Govardhana ?One should chant the

November 3rd, 2000

Govardhana

?One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street, more humble than a blade of grass, more a tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others.?

Once a disciple of Srila Prabhupada called him a Vaishnava. Srila Prabhupada humbly but emphatically said, ?No! Vaishnava is not an easy thing!? He was teaching us that being a Vaishnava is not just an external thing?kunti-mala and tilaka?but a deep internalized conception that I am a servant of Krishna. It is difficult to become a Vaishnava, and I speak for myself, because it is everything we are not?not by our culture, not by our upbringing. A Vaishnava is the epitome of humility because he sees everyone as a servant of Krishna and thus becomes consciously focused on serving the desires and needs of others.

In Govardhana, I try to be self-sufficient, to take care of my own needs. Today as I was walking across the roof from the pujari room where I had just polished my own deity paraphernalia, I saw the brahmacaris in the courtyard looking up at me affectionately, but with disappointment. I could read their minds: ?Why are you washing your own deity paraphernalia, Maharaja, when that is our service. Please, we can do it.? It was their heartfelt desire to serve. That is Vaishnava.

I shout down to them, ?I can?t also do devotional service!??

We should all pray to become Vaishnavas, to change our ego to that of a servant. We can start by becoming the servant of even one close friend, instead of maneuvering to Lord over them. I pray, O Gopal Giridhari, when will I become a Vaishnava!

Went to Jahnava Baithak at Radha-kunda at 10:30 AM to finish my nama-vrata until lunch. Two devotees from Philadephia come up to where I was chanting to pay respects and ask some very nice questions. They are staying for a couple months in Vrindaban and by coincidence are living in the ashram across from my house in Vrindaban. They heard I will be giving classes in my room later in the month and tell me to count on them coming every day without fail. They also spontaneously offer to cook lunch for me everyday, which is convenient. I am always enlivened with opportunities to preach in America while living in Vraja. Sisya means to take the mood of his guru, so although I like the sadhu lifestyle, I also have a spirit and heart for preaching, like my Guru Maharaja.

The devotees from Philadephia leave. I continue my chanting. Across the shore on the bank of Radha-kunda, two young ISKCON couples arrive. Early twenties,
obviously not married, obviously on a date. Radha-kunda is non different from Srimati Radharani?Her liquid prema. Even Krishna worships Radha-kunda. What are they doing? They have no idea where they are!

I was disgusted that dhoti, tilak, kunti-mala, and sikha are just being used as a fashion by some unscrupulous local devotees in order to feign spirituality so they can pick up somewhat naive foreign girls.

Srila Prabhupada said that those who disrespect Radha-kunda are not bathing in Radha-kunda, but Naraka-kunda. Naraka means hell. Aparadha literally means distance [apa] from Radha [radha]. Their so-called coming to Radha-kunda will simply distance them from Radha.

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