October 11, 2003 – Karttika

October 11th, 2003

Govardhana

There is not much happening here. So far I am the only senior devotee visiting, although more should come within a few days. I am also the only devotee occupying one of the kutirs on the roof. Because it is the sadhus who inspire my realizations by their personal insights and their faith in the holy name, I can?t imagine what I will write without their association.

But I am not alone. Giriraja is here, sitting right outside my window in all His glory. I feel His mercy in the form of access to the holy name?at least a lot more entr?e than I am usually granted. There is no other explanation for this than His kindness.

Sadhu-Sanga II
I shared with Kesava Bharati Maharaja the story of a visit that I recently had with an old friend in Vrndavana. My friend was in ISKCON, but when his spiritual master left, he took shelter of a renowned Vaisnava babaji. When he left, several of my friends and acquaintances also gradually went with him. I was sad, since for the most part, they were very qualified devotees in Srila Prabhupada?s mission.

I was surprised when my friend told me that, after 20 years, he was leaving Vrndavana to live with his children. He then casually informed me about my other friends in his group. I was shocked. One, an aristocratic chap, went crazy and wound up in a mental hospital in Agra. Another, an accomplished scholar, was now somehow into Rajnesh. One more, known for his steadiness, devotion, and austerities was now confused and uncertain.

In discussing this with Kesava Bharati Maharaja, he mirrored my thoughts: ?Srila Prabhupada is especially empowered to preach in the West. To leave his mission and mercy is putting oneself at risk?especially as a Westerner who came by his mercy.?

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