Here is a heavy sadhu in Varanasi named Hari Prasad Kemka. He is working
65,000 shaligram with his devoted wife. Below she is reading before the
deities a book only with the Hare Krsna maha mantra written in it. Daily
100 liters of water are poured over Their Lordships and some of the caranamrta
is poured over the two tulasi plants gardens outside this altar room.
10 workers are used daily to grow and trim tulasi for the daily 6 inch tulasi blanket of that covers the Lords. Any guests who come will be served a liter stainless steel glass of either of milk or yogurt, according to personal preference.
Not any ordinary gardener??? When I arrived I showed my beautiful Hayagriva sila with wavelike chakras, that was hanging around my neck and Hari Prasad took him from me and to my amazement placed him on the top of the subji in a big bowl at the present offering. When Hayagriva had finished the meal along with the Rest, He was given back to me and He was quite warm for some reason(smile). We noted later on how the subji had some mean chilis in it also.
So the Shaligrams were obtained by both helicopter visits to Damodhara Kunda and purchases in the market places. When discussing this, that it was an offense to buy or sell, his reply was this" Well true it may be a great offence to buy, but I had to obtain my Lords somehow or other because all my life I wanted to worship Sri Shaligram in a grand way and if I go to hell so be it I don't care, I am always with my Lord...my Lord will have to come to hell with me!"
There was this one devotee from Argentina, Lilamadhava (second row far right with long loose hair), who wanted to get up to 108 shaligrams for his puja. He begged from Hari Prasad for some silas. Hari was very firm..."No no no" over and over again. "I have not given one sila away for over 25 years". But Lilamadhava kept persisting him saying "Don't you realize if you give sila then more will come...just one out of your 65,000 (by the way 5000 of the silas are Shiva lingams).."Again Hari said no. I was amazed at the persistence of this boy. I would never push another in this way, knowing full well I don't like others trying to extract silas from my care...Hari Prasad said "If my God speaks to me then I will give...right now He is not telling me anything. Lilamadhava said "Ok I will come back to night after you return from work and then let us discuss further".
You may note that in this picture there are many red silas and sadly enough Hari Prasad's 30 year old son who was going to take over the sila worship died 6 months ago...Hari Prasad and his wife were getting older.
When the boys returned that evening they met Hari Prasad with tears in his eyes, saying "My Lord has spoken" and he began to give silas freely to all who were present. With tears in his eyes he said " I have never done this before". He said looking at Lilamadhava" If you build a temple here in Varanasi, I will give all of them to your care and keep only a few for my personal seva". Whoa!!!
Amazing... so now Lilamadhava is planning to build a house in Varanasi and serve These Lords in grand way....but these Lords will be worshipped in ISKCON. This man is a true sadhu and his promise is equal to his devotion. All glories to the Sri Krsna Sankirtan!
A further note that during our Ganga Safari 2005 led by HH Jayapataka Swami from Ekachakra to Ramakeli, Varanasi, Ayodhaya, Prayag, Allabhad and Rishikesh, many Sila Lords manifested to hungary sevaks. Who knows what may happen on future visits? The Lord seems to be making a special appearance in the present times.
Article written by Bhaktisiddhanta swami JPS
Tulasi that is offered daily
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