Dhanurdhara Swami November 15th, 2000
Japa Kutir, Vrindaban
One naturally organizes his environment according to one’s desires and modes. The japa-kutir was designed and named by Baladeva Vidyabhusana as a place for devotional practices. I am also consciously trying to organize my room for my spiritual needs. I no longer sleep on a bed. In the evening I roll out a thin mattress on the floor so I can put it in away during the day and mop the floor where I sleep. The change was inspired by a sadhu who told me that those who are serious about bhajan don’t like chanting with foreign entities around, referring to the dirt and contamination from sleeping. My simple wooden bed is therefore reserved as my place of worship. On the side of the bed, next to the window, I’ve placed my asana (seat of worship). This vantage point gives me a perfect view of the domes on top of Srila Prabhupada?s samadhi, which are about two hundred yards from the japa-kutir and across the fifty-acre field that borders our house.
There have been some improvements to the japa-kutir since we got Panditji, our new caretaker, even though he’s eccentric and very easily upset. “Light swamiji! Light swamiji!” he calls out every morning and every night to remind me to either turn on or turn off the security lights on the veranda, which were illogically placed in my room. I used to be disturbed by him, but since he is efficient, relatively honest, and keeps the place clean, I?ve learned to tolerate him?even like him. He also keeps our garden beautiful?a burgeoning tulasi forest with plenty of rose bushes.
I also started my regular evening program of joining Aindra’s kirtan. The kirtans gets better and better?and more and more popular. It’s quite a show and very spiritually potent. Bhurijan Prabhu told me that, for him, ISKCON-Vrindaban means the Deities and Aindra’s kirtans. I agree. At least thirty resident devotees and countless pilgrims regularly attend. The “going to shows” or concert-tendency can easily be dovetailed in Vrindaban.