKCON devotee. And two -- there was a partially remover sticker of the MahaMantra with the pictures of Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari! How They reached there (around 500 kms from Pune) that They only know!
The way back from the temple at Pokharni was a bit quiet. Partially because now we did not have the Darshan of the Supreme Lord to look forward to and partially because I had gone into that mood of contemplating on the immeasurable good fortune that Srila Prabhupada had bestowed upon us all. This short trip was proof that it doesnt matter where on earth you are.. if you are immersed in Krishna Consciousness, you will be ecstatic.
Looking at the wide open fields with cows and bulls and birds and small ponds and farmers and plantaions of papaya and so on... I was in a blissful mood not saying too much but just yearning for the time when I would actually realise:
"... ito Narsimha, parato Narsimha,
yato yato yami tato Narsimha,
bahir Narsimha, hridaye Narsimha..."
And then I started thinking about Gauranga! I wanted the call out His name loudly. Just as one calls out a name at an echo point expecting it to be answered back. Just like one would call out for ones lost friend in the wide open spaces crying out from the bottom of ones heart full of expectation and desperation hoping that the friend will respond....