Gita-nagari I arrive by car

April 21st, 2001

Gita-nagari

I arrive by car at Gita-nagari by noon. As I turn by the brahmacari ashram, a brahamcari pays his obeisances. I stop the car and roll down the window. Advaita Acarya, from Croatia, smiles, folds his hands, and offers a humble entreaty: ?Please take darshan of Radha-Damodara.? I usually go to the cabin first, not the temple, but through Advaita, I sense Radha-Damodara’s will. I feel blessed and unworthy.

When Radha-Govinda called me to Schermerhorn Street a few days ago, I think I made a mistake by only offering respects outside and not going inside. When a master calls his servant, the servant should immediately drop everything, no matter what they are doing, and see what their Lord needs?like the gopis who left their husbands, children and family as soon as they heard the calling of Krishna’s flute. When the Lord calls, His darshan should be one’s first priority. On to Damodara!

As I enter the new temple I am completely taken aback. I am immediately captured by the charm of Damodara and His quaint and tasteful temple. The rustic setting, the wood design. It’s madhurya, a sweetness that over shadows majesty and opulence. It’s simple, but it wouldn’t be any nicer if it were a palace of gold.

After greeting the Deities I am welcomed by Kaulini and Mangala-Arati. The brijabasis are here, too!

I have never experienced such a powerful sacred space outside of Vrindaban before as Sri Sri Radha-Damodara’s temple. It’s like walking into Vrindaban by just traveling a few hundred miles and opening a door in the forest. My conviction is reinforced. Outside of Vrindaban, there is no place so Vraja as Gita-nagari!

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