Govardhana Arrived from Vrindavan to

October 17th, 2002

Govardhana

Arrived from Vrindavan to Govardhana.

The holy dhama, especially Govardhana, is potent. It seems that obstacles to spiritual life are removed by just living here, but without offense.

Being in the presence of Govardhana humbles me, but I feel satisfied in my insignificance, which makes life so easy, because that’s what I am–insignificant.

Only when we are satisfied with the present can we be free from passion, which casts us to the future, and from ignorance, which projects us to the past. Of course, I am not satisfied. How can one so far from Krishna, with so many impurities, be satisfied? But I am content that what I need to become successful as a devotee is here, this instant, at Govardhana, independent of my destiny, past, or future.

His Holiness Indradyumna Swami is here for the winter, also living in one of the five turrets of the palace renovated into small single room dwellings for prayer.
He looks quite thin, but healthy–down nearly 40 pounds from his visit to the US last spring! We meet in the afternoon and I inquire about his austere diet. He talks about a permanent change, for his health and spirituality, of a simpler renounced life. He repeatedly quotes from “his new mission statement,” the direct instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami on the duties of the renounced order:

“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they have to say. You should not eat palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but you should offer all respects to others. Always chant the holy name of Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha-Krishna in Vrindaban.”

Of course, Maharaja has always been an ideal sannaysi, pushing on the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at great personal sacrifice. His preaching will still remain as vigorous as ever, but age, health, and the personal fruit of his preaching–attachment to the holy name–is dictating a more simple and traditional lifestyle. He speaks with conviction and I am convinced by the power of his words and the purity of his presence. I must also be more determined to represent the legacy of tridandi-sannyasa. I hope he has won a convert.

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