How many of you performed the parikrama yesterday. I could tell how you are all perfroming a kirtan of congregational coughing, which is certainly a symptom of your sincere parikrama yesterday. The unlimited glories of Krishna are non different than the unlimited glories of the hill named Govardhan. Just as Lord Krishna descended from the highest plant in the spiritual world Goloka, so did the forests of Vrindavan, Yamuna Devi and Sri Giriraj Govardhan. The Garga samhita tells a beautiful story of how Govardhan hill manifested in the spiritual world. Of course everything in the spiritual world is eternal without a beginning and without an end, but for the sake of lila there is incredible and often time inconceivable varigatedness for only one purpose which is the singular purpose of life for Krishna the supreme absolute truth to exchange love through his please potency and through his infinite parts and parcels. And for each part and parcel to taste Krishna’s love and to exist simply to offer love. This world which is a perverted reflection of spiritual world is place where people forgetful that the real objective of all love is the supreme soul the all attractive rasavihari Sri Krishna try to find satisfaction by reposing our need to find pleasure in the various temporary objects animate and inanimate within this creation, only to be inevitably frustrated.
Krishna tells in gita
punar ävartino ‘rjuna
mäm upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
From the highest planet in the material existence to the lowest they are all essentially places of misery because everything is temporary…janma-måtyu-jarä-vyädhi-duùkha-doñänudarçanam..who ever we are, we must pass through birth, old age, disease and death. Krishna is explaining form the perspective of the creator. We can have philosopher, poets, novelists, prophets, academic scholars, scientists write hundreds of millions of books about how this creation is working. But its achintya it is inconceivable. And the reason why it is inconceivable it is the manifestation of Krishna who is inconceivable ..oà pürëam adaù pürëam idaà..this phenomenal relative world, its source is Krishna and Krishna’s maya is ruling over this material existence
daivé hy eñä guëa-mayé
mama mäyä duratyayä
mäm eva ye prapadyante
mäyäm etäà taranti te
This maya is Krishna’s energy and she is all powerful. So Srila Prabhupada was very strong to repeatedly assert this point that if actually want to transcend the suffering of material existence if we want to go beyond the inevitable fate of the body which is death, we must receive knowledge from the source of all knowledge…
vedaiç ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedänta-kåd veda-vid eva cäham
Krishna says I am the compiler of Vedas and I am the knower of Vedanta, by all Veda I am to be known. Krishna knows every minute detail of how His existence is working vedähaà samatétäni…Krishna knows everything that has ever happened in the past of all the universe in all the creation. He hears every word, He hears thought, He sees every action of every tree every plant, He knows exactly how each grain and stone is moving about or not moving about. Krishna knows everything, He is in between every atomic particle and besides that nothing could happen unless sanctioned directly or indirectly by his energies. When Krishna is telling us in Bhagavad Gita how this material existence works its not someone else’s opinion its statement of creator. Therefore His words are absolute because He is absolute…éçvaraù paramaù kåñëaù sac-cid-änanda-vigrahaù…Krishna is the supreme controller of all controllers. He has three eternal features – His all pervading impersonal brahman which is the ultimate desitnation of those who seek the impersonal form of mukti feature. The Paramatma the Lord seated in the heart of every living being as our ultimate friend and benefactor. And Bhagavan whose body is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss, who is living in a spiritual realm where he invites all living beings into His beautiful pastimes. Kris means attraction and na means unlimited. Krishna means unlimitedly attractive. To the extent we experience even a drop of Krishna ‘s fathomless oceanic beauty, even the greatest pleasures of the world, Yamunacharya said, things we are all so attached to, he said even at the thought of it my lips curl in distaste and I spit at the thought. What is that spitting? Its not the spitting at the things of the world, its the spitting on the selfish egoistic motivation of wanting to be the bethe enjoyer, because the tendency of wanting to be the enjoyer is the source of all pain..
jïätvä mäà çäntim åcchati
Krishna tells in Gita, if you just understand these three simple principles you will be happy forever. Krishna is the propereitor of everything, then our greatest fulfillment is in utilizing who ever we are and what ever we have for Krishna’s pleasure and knowing that in every situation when we turn to Krishna he is always our most intimate and loving well wishing friend.
As Krishna is all attractive in Goloka his pleasure potency Srimati Radharani is all attractive. She is the ultimate source of attraction for Krishna. So Radharani Krishna and Gopis were sitting together in Goloka Vrindavan. Now before I tell the story another philosophical observation. Srila Prabhupada told us that one of the features of the spiritual world beyond the three modes of material nature is that time is conspicuous by its absence. But you read in scriptures how Yashoda mayi is waiting for Krishna with Nanda maharaj and all the gopis as They are out herding the calves through out the day. And when Krishna is with the gopis in the night the cows and the calves are waiting and dreaming for that moment, for the sun to rise when they will be with Krishna and all the gopas in the pastures again. So when we use the word when in the context of the spiritual realm, time is conspicious by its absence because the time of the spiritual realm is working under the power of yoga maya. In the material world Krishna showed time in its very blatant truth as virata rupa and Arjuna saw everything being devourved by this universal form. Krishna said “Time I am” By the power of time and for us in our relative tininess…when I give a lecture it looks like a really long time though its only a couple of hours. But the reality is that even the great Himalayan mountains, the rocky mountains, the swiss alps in just a matter of little bit of time they will be down to fine dusty powder. All the oceans will be utterly dry, the sun will fizzle out like a little match and all the planets of the universe disappear. Now from the absolute perspective all this happens many many times in the extent of the time when Krishna inhales and exhales as Mahavishnu. But in the spiritual world since everything is sac-cid-ananda, time is an energy of yoga maya simply to facilitate the rasas the sweet nectar of loving relationships between Krishna and the devotees and all the devotees with each other.
So one day, Radharani turned to Lord Krishna in the spiritual world of Goloka and said “My dear Shyamasundar if You are pleased with my love, with all the gopis love, if You are pleased with all the enchanting forests of Vrindavan and with our rasalila then I have one desire that I wish You to fulfill.” Lord Krishna smiled and said “what ever you desire is the love of My life.” Srimati Radharani said, “we desire that you create the supreme most pleasing place for us to perform our pastimes.” Of course we learn from Sri Caitanya Caritamrita that Sri Radha and gopis when they expressed their desire their only desire is Krishna’s happiness. They make themselves beautiful only for Krishna’s happiness. They are happy only because that makes Krishna happy. Some times in separation they cry only to give Krishna happiness, because what ever they do is simply an expression of love. “So please create a supremely enjoyable place for all of us to perform our pastimes.” Krishna smiled and said “so be it”, and then He turned his mediation, his full attention into the very core of His heart. Where He mediated upon the deepest essence of His own love. And that love manifested from Krishna’s heart in the form of a seed and appeared to be made of fire, earth and water and that seed entered into the ground where the rasa lila would take place and right in front of everyone’s eyes that seed began to grow. And within moments it became a hill and then a magnificent mountain with kalpavrksha trees by the millions and each tree bearing sweet flowers and fruits. There were waterfalls, lakes and birds singing. Seeing this the greatest joy came upon Radha Gopinath. And Krishna took Radharani by the hand and the gopis followed and they explored this incredible hill that was the manifestation of Krishna’s love and that was Govardhan hill in the spiritual world..
We read in Srimad Bhagavatam how Krishna promised to descend into the material world..yadä yadä hi dharmasya…Krishna expressed to Sri Radharani into the material world He was going to descend and He wanted her to descend with Him to reveal the pastimes of the highest expression of Spiritual realization of prema bhakti. Once in a day of Brahma 8billion 640 million years do Radha-Krishna appears from Goloka Vrindavan to manifest their pastimes. Very special! Sri Radharani told Krishna “I will not find much happiness without the forest of Vrindavan, Yamuna and Govardhan hill”, because these are Krishna’s favorite places. And these are so dear to Krishna because they are Radharani’s favorite places. And they are so dear to Radharani because they Krishna’s favorite places. Therefore these place are so ever increasingly giving happiness to Radha Gopinath. Krishna told Sri Radharani that the forests of Vrindavan, the river Yamuna and the Govardhan hill have already descended into this world to facilitate our pastimes.
The puranas tell how Giriraj descended from Goloka, just west of Bhartavarsha and he was the son of Dronachala. When he appeared every mountain in the whole universe realized that this mountain has descend from the spiritual world of Goloka and they all worshipped him did parikrama of Govardhan hill and accepted Govardhan hill as the kings of all mountains. Now there may be differnet types of kings of mountains but Giriraj is the king of all kings because he is non different from Krishna and simultaneously he gives the greatest pleasure to Krishna. This took place long ago in the satyayuga, Pulatsya muni one of the greatest sages, went to this area called samaladweep and there he saw the beauty of govardhan and felt so much happiness and asked Dronachaal “I wantto take your son with me. I have been doing a yatra all over the world and my place of residence is Kashi, the river Ganges is also there. But i want to take Govardhan and sit on top and do my meditation.” Now on one hand its like Vishwamitra muni asking for Rama, Dronachala was thinking, “ How can I give up the association of my son, who is more dear to me than my life”, but at the same time he did not want to make an offense to a great sage. Govardhan understood what his purpose in life was it was to come to vraja bhumi. So he made his plan. He said, “My dear father, I want to go with this great sage” “But how will you take me” Pulastya muni said, “I will carry you on my right hand by my mystical powers” At that time Govardhan was very very big size. Govardhan said, “I will go with you on the condition that if you put me down any where I will stay there”, Pulastya muni agreed and he lifted Giriraj and by his mystical powers he could travel in the sky and he came all the way from Samala dweep across to Vraja bhumi. Giriraj was thinking this is my eternal residence and he became heavy and Pulastya muni had to come to rest to put Giriraj on the ground. But then by Krishna”s inconceivable arrangement…Krishna can perform most historical episodes in history in such simple ways. Suddenly by Krishna’s arrangement, He is the controller of all controllers, Pulastya muni had to respond to the call of nature. We all know what that is like. But he is a yogi and he knows how to control these impulses by his yogic powers. But k is yogeshwara, He is the supreme master of all yogis and he can conquer any yogi. So he needed to pass water and he lost his intelligence and just was focused on that alone and put Govardhan down and went to the side and passed water an when he came back to pick him up Giriraj did not move. He forgot sarvasya caham…
Krishna says in the Gita I am the source of remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. And in this case Krishna was source of his forgetfulness. And if Krishna wants you to forget, it doesnt matter how many brain cells you have and if Krishna wants you to remember it doesnt matter even if you dont have a brain at all. If you in an ICU with a brain hemorrhage and in coma, if Krishna wants you to remember you will be seeing His pastimes in Vrindavan and everyone else is thinking my poor loved one. Pushti marg the path of grace, Bhakti is the path of grace. If Krishna is pleased by the sincerity of our service and sincerity of our endeavor, those two fingers we have been discussing, if we just serve with genuine sincerity and enthusiasm with the right motivation than we attract Krishna’s mercy and ultimately that mercy is our only qualification.
bhaktyä tv ananyayä çakya aham evaà-vidho ‘rjuna…only through devotional can I be seen as standing before you…premanjana curita…when our eyes are decorated with the ointment of bhakti than Krishna reveals Himself. So in this incredible pastime, the greatest kings of all mountains who has descended from the spiritual world, found its place in Sri Vraj bhumi through this incredible pastime of Krishna.
Pulastya muni became angry and cursed Govardhan, “because you are not coming with me to kashi I will curse you that everyday you will shrink in size, the length of a mustard seed.” Now for us thats not much, but when you are thinking of millions of years its a lot. Now this is Krishna’s arrangement. This was Satyayuga and Krishna was coming in Dvapariyuga and Govardhan hill was just too big to have such pastimes. In those days Govardhan hill’s dimensions were huge, its peaks were above the clouds. So Pulastya muni was an agent of Krishna’s will so that when Krishna came to this world he was just the right size for his calves to go up and down and for the gopas and the gopis. And Giriraj was just waiting
Treta yuga came and the Supreme Lord Krishna appeared as Lord Rama. And we know the story how Rama,Sita and Lakshman were banished into the forest for 14 years and while they were living not far from Mumbai or Pune in Pancavati, Surpanaka came and she wanted to cause harm to Sita, so Lakshman cut off her nose. And from that time on that place is called Nasik, one of the four places of Kumbha mela, where the river Godavari comes together with the river Kapila. Anyways it was there in Nasik that Ravana stole Sita and brought her to Lanka. And Hanuman discovered her and with all of the great army of the Vanaras and the bears they were building a bridge 800 miles long and 100 miles wide across the Indian ocean from Rameshwaram to Lanka. We know the story of the little spiders and squirrels that were kicking little grains of sand, ad Rama wsa accepting their service every bit as he was Hanumann and the very powerful monkeys lifting up entire mountains to float in the waters for the bridge. And they were so enthusiastic, they were going all the place picking up these mountains and giant rocks. And in Vrindavan we hear this story how Hanuman came here and went to pick up Govardhan. And compared to the some of the other mountains Hanumanji was lifting Govardhan was not so big or heavy in size, but he could not get Govardhan off the ground. So Hanuman understood by his pure unalloyed love and devotion to Sri Rama that this mountain is sacred, worshippable. So he offered his dandavat pranams and began to worship Giriraj with love and devotion and asked permission “please allow me to lift you up so I can help build the bridge to reconnect Rama with Sita.” And Govardhan said “I will make my self light and you may take me”. And when he was just about to go Hanuman heard a voice that we dont need any more mountains as the bridge is complete.
Govardhan was sad, “I wanted to have darshan of Sri Rama, please tell Rama my heart”. So Hanuman went back and after they built the bridge and everything happened in Lanka, he came back to Govardhan to give Rama’s message. “Rama is going to descend in his original transcendental form of Krishna in Vrindavan and here you will facilitate the inner most intimate loving pastimes of Sita Rama as Radha and Krishna and all of their gopas and gopis.” So Govardhan waited.
We discussed on the day of the Govardhan puja, how Krishna showed the incredible faith of vrajavasis. We cant explain this too many times, in His own child like way at the age of 7, He put their lives at total risk. For generations this Indra puja was going on, becasue they need rain. And please understand in those days, people understood the devatas as factual personalities. Today if you tell some one, “Dont worship this demigod because you should do something else”, “ well we dont know if it works anyway. We just do it. We think they are there. Some body told us they are there, they might be there. Just in case they are there.” But these were very highly elevated beings in the Dvapariyuga. They knew as a fact that Indra was suppling the rain and Krishna said “forget Indra. He is just the instrument of our karma take all of this paraphernalia and all of the food and offer if to the Govardhan and the cows and the brahmanas.
The vrajavasis wanted to show their ultimate state. They were not concerned with life or death, they were just concerned with pleasing Krishna. “And if this is what that pleases you Krishna, we’ll do it. There is no other consideration.”
ataù pumbhir dvija-çreñöhä
The real success of whatever our duties may be – spiritual, occupational, domestic – is that we please Krishna. Sarva dharman parityajya… and in this very simple way, Nanda and Yashoda and all Brajavasis manifested this abandon all varieties of religion and just surrendered to giving pleasure to Krishna and they didn’t even know he was God. So beautiful! They just loved him!
And Indra sent his rains and Krishna lifted Govardhana hill, but before doing that He manifested as Govardhan hill. He manifested a huge form and said, “I’m the hill Govardhan.” So we understand in truth that Giriraj is Krishna, absolutely non different from Krishna, a self manifesting deity of Krishna, and every single little part of Govardhan is Krishna himself. But the saint and scriptures tell we can’t take this whimsically. We cannot just take a stone from Govardhan hill and take it home with us. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave his Govardhan shila to Raghunath Das Goswami who was the prayojana acharya. It is the highest most serious type of worship in pure unalloyed love. To take any single pebble away from Govardhana hill is an offense. unless we have profuse blessing, permission from the spiritual master and it is given to us as a gift with those blessings. So please, it is not a souvenir. It is Krishna’s body and we cannot disconnect even a single pebble from Krishna’s body with out profuse blessings, permission and instructions and the giving of the heart of the great souls.
At the same time, Srimati Radharani in Srimad Bhagavatam, declares Govardhan hill as Haridasa varya. HH Giriraj Maharaja has described this very eloquently a few days back. In essence, our scriptures tell that Haridasa varya means the greatest devotee of Krishna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna in the mood of Radha. Krishna who is playing the role of His supreme devotee, to taste the sweetness of her devotion and to also personify and distribute the sweetness of that love to the people of this world. Namo maha vadanyaya… Rupa Goswami understood Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His inner heart and His purpose. Sri Caitanya Manobhistam… when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Rupa Goswami, seeing his humility and devotion, He actually empowered Rupa Goswami’s heart with His own love, with Sri Radha’s love. And Rupa Goswami is telling that of all incarnations, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most munificent. Becasue He is exemplifying and distributing the love of the Gopis of Vrindavan in this age of Kaliyuga to the most unqualified people. He is patita pavana hetu tava avatara. He is the avatar that is reaching down to the lowest people and giving then the highest gift. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu played the role of the highest devotee and similarly Govardhana is playing the role of a devotee and who knows what a devotee is than the supreme ultimate devotee Srimati Radharani. And she is speaking in Srimad Bhagavatam. It doesn’t have her name but acaryas like Vishwanath Charkavarti Thakura and Bhakti Vinod Thakura identify that it is Radharani speaking, that of all the devotees, Govardhan is the greatest because his whole existence is finding happiness only in making Krishna happy. And what makes Krishna most happy is making Krishna’s devotees happy and facilitating devotional service.
The cows! Krishna loves His cows, and the cows love Krishna. In the morning the cows won’t give any milk until Krishna comes. They are just stamping their hoofs and wanting for Krishna and mooing and mooing, and when Krishna comes, in their own sweet cow voices they are chanting Krishna’s names. And they give unlimited quantities of nectar like milk. Govardhan hill in the ecstacy of service his hair were standing on end in the form of blades of grass. And every single blade without exception, because understand Giriraj is the supreme person in the role of a devotee, as a servant of the servant of the servant. Every single blade of grass is meticulously being offered with qualities of sugandha. It is intoxicatingly fragrant. So fragrant that the cows go mad in ecstasy on smelling it. And sukomala, which means each and every blade of grass is a unique special offering that is so soft. It not only tastes delicious but feels so good in the mouth of the cow. How many of you have really herded cows in your life please raise your hand? In my early days as a devotee for about 6 years I have herded cows. With a little stick we try to take them where the best grass was. Sometimes the grass is really dry and stuck on the ground and they just sometimes chew on it and just let it fall out, because it is not very good. But at Govardhan hill, it practically jumps into their mouth, so soft, so nectarine, sweet and so fragrant. The Cows are in ecstasy they are intoxicated eating grass. It is also pushtivardhana, every single blade of grass makes the cows healthy, full of enthusiasm, strong and happy. Each single blade of grass is dugdha sampak which means it produces the most intoxicating beverage of milk. And cows are reciprocate with Govardhan, by eating the grass, they are in ecstasy and the grass is turing into ecstatic liquid prema an the cows water the grass with their milk. That is Giriraj’s offering.
And the stones on Govardhan hill, in summer they are cool, and in winter they are warm. Any calf, any cow, any Gopi, Krishna Balaram, Radharani – anyone who steps on them, immediately the stones become soft like butter, just to give pleasure to Krishna. And waterfalls, lakes! Our scriptures tell us that the nectar of the demigods is nothing in taste and fragrance compared to every drop of water from every lake and waterfall of Govardhan hill. And when the gopas and the gopis and the cows drink it they are so much surcharged with happiness because it is Govardhan’s love, premananda, a manifestation of his tears of love in the form of all the waters. And when the Gopas drink it they roll on the ground in the dust screaming out the names of Krishna. Sometimes the Gopis, “How fortunate is Govardhan hill, that if we want to embrace Krishna it’s a very special secret, but Giriraj is embracing Krishna with the water of lakes”. And the caves of Govardhan hill are perfect places for Radharani and Krishna and Krishna and gopas to take rest. Krishna has furniture made of precious jewels beautiful mirrors.
In this way, and the most thorough ways, Giriraj is there to give every detail of pleasure to facilitate all of Krishna’s devotees to be happy. And this is such an important philosophical principle. Haridasa varya means he is most dear to Krishna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us Gopi bhartur pada kamalayor dasa… the highest aspiration He was yearning for, in the mood of Sri Radha, is to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord of the Gopis. Mad bhaktah puja… Krishna says, “to worship My devotees is more pleasing than worshiping Me.” So when Radharani is declaring Govardhan to be Haridasa varya, the devotee that pleases Krishna the most, she wants the whole world to know that this is what is meant by to please Krishna – to utilize one’s whole body, words and mind to serve those who Krishna loves. To facilitate others to give happiness to Krishna. Govardhan is not trying to show “I’m giving better pleasure than others.” Govardhan is taking the most lowest position at everyone’s feet, to give pleasure to those who are giving pleasure to Krishna, to facilitate others to give pleasure to Krishna and when Krishna sees that that is our real happiness – to facilitate other devotees to giving pleasure to Krishna – then that makes us more dear to Krishna. If we try to step on others’ heads to give pleasure to Krishna, we don’t understand. Giriraj lets everybody walk on his head so that they could give pleasure to Krishna and therefore he is most dear to Krishna.
In Bhagavad Gita Krishna says that “those who give this message to My devotees(and ultimately everyone is Krishna’s devotee) are most dear to Me” To bring other people to Krishna and to find happiness in other people, Giriraj’s greatest happiness is seeing Radha and Krishna dancing in the caves of Govardhan doing Rasalila. To see Krishna and Balarama herding the cows and looking at all the cows looking at Krishna lovingly and the Gopas playing beautiful games. And just to be supplying water and supplying some rocks for them to play is his greatest happiness.
You see, if we want to understand what Vrindavan is, we must understand this principle – what gives pleasure to Krishna? To facilitate everyone to give pleasure to Krishna, is what will make us
dear to Krishna. How Srila Prabhupada manifested that! We were discussing on Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day. While some people were here in Vrindavan circumambulating the Govardhan hill, Srila Prabhupada was circumambulating the whole planet, 11 times. Just to facilitate people the great happiness of loving Krishna. That is Haridasa varya! That is the spirit of Sri Vrajabhumi. Govardhan facilitates endless lilas, and inspires great personalities to broadcast his glories all over the world.
Now with your permission, we’ll take you on a brief parikrama of the Govardhana hill!
Yesterday many of you worshiped Sri Giriraj by going on the parikrama. For some it is an austerity, for some it is an ecstasy, for others it is both, according to our realizations. But Giriraj is Krishna. Ye yatha mam… according to our consciousness, as we approach Krishna, Krishna is going to reciprocate accordingly. We have all come to this yatra as humble beggars.
If you think you are great, you have zero standing in Vrindavan. Rupa and Sanatana Goswami when they first met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they proclaimed themselves to be the lowest of the low, the most fallen of all fallen, trnadapi sunicena… We cultivate love for Vrindavan, love for Krishna through the chanting of the holy names. And in order to approach the holy dham, the holy form of the Lord as the deity, or in His supreme form as the holy name, we must cultivate humility, forgiveness, and learn how to respect others from the heart. So to come to Vrindavan in the proper mood is to come as beggars. What can we give to Krishna, except we are begging to Krishna to accept our love. So when we come to Vrindavan, we shouldn’t come thinking I’ll enjoy. We should come thinking I’ll become purified. Now I didn’t tell you this before you came because I didn’t get to talk to you before. But is really the essence of why we come here – to become purified. And sometimes purification really seems to be fun, and sometimes it appearers to be really painful. Have any of you experienced that during the yatra? Your coughing kind of answers that question.
We are 5000 of us. So sometimes crowding in the buses or here and there, it is not the only way for it to be done, but if that is happening to you in Vrindavan, it is very fast track purification. Because whether we are all alone in Vrindavan or 5000 people standing in the line to get prasad, what ever the situation may be, if you take shelter of Krishna that “ I have come here to love You and serve You and to please You”, then you’ll make such great spiritual progress. That is why we have come.
So yesterday, many of you with your bare lotus feet performed the parikrama. Some of you from Bombay, Pune or London or New York, or other such places, you are not accustomed to going bare feet so it may have been an austerity. But I would like to cite a poem from a great vrajavasi poet. He said, “When I’m walking bare feet in Vrindavan, I feel ten million times more happiness than the happiness of being liberated in the supreme brahman. And I feel ten million times more happiness than brahman realization every time a sacred thorn pierces my foot.” Haribol! I’m sure that realization gives you solace. Every thing is according to our perception. Srila Prabhupada quotes Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur, if some body bites you it hurts. Now sannyasis dont know much about this but according to the acaryas when your lover bites you, it feels really good. Because you don’t feel just the teeth, you feel the love. So similarly when there is pain in Vrindavan, if we understand that it is Krishna’s loving way of purifying me, if you see it that way, tat te nu kampa… And gratefully if you fold your hands and say “Thank you Krishna. I am yours” then you become happy. But if you see it from a mundane perspective about Krishna, you are getting purified but you are losing such a great opportunity to get so much more. We should be thankful to Krishna for whatever happens to us in Vrindavan, and to turn to Krishna in humility to thank him as we loudly call out his holy names.
Today we’ll begin a parikrama through sound vibration because transcendental sound is non different from the object of the names. When we chant Krishna’s names, Krishna is dancing on our tongue and entering into our ears and into our heart. Similarly Harikatha, talks of Krishna are non different than Krishna. So simply taking a parikrama through describing different holy places around Sri Giriraj, is doing parikrama together while your lotus like feet are relaxing, and the congregational coughing carries on. We’ll begin at Manasi Ganga. Sri Rupa Goswami recommends, of course you can begin Govardhana parikrama anywhere, but according to Sri Caitanya caritamrita thats where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavan, he came to Govardhan and the first shila He saw He embraces it and bathed it with the tears of His love. He went to Manasi Ganga, first he took his bath.
The history of Manasi Ganga begins with a beautiful story from Srimad Bhagavatam. If you remember, a few days ago in our description of Gokul Mahavana, after Krishna was bound by the ropes of love of mother yashoda and the Lord crawled through the yamala arjuna trees and the trees broke, that was a major disruption. Soon after that all the leading cowherd men met together and Upananda, the eldest brother of Nanda Maharaja, who was his chief minister, spoke with great love “Mahavana is no longer a safe place. So many difficulties are coming upon us. First there was Putana Raksasi, then Shakatasura, then Trnavarta. Now we see these gigantic trees are falling. Any moment Krishna can be harmed. By the grace of Visnu he is being protected. This is not a safe place. We should all move to the forest of Vrindavan.” he explained that between Mahavan and Nandeshwar is the forest of Vrindavan. So immediately everybody accepted. This is the way vrajavasis are. One person says “Let’s go” and all the gopas and gopis and the entire village moves. They loaded the ox carts, they put the old people, the ladies and the babies on the ox carts and put the cows and the calves and the bulls in the front. Krishna was only about three and a half years old, as was Balaramaji. The whole while as they were moving they were all chanting Krishna’s names, singing Krishna’s beautiful pastimes. And when they came to the Vrindavan forest, Krishna and Balarama were especially charmed to see the beauty of Govardhana hill, Yamuna as she was flowing through the forest and the wonderful Kalpa Vraksha trees everywhere. Very soon after Krishna was given the charge of the calves, because he and his friends were less than 4 years old. Srila Prabhupada explains in a beautiful purport how Krishna is the supreme controller of all universes but in Vrindavan He is not fit to take care of the cows. So He is given charge of the calves. And even though Krishna and Balarama are the sons of Vrajaraj and Vrajarani still He does His seva.
So Krishna and Gopas with Balarama would go out everyday with so many calves. And they played. After they got away from home and came to the pastures and forests, they would see ripe delicious fruits up on the trees and they were so attracted. Sometimes they would take a piece of stone and tie a rope to it and throw the stone and make it wrap around the fruit and pull the string, and eat the fruits. Some of them didn’t even bother with the string. They were so good at aim that they would throw the stone and the stone would hit the fruit and it would fall and all the gopas would say “well done well done”. And other times they would get these amalaki fruits, which were like balls and they played so many ball games. Baseball, football, basketball, and even cricket are all perverted reflections of amalaki ball that the gopas would play with Krishna in the spiritual world. They would run, jump and play hide and seek and imitate movements and sounds of different animals and birds.
One day an asura named Vatsasura. He was so cunning, devious and cruel that he took the form of a tiny innocent looking little calf. His only intention was to kill Krishna and Balarama. Now what is more innocent and helpless looking than a calf? They are very small, always look kind of scared, they have beautiful little glistening eyes and they look at you with innocence. The calves like to chew on your dhotis and saris because they see everyone as their own mother. This calf was following Krishna and Balarama and Krishna turned to Balarama and indicated to him, “You see this sweet looking innocent looking calf? He is a monstrous demon who has come to kill us.” Krishna and Balarama, very slowly, quietly, discreetly walked behind Vatsasura, suddenly Krishna grabbed him by his hind legs, he started twirling him around faster and faster until Vatsasura died of dizziness. Sri Krishna Bhagavan ki jai.
After Vatsasura was liberated, what was left of his body, Krishna threw it twirling it into the sky and Krishna very specifically aimed him, because Krishna likes to do many things with one act. Krishna saw a Kapita tree and Kapita trees are very high and fruits are very hard to get. And Krishna knew that Gopas love Kapita fruits. Vatsasura landed right on top of a kapita tree and he grew into his gigantic enormous monstrous size and in doing so he made all these fruits fall down. And all the little Gopas were clapping their hands, and jumping up and down, crying out “Well done! Well Done!” And the Devatas were showering flowers on Krishna. And then all the Gopas enjoyed the fruit.
Bhakti Vinod Thakur explains, Vatsasura explains a childish mentality that is prone to bad association, which can divert us from true path of devotional service. Sometimes, what can be so critical to our spiritual wellbeing, we don’t really take note of. Unless we have proper discrimination, we can easily be misguided by things that seem harmless but can ultimately create great diversion.
Srila Prabhupada gave us so many of his books and as we heard from His Holiness Sachinandan Maharaj, By Sheshsaiva prabhu, His Holiness Giriraj Maharaj, how Srila Prabhupada emphasized, he put his heart and life, his ecsatsies, all the essence of the knowledge of Krishna and all the goraksha, all the knowledge in his books; and how important it was for us to read them. To whatever capacity we have to do so, so that we have proper intelligence to discriminate between what is favorable for devotional service and what is unfavorable.
It doesn’t mean that we disrespect people. But we have to be very careful to understand what can divert our attention away from path of pure devotion.
“ Mahatseva…. “
The 5th canto of Bhagavat, tells us that association of great souls opens doors to liberation. But indiscriminate association with people too much attached to the material ego and material sense enjoyment can open the doors to bondage
“ Niskinchanasya Bhajano… “
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains that to associate with people too addicted to these things is like poison. We can give association but we have to be very very careful not to allow this Vatsasura which seems to be such an innocent thing to create havoc in our lives.
So certainly throughout the day we have to, many of us have to work, many of us have so much family, so many people we associate with, but if we have strong sadhana, strong association with sadhus, with holy people, if we have strong discrimination by nourishing ourselves by reading Srila Prabhupada & holy books, then we can actually elevate people and not be dragged down by the Vatsasura.
We should be childlike but we should not be childish.
So after this the cowherd boys said to Krishna that “We don’t want to play with you now because you just killed a calf.”
Krishna said that “that calf was a demon”.
They said that “We know it was a demon but still it was as calf. So you should purify yourself.”
Krishna said, “What should I do?”
They said, “You should take bath in river Ganga.”
Krishna said “Well I don’t want to live Vrindavan. So I will bring Ganga here.”
So Krishna sat down and meditated, Manasa, with his mind and suddenly from his mind, Mother Ganga sprang out from his mind, to form Manasa Ganga, the Ganga that manifested from Krishna mind.
Then Krishna bathe in Manasi Ganga and Gopas bathe in Manasi Ganga and the calves drank water from Manasi Ganga, and it became a very very beautiful place and that is how Manasi Ganga manifested in Brij Bhoomi.
One day Nand Maharaj was with the other cowherd men, and cowherd ladies, they were hearing some Brahmins describe the glories of River Ganga. And they heard how Garuda captured a snake with his tail in his claws, he was flying away with it and he happened to fly through the river Ganga and the tail of this snake happened to touch mother Ganga and at that moment the snake turned into the 4 arm form of resident of spiritual world. And when Garuda saw that he became ecstatic, he took that body, who used to be a snake; he put that spiritual body person on his back and flew him nonstop to Vaikuntha the spiritual world.
Nanda and cowherd men said that “we must go to the Ganga to take a bath. It is very very holy!”
So they started arrangements for this pilgrimage, males putting things on the ox cart and arranging and packing things for the long journey.
And Krishna asked, “Where are you going?”
Nand Maharaj said, “We are going to the Ganga to take holy bath”.
And Krishna said “you don’t have to go out of vrindavan. All the holy places in the whole universe are here in Vrindavan including mother Ganga.”
And Nanda Maharaj said, “You are just a small boy. What are you talking? How is Ganga here? Ganga is in the Himalayas. We are going to the Ganga”
“No! No! No! You must understand!”
Nobody believed him and he said “just come with me.”
And Krishna took Nanda and other Gopas and Gopis to Manasi Ganga.
And just at that moment, the presiding deity of the Ganga, Ganga Devi emerged from Manasi Ganga riding on a crocodile and she smiled. And she offered her Pranams and her worship to Little Krishna and as she was offering her Pranams to little Krishna, all the Brijwasi were bowing down and offering their worship to them and they understood, this is Ganga.
But for the residents of Vrindavan, it is more than just a Ganga; it is Ganga plus a Manasi Ganga
Not only does it liberate us from our sin, but because it emerged from heart of Krishna it is saturated with Krishna’s love and it awards us that love.
According to Srila Jiva Goswami, Krishna had so many past times at Manasi Ganga,
One time, Srimati Radharani and her principle Gopis were carrying milk and yoghurt and butter on their heads and they had to pass the Manasi Ganga and it was getting late at night and there was only one boat with a boat man who was covering himself with disguise. They bargained over the price and it was agreed and Srimati Radharani and the gopis got on the boat. And when they somewhere were in the middle of the Manasi Ganga, the boat man said, “I’m too tired and too hungry. I cannot go any further. Give me your sweets and butter and yoghurt.” And they started feeding him and feeding him and feeding him and he took few more strokes. And he said, “I ate too much. I cannot row over. I need to take rest.” And he said, “Please while I’m resting, massage my arms and legs.”
And they said, “We will take your arms and legs and throw you to Ganga, unless you take us to other side.”
So he started rowing again and he started shaking the boat in so many ways to make it look like it was sinking and said, “There is too much of weight in the boat. We are sinking.”
And they said, “Now what are we supposed to do?”
He said, “All of the pots you have including the butter and the yoghurt, throw it out of the boat, offer it to mother Ganga, because otherwise we will sink.”
They were in the middle of this and in those Manasi Ganga was much much bigger than it is now. So they were throwing and throwing into the Ganga. He rowed some more and then he stopped and said, “There is Still too much weight, take off all your jewels and throw it”
So they did that. He started rowing and shaking and said “But Still too heavy!”
And the Gopis said, “Now what are we supposed to do?”
He said, “Take off all your clothes and throw them to Ganga.”
They said, “We will throw you into Ganga and compensate for the weight of our clothes, unless you take us to other side.”
So he started rowing again and by his yoga Maya mystic potency , all of a sudden, Giant clouds were formed in the sky and heavy winds and the boat was going this this way and that and rocking and water was getting in. And Srimati Radharani spontaneously by the Lila Shakti of the lord, it appeared that they were in helpless situation in the middle of this lake she said, “O boat man, save us!”
As soon as she touched Krishna in this way, all the clouds disappeared and it was a beautiful night, the moon arose, and then Radharani realized that it was Krishna and the gopis looked down as she took his flute and showed it to them. And for the rest of the night they were having boat past times according to Jiva Goswami in the lake Manasi Ganga.
After Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bathe there he went to temple of Hari Dev.
The story is that one time Srimati Radharani and gopis were on the banks of Manasi Ganga, waiting to meet Krishna, but Krishna did not come. In separation they started crying out “Hari Dev., Hari Dev, Hari Dev!” again and again and again. And their separation was intensified and as they were chanting the names of Krishna it was like adding pure ghee to the fire of separation, the fire was burning harder and harder and higher and brighter, until they were literally on the verge of death crying out “Hare Dev, Hari Dev, Hari Dev” In loving separation and at that moment Krishna appeared in the form of Haridev, a deity of 7 yr old lifting the Gowardhan hill with his left hand. And the gopis worshiped that deity and each day they would come back and worship that deity of Krishna. And later on, in the exact spot where that past time took place, the Great Grandson of Krishna, Vajranabh installed the deity of Haridev.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began his parikrama in this way, first taking his bath in Manasi Ganga, then having Darshan of Hari Dev. And for hours and hours Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita describes Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu beholding the beautiful form of Giridhari and lord was dancing in great ecstasy attracting all of villagers of Gowardhan to join him as he chanted the holy names
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Then Lord Chaitanya turned towards brahma kund which is also in area of Manasi Ganga.
Brahma Kund, we discussed, From Srimad Bhagavatam how after Krishna lifted Gowardhan hill and defeated Indra’s pride, Indra along with all the major Demigods came to offer Abhishekam Ceremony to Krishna and the water that the various Devatas bathe Krishna with, formed 108 different kund. Some of them still exist.
One is Brahma Kund, the water of Brahma with which he bathe.
There is a murti, of presiding goddess of this western section of this Brij bhoomi. Her name is Manasi Devi. Vajranabh installed 4 devis in 4 directions of Brij.
There is Yogmaya Devi in Vrindavan, there is Pataleswari Devi in Mathura, There is Vrinda Devi in Kamyavan and Manasi Devi at Gowardhan.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and also Nityananda Mahaprabhu, it is described, they both rested at that place of Brahmakund before going on with their parikrama of Sri Vrindavan.
On the banks of Manasi Ganga is Chakaleswar Mahadev.
Vajranabh installed 5 Principle Mahadevs, forms of Lord of Shiva in 5 different areas of Vrindavan to preside over.
There is Gopeshwar Mahadev in Vrindavan.
Kameshwara Mahadev in Kamya Van
Bhuteswar Mahadev in Mathura
Nandeshwar Mahadev in Nandgaon and
Chakaleswar Mahadev at Gowardhan
Sanatana Goswami, he made his bhajan kutir on the banks of Manasi Ganga just beside Chakaleswar Mahadev.
It was there that Sanatana Goswami; from there he would perform Gowardhan Parikrama each day. With Dry leaves at night, he will burn, to get light to his write books and as well as throughout the day.
He would chant the holy names, totally absorbed in loving devotional service.
Mosquitoes were starting to bother him. And Sanatana Goswami because we accept what is favorable for devotional service and reject what is unfavorable, so he decided, he wasn’t a person who uses coils and all that. In honor of the mosquitoes, he would rather live and go to another place.
At that moment, Chakaleswar Mahadev, not able to bear the separation of such a great Mahatma as Sanatana Goswami. He approached Sanatana Goswami in the disguise of a Brahmin and requested, “Just try one more night and no mosquitoes will bother you.”
To honor Brahmin, Sanatana Goswami stayed and meanwhile Lord Shiva summoned the demigod in charge of mosquitoes and ordered him “no more mosquitoes there”. Sanatana Goswami lived there for many years and it was there at Chakaleswar Mahadev and at the banks of Manasi Ganga that Sanatana Goswami departed from this world; at guru purnima and to this day, Brijwasi consider that he is the guru of Vrindavan, his love and compassion for everyone.
Mukharvinda, according to Gaudiya Vaisnava, is the mouth of Gowardhan and there, we visited there yesterday, I don’t know how many thousands of liters of milk are offered to Giriraj every day to his mouth. Should I continue, “Hari Bol!”
As we move forward, we come to Danghati. These are very intimate, very special past times of love that have been revealed in puranas and by our beloved Acharya. When Raghunathadas Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, when they revealed these beautiful stories, they are simply giving witness to what they see.
When our eyes are actually anointed with love, Krishna reveals his past times to us.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu especially sent Roopa, Santana, Raghunathadas Goswami, and the 6 Goswamis to Vrindavan, to reveal Krishna’s loving, intimate past times to the world.
“Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Radha Krishna nahi anye…”
Who knows the past times of Vrindavan better than Radha Krishna who has appeared as LC and he has summoned the intimate loving associates from spiritual world to come to reveal the past tines of Vrindavan, the holy places of Vrindavan, and also through their writings, through their example, how to access the mercy by which we can connect to those past times, realize and love of Krishna that is within our heart.
And the Danakeli Kamodi, by Rupa Goswami, he describes various past times that took place at Krishna Veti or Dan Ghati. It was a very narrow lane, between two mountainous areas, and Krishna would perform his past times of taxing the gopis there.
Krishna had a parrot, Radharani had a parrot, Vrinda devi was in charge of parrots and they would all get the news, special, See they did not need these damn cell phones those days, they didn’t need these dumb internets, they had parrots.
With ecstatic love, Vrinda Devi, she would feel like the censor control and all messages were carried out in every moment in such loving special ways. Krishna would block the way and there would be such expressions of love through jokes and arguments.
In vrindavan, everything, every word, every action, every thought is exchange of pure unmotivated love
As we move a little further, where we started off the Parikrama yesterday was Dana nivartana Kund. Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami, when he was living at Radha Kund, Rupa Goswami sent him a book that he had wrote, Lalita Madhava.
When he was reading about the separation between Radha and Krishna; he was so overwhelmed, Radharani deep intense love of separation, that Raghunatha Das Goswami could not eat. He was already eating hardly a little pot of butter milk every day and now he could not even eat that. He was becoming emaciated, he was weeping. And the devotees wrote to Rupa Goswami, and Rupa Goswami sent him another book, the Danakeli Chintamani, which describes the beautiful past times of Radha Gopinath together. When Raghunatha Das Goswami read that he started laughing, and he started crying in happiness and started eating his little pot of butter milk every day. Beautiful story.
How there was a sacrifice taking place at Govind Kund
And the story was, anyway who offers a pot of Ghee at Govind Kund is going to get all the desires fulfilled. And Srimati Radharani and Gopis only desire is Krishna’s happiness.
So with the permission of Purna Masi, the guru of vrindavan, the yoga Maya Devi, Srimati Radharani and her principle gopis were going with pots of some ghee; butter to that place and on the way Krishna blocked the way with Madhu Mangal, Subala and other gopas.
And Krishna said, “For so many days you have been passing with all of these valuables, but you have never paid tax. But the Emperor of love Kama Devi has sent me to tax me. Now for each Gopi I want several handfuls of diamond, and Srimati Radharani you have to pay extra tax for every beautiful limb of your body.”
And Raghunatha Das Goswami goes into details of each tax. And there was an argument that ensued. Lalita Sakhi said that “if you don’t let us go, we are going to go and tell Kamsa on you.”
And Krishna said, “One of these days, I am going to drag Kamsa right from his thrown and beat him to death”. That was a prophecy but nobody took him seriously.
And then Krishna said “all right, if you insist I will allow everybody else to go but keep the Lalita Sakhi in hostage until you all come back with your taxes.”
Nandi mukhi, she is a Brahmin gopi, disciple of Purna Masi, She appeared and she said to Krishna that “they will pay their taxes, but at the same time you will have to let them go just to protect their dignity and their reputation as being very Chaste and pure ladies. So Let them go and I promise that tomorrow at this time they will come back to pay their tax.” So Krishna agreed.
But then, Lalita, vishaka and other gopis, they gathered earlier than scheduled time at Dana Nivartana Kund. When Krishna and Subala and Madhumangal and few cowherd boys came with their stick, just as tax collectors, hundreds of Gopis surrounded them and tied them to trees and in sweet loving words chastised them like anything.
And Krishna was conquered by their words. Please understand this is Krishna. His universal form, he could eat the universe. Krishna, he is massive armies he conquered, Jarasand. But for the gopis, he was like a scared little child. “Please don’t hurt me.”
And the gopis said, “Actually you owe tax, because she is Vrindavaneswari, she is the queen of Vrindavan and everyday your cows are eating her grass. So you owe her a tax. The tax is you fall at her feet and you surrender to he and accept her as your queen.” And they took him before Srimati Radharani and with tears of love he bathe her lotus feet and put his head at her feet.
And through this beautiful story we learn that love conquers the beloved. Krishna is Madan Mohan. He conquers the mind of Cupid. Srimati Radharani is Madan Mohan Mohini. Her love conquers the supreme conqueror. And Lord Chaitanya is Radha giving that holy name to all of us through the chanting of the holy names…
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
We will continue the parikrama another day. I will just tell one small story. From Dan Nivartan Kunda we carry on to what is known as Anakuta Kshetra. It is between Dan Nivartan Kunda and the village of Anayor. According to our acaryas this is several miles. And this is where the brajvasis made their mountains and mountains and mountains of Prasad for Giriraj under Krishna’s instruction. Can you imagine? It’s about 5 miles of mountains and mountains of kundas and rivers of Prasad. And Giriraj ate it all within a moment and cried out Anayor, Anayor, which means give me more. What could fill Krishna? Krishna is unlimited. In Sri Caitanya Caritamrita there is a beautiful story, where Advaita Prabhu invites Lord Caitanya to have Prasad at his house. This is when they were living in Jagannath puri. And Lord Caitanya came to his house and he saw there was so much Prasad. Same kind of lila took place in Shantipur also. He saw that Advaita had massive quantities of Prasad in his house, and was all in front of the deities. And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said just give me a leaf plate, and I will take some little sabji and rice. I’m very happy to see that Krishna ate all this. And Lord Caitanya in the role of a devotee was teaching us that our happiness should be in seeing Krishna enjoying. And this is actually a test of how much we are actually developing love for Krishna. Srila Prabhupada wrote, told us many times, that when you love Krishna, when you see Krishna dress beautifully with garlands and jewels, you have have no inclination to dress yourself so nicely because you are just happy to see Krishna like that. And if Krishna is happy to see you dress nicely then you will do it too. But you are happy with Krishna’s happiness. When we see Krishna getting such wonderful bhoga that gives us happiness.
I remember once at the community I was living I was the purari. And for a while it was the rule that for the raj bhoga offering every day there were 64 offerings. 365 days a year, 64 preparations. Because I was the pujari I got to make the plates. There was a plate for gaur nitai, plate for the gurus, plate for radha vrindavanchandra, plate for jaganath-balaram-subhadra and another plate for the shaligram shila. There was 5 plates with 64 items on each plate. Anyways, it didn’t last that long. But we really tried. It lasted about a year – 64 items every day for the raja bhoga. And every other offering was about 10-12 of them. 6 offerings a day. And I remember in my own life, on one hand just knowing Krishna.. and each preparation was incredible opulent preparation. Practically everything you could think of was offered. There was every raja bhoga offering. There were kachories, and samosas, and milk puras, and I think about 15 sabjis. And about 6 chatnis. And there were Laddus. There was Gulab jamuns. Rasa gullas. And Sandesh and halwa. And on one hand just seeing Krishna eating all these things was so happy. And just making the plates and helping to cook the offerings and then cleaning all the plates just so busy that we didn’t’ have time to think about eating. Just absorption. And just Krishna eating. Wonderrul!! It’s actually the hgher taste. When we are so absorbed in giving Krishna happiness, then we just neither have the time neither have the time or even the will to enjoy separately. Now with Srila prabhupada’s expertise even neophytes devotees keep us engaged in making Krishna happy. And there is a higher taste in that even for new devotee. And I remember one time Srila Prabhupada during this period Srila Prabhupada came to.. and was looking at Radha Vrindvavan Chandra. Very gravely during srimad bhagavatam class. He said that your Radha vrindavanchandra look very happy. He said, they have appeared as the beautiful most boy and girl just to attract all of you American boys and girls. And he said they look very happly. And then he became very grave. He said, in this Bhakti marg, the path of devotion, there are two tracks like two rails on the railway line. There is pancharatriki videhi, the worship of the deities by making offerings, by dressing them, by singing for them, by performing the aratis, singar. And there is bhagavata marg viz., hearing and chanting. Performing harinama, performing japa, reciting and hearing srimad bhagavat, bhagvad gita. This is bhagavad gita. He said if you rare not very strongly absorbed in hearing and chanting the glories of the lord and performing your sadhana, the day will come when you will look at the deities and think why has my guru left me with this burden? Why has my guru left me with this burden of taking care of a temple and the deities? Because unless we are very very serious about taking shelter of hearing srimad bhagavatam and chanting the holy names in the association of devotees, then we lose our vision, we lose our taste. Deity worship is such a divine blessing. Rupa Goswami explains 5 of the most important limbs of devotional service. Associating with devotees, chanting holy names, hearing srimad bhagavatam, visiting holy places, and worship of the deities. Deity worship gives us an opportunity to very personally render service to become attached to the form of the lord which awakens our eternal attached to form of the lord through service – cleaing, cooking, dressing whatever is done whether we are washing a pot or we are offering arati at midnight on Janmasthami, Krishna accepts our love. He accepts the intention of our devotion. Radhyshyam prabhu, he is the president of our temple in Pune. And they are building a magnificent temple there. And every day I see him scrubbing the pots here at the Yatra. And they are not little pots. They are huge pots. Pots for 1000s of people. And he is just down there scrapping. And Murlidhar Prabhu who is a very accomplished dental surgeon in Mumbai with a very very prominent successful dental clinic in Mumbai. And yet everyday I see him on his hands and knees covered in soot scrubbing pots in the yatra. And I’m thinking this is what it means to be transcen-DENTAL. In Krishna consciousness there is no high or low. All there is, is devotion. There is love. King Pratap Rudra was the king but he won lord Caitanya’s heart when he took the role of a street sweeper. But lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted him to remain a king too. whether you are sweeping the street or whether you are king of an entire kingdom, Krishna doesn’t care what your position is. It’s that attitude of personal service and love that is everything. So in Anayor Krishna ate all the offerings. And gave it all back. I know where I was. Advaitacharya. He had all these offerings for Krishna. And lord Caitanya was absolutely happy and in ecstasy that Krishna is eating so nicely. Now give me some sabji. And Advaitacarya said no no taste everything. Everything that Krishna had you should also eat. He said no no no, I just want to have a little sabji. I’m happy to see Krishna. How much can I eat? And Advaitacarya said I know how much can you eat. In Dwarka, 16108 palaces, and all your queens are offering you big feasts, all at the same time and you are eating all of it. And during Govardhan puja, you ate all those miles and miles and miles of massive mountains of food. And you ate it all at once. And you still wanted more. And Jagannath, there is 100s of cooks making 100s of preparations every hour practically. And you are eating all of it. This is just a little bit that we are offering you. I know how much you could eat my Lord. But then lord Caitanya ate a little but advaita kept giving him more. And lord Caitanya said no no I can’t eat anymore. I can’t eat any. So this is Krishna. There is a beautiful story. Once Sivananda Sen offered Lord Caitanya so much nice food, Lord Caitanya couldn’t stop eating it. But then his son invited him back to the house, back to the house, sivananda sen’s son, and then offered him dahi, yogurt, with some black pepper and ginger powder, and all these bitter things for digestion. Because the boy understood that lord Caitanya ate too much and the lord has indigestion. So therefore I’m going to give him ayurvedic foods that increase digestion. So who wants to eat salty little paddies? But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it was nectar to him. Because he was seeing the purpose in which it was offered. This is Bhakti. You can give Krishna mountains of billions of tons of food. And Krishna can eat it all at once time and say give me more. Or you could give Krishna a feast and to reciprocate with you love he will get serious indigestion and discomfort and ask for some herbal remedies. It’s not the food. It’s the variations of how Krishna reciprocates with his devotes. So this is the annakuta Kshetra, which is just close. And actually on November 3rd, we are going to be preparing a beautiful offering. 100s and 100s of devotees will have the opportunity to cook. Be prepared for a very purifying experience because the smoke of all the cowdung and wood will be very much in your eyes. But those tears will, those tears of tapasya will give special, not the tears themselves, but the tears of your tapasya of the heart will give special flavor to the food. And we will be offering it right close to… right in the actual place of annakuta Kshetra, where the brajbasis are eternally making their offering to Krishna. Sri giriraja. And at this time, I would like to invite two people to the stage one at a time. I would like to invite Malati Devi to come and share some of her memories with Srila Prabhupada. Especially she was cooking for Prabhupada here at govardhan hill. Were you not? Since we are talking about cooking, many of us are going to be doing cooking day after tomorrow, and we will be actually offering all the bhoga, hopefully over a 1000 preparations will offer it in mountain to govardhan himself. We are not gong to be offering to photos. We are going to be offering directly to the mountain of govardhan. And we are going to have many many appointed guards with sticks. To somehow or other atleast try to encourage the monkeys to be patient. And last time we were here we did this it was a very very beautiful experience. And at this time I would like to request malati devi to come up and discuss about cooking for Prabhupada here at Govardhan hill and any other story she wants to share. And then HH Sacinandana swami maharaj wil lead us in one of his very, very famous enthralling dancing sankirtan. Thank you very much.
[HG Malati Mataji]
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humbly offered obeisances. Agtsp. I was going to come yesterday to join. But by the time I heard you had started parikrama it was too late to catch up with all of you. And I was lamenting that I was not able to be in the dust of all of your lotus feet. In the beginning of the Indian Yatra, when we were invited by Srila Prabhupada to come to India to collectively begin the world sankirtan movement or the world Sankirtan party, it was just a small group of us. When we first came to India there was only one thing that we did, because we didn’t have a zip code. We didn’t have an address address. We didn’t have any temples. We wandered here and there with Srila Prabhupada performing harinam sankritan. And then Srila Prabhupada would speak or he would ask some of us to speak. And then we would go from one place to the other like this. And we didn’t come to Sri Vrindavan Dham until we had an invitation from Srila Prabhupada to come. And there was this _____ program, so that when we came here we would be performing some service. And our service was to spread the mission of lord caitanya’s sankirtan through harinam. Srila Prabhupada would take us to 1 or 2, 3 spots, select spots each day and then we would return to our ashrams. And just like tonight HHRNM was taking on a partial parikrama through hearing. And through that hearing we were understanding everything and actually seeing everything very clearly. Similarly, Srila Prabhupada would speak to us Krishna katha to help purify our hearts, and our minds and our consciousness, in hopes that somehow or other his dancing white elephants would also be able to see sri vrindvavan sham in the proper mood in the proper perspective. So one of the select places that we travelled with Srila prabhuapda. When we came to vrindavan, we travelled in a bus. And I was describing the bus the other day to some devotees. I was invited to go to the final closing ceremony in the braj mandal parikarama. So I was there and Giriraj Maharaj was also there. So both of us were in the original plane that had come from the west with 11 devotees coming to India on Prabhupada’s request. So when we came, the few of us who came initially with Srila Prabhupada to Vrindvaan, at that time our numbers had gone somewhat, maybe there was 20 or 25 of us at that point. We came in a bus from Delhi. Srila Prabhupada came in a very quaint ambassador car. And our bus was a luxury bus. It was air-conditioned. And I was explaining the type of air conditioning this bus had, it meant there were no windows. So that way we were getting the breeze. We started travelling to Vrindavan. And the quaint little ambassador promptly broke down. And Srila Prabhupada got out of the ambassador and he joined us in our air conditioned bus. And in this way we travelled with Srila Prabhupada to Vrindavan. So one of the occasions he brought us to Govardhan hill. And of course in ignorance we were looking up looking for the hill. Looking where is the hill? You know Krishna book wasn’t in our hands yet. We didn’t know so many of the details. And somewhere along the parikrama marg Srila Prabhupada had a stop and he would each day take his massage, take his bath and then we would all have our lunch together. So while he was having his massage and bath, I was his cook. And I would have a little metal trunk with the bhoga and the little stoves, these kerosene stoves that you would pump up and they blow up in your face and you lose your eyebrows. And sometimes I would have a little bucket. And in the little bucket we would put cowdung, paddies in it. And that was kind of exciting because we had heard about the process of cooking with cowdung paddies. But now on this govardhan hill we could actually had the opportunity to apply the process. So we stopped at one little spot there was a row of doors, a nice little veranda. And may be it was approximately 1 and a half times as long as this stage was. And there were some doors. So Prabhupada indicated he was gonna go and take his massage. In the ________ on the other side of the _______. Across the other side of the marg there were a couple of kundas. I’m sorry, I don’t recall the names of the kundas. But you know in the early 70s, things were very very clean and pure and you didn’t have. You had the fiery monkeys but you didn’t have all the human monkeys chasing you around, and selling things. And you didn’t have the loudspeakers blasting all kinds of ecstatic loud noise. There wasn’t any noise pollution like that. It was much simpler. And there weren’t even so many buildings. So the devotees were going across the street to these little kundas. There were two of them, and they were kind of connected more or less. The ladies were going to one, the men were going to other. And Prabhupada was going to take his massage and bath. And I was going to sit on the front porch with a stick – the stick was for the monkeys – and prepare the cooking. So when Prabhuapda opened the door, one of the things I remembered was that he opened the door, his servant opened the door, I was naturally expecting there would be some type of a room behind the door, but actually the whole thing was like a façade. There were no rooms. There were just doors. And when you open the door there were just some fields. And so they opened the door. And Prabhupada stepped through, as if he was going into his grand palace. And they shut the door. The business went on. And I sat down and did my business. And then the door opened. And by that time the devotees had returned also. They were lined up. The women on one side, the ladies on the other side. The door opened Prabhupada stepped through. And he went took his seat. And then that indicated I should bring the Prasadam. As soon as I came with the plate of prasadam, two other devotees from the dham suddently started rushing towards Srila prabhupada. And these were two of the dogs of the dham. And these dogs were really the typical dogs of the day. They were full of sores. They had hardly any hair on their body. And they were big huge teeth they were showing. And I’m not into making sound effects, so I… maharaja is really excellent at this. I can just tell you they sounded really terrifying because both of them were snarling and growling and barking. And their teeth were looking really big. And they were just headed right for Prabhupada; specifically for the plate of prasadam. So simultaneously naturally some of the devotees sitting by Prabhupada immediately started to raise up. And they had, young sanyasis, so they had some weapons in the form of their dandas. So they were ready to take care of these dogs. It seemed like in one hand everything was happening really fast, and on the other hand, it was kind of slow motion. I’m putting the plate down, the dogs are coming, they are snarling and growling, the sanyasis are standing, starting to stand up, their sticks were standing up. And then suddenly Prabhupada didn’t exactly stand up, but it was like he was going to stand up but didn’t. He stopped them. He stopped them with indicating with his hands. And he picked up one of his chapattis which frightened me, because I only had a little bit of chapatti dough left that day. So I’m thinking, O its going to happen here. He took this chapatti. He tore it in half and he flipped out to the two snarling dogs, who caught these chapatis. And then he said jao jao. And I was expecting them just to keep coming. But they took the chapattis from the hands of a pure devotee and suddently they just became very satisfied turned around and walked away. And then Srila Prabhupada gave us a very good lesson. He turned around and said to all of us. You never know who they may be in the dham. So we understood we were seeing two terrifying dogs. And he was seeing 2 hungry devotees. So that was a wonderful lesson. On that day at Govardhan with Srila Prabhupada. Now, we have sacinandana maharaj who will teach you how to dance. Hare Krishna. Srila Prabhupada ki jai.
[HH Sacinandana Maharaja]
There are different forms of worshipping Krishna. For instance, by arotika, and by the regular procedure of the pancharatrika vidhi. But Raghunath Dasa Goswami says that better form of worship of Giriraj, of giridhari Krishna, is through the method of bhajan. The method of bhajan composes 5 nectarean activities. One is to hear about the pastimes, as we have been doing under the guidance of HHRNM. That’s a worship. You are sitting down and hearing pastimes, it’s not for your own entertainment. it’s for worship. Another form of worshiping the deity is through bowing down. And another form of worship is through remembering or meditating about the activities of the deities. Now one of these nectarean activities is the chanting of the holy names.
Now I know how many of you think when they hear chanting. O No!! Now he will ask us to get up. And then I’m already so tired. I could die. And he wants us to dance exuberantly. If I only think of dancing, it’s like thinking of breaking of bones. I’m really not into it. This is sometimes how we feel at the end of a day of pilgrimage when many things happened.
But I would like you to think about kirtan as something else. Kirtan is the glorification of Krishna. It comes from the syllable ___. To glorify. And so kirtan the person whom you glorify comes into the presence. The lord says he is present where his devotees chant. But the chanting must be done in a special way. That is with affection. You can perform Bhakti with nectar and without nectar. Most of you do it without nectar. That’s why you get tired. But if you perform bhakti with nectar, you don’t get tired so easily. Tiredness also will happen. But if you do it with affection, you will do it in a very inspired way. Think of a mother who takes care of her child. The moment she thinks that the child is a burden, she will become very very tired and very reluctant. Think of a mother in opposition who takes care of the child with affection. At that times the mother will run around, she will not mind the long hours into the night, when she takes care of her child, because affection will motivate, strengthen, invigorate or juicen up her practice. So chanting its very important you don’t think it’s a tongue activity, it’s a muscle activity. Chanting is a heart activity, where you offer your glorification and affection for Krishna. Having said this I would request you to get up. Don’t worry nothing wild will happen. Hare Krishna. So who are the mrdanga players. This will be the mrdanga players? Wow!! You look very young. Who will control the mrdanga players? No response? Not so fast. We want to chant with affection. Giriraj Maharaj ki jai. Srila Prabhupada ki jai. Sri Sri Gaur Nitai ki jai. Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar ki jai.
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