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The new chapter of the Vishoka's book #3 on Jayananda

A Great Mystic Power

Jayananda performed superhuman activities .. Jayananda possessed a great mystic power. Those Ratha-yatra festivals would not have happened without Jayananda. He was empowered by Krishna to do superhuman feats that made Ratha-yatra happen ... even when the situation seemed impossisble. Especially the New York Ratha-yatra in 1976, which Jayananda considered to be his crowning glory and the perfection of his life. At first he was not going to build the carts due to a bad back, but he got swept up into the service and agreed to do it. The New York temple had no money and Adikeshava Dasa said that “Srila Prabhupada doesn't trust us,” meaning that it was “iffy” in Srila Prabhupada's mind whether they could do it or not. [Taken from: “The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur”]

Dasaratha-Suta Prabhu: I remember being driven around in an old beat-up car with Jayananda at the wheel, careening crazily through the chaotic traffic-jammed Manhattan streets to chase down various parts and supplies at Hardware stores or machine shops. If you've ever been to Manhattan, you know how wild the taxi drivers are – well, Jayananda just fit right in with their driving style and expertly zig-zagged in, out, and through the hurtling masses of passionate and unruly vehicles. I was a bit apprehensive of his sudden swerving, dodging and dramatic starts and stops, but since he was always talking about Krishna and chanting, I guess I felt in good hands. He used to take me out and go on excursions like that, and it became obvious that he had been an experienced taxi driver in the past.

Frequently Jayananda would take a few of us out in the old beat-up bread truck, scouring the streets for any useful building materials that were freely available. There was no gas pedal in that truck, so the driver had to have a string hooked up to his right big toe in order to gun the gas. The windshield wipers also didn't work, so if it was raining the front passenger had to pull on two strings, one going out the right window and one going out the left. They went around to the front and were attached to the dead windshield wipers, thus being activated by pulling left, right, left, right. Sometimes Jayananda would spot a dilapidated old railroad car just loaded up with planks or four-by-fours. Waiting until nightfall, we would skulk around with the truck and pack it full of the “free” wood. If it was a plentiful stash, we would come back and raid it again and again. We never thought of it as stealing, since the entire railroad yard was quite abandoned and the stuff we were taking had every chance of just rotting away uselessly. Jayananda always had his principles carefully worked out. He was impeccably honest, but there was a side of him that was almost like a mischievous, transcendental thief in the sense of happily pilfering tons of otherwise useless materials to be used solely in the Lord's service. [Taken from: Remembrances of Jayananda Prabhu, New York Ratha-yatra, 1976 by Dasaratha-suta Das]

At first, Jayananda and devotees just drove around and around that area of town, and some devotee asked, “Why are we just driving around here all the time?” Jayananda was casing out the place. They were on a very low budget, so Jayananda made mental notes on where lumber and stuff just seemed to be laying around ... and then they came back in the dead of night for some discount lumber and parts. Sometimes this is known as a five-finger discount, and in devotee circles sometimes it's known as transcendental repossession. As everybody in the world is thinking, “This is mine, this is mine,” but the reality is ... that it's all Krishna's property. Always was and always will be. It was like Jayananda was saying to the New York residents, “My dear inhabitants of the Big Apple, please know that Lord Jagannatha already owns everything we see in this town ... actually He owns everything in the universe, we just forgot. And you may feel reluctant to freely donate, and so we guess that we'll just have to take some transcendental repossession of a few things for Lord Jagannatha's service ... and you will all benefit from it.” Jayananda gathered his materials by hook or crook. And sometimes (like his bhoga shopping) he could persuade some merchants to donate or give big discounts.

As for manpower, Jayananda would grab people off the streets or out of the temple – bums, hippies, lazy devotees – and get them to work day and night, even against their will. You just couldn't stop your lazy self from helping Jayananda, it was impossible. Jayananda's enthusiasm was a most powerful and contagious spiritual energy that spread and infected everybody around him. And carts that normally would take many thousands of dollars to build, Jayananda would just transcendentally extract all the materials and manpower from the very woodwork of the neighborhood, so to speak – and he would stir his transcendental cauldron with the ladle of his great love for Srila Prabhupada – and poof! ... there would magically appear out of thin air ... these wonderful and colorful and majestic carts for Lord Jagannatha! In this way, Jayananda pulled off a veritable miracle by building carts on a practically nothing budget. Who could imagine such a feat? But wherever there is Jayananda and his ragtag band of merry street urchins (and discount parts and lumber laying about), there will certainly be opulence, victory, and extraordinary power. And then these wonderful majestic carts will certainly be rolling down the streets of big cities with thousands of devotees loudly chanting and dancing all around them to bless everyone with the Lord's mercy. - Taken from: “The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur”