Archive for September, 2005

Entering The Dhama – Would I see the big black snake again?

September 19th, 2005

September 19, 2005
Sri Vrindavana

Would I see the big black snake again?

Sri Vrindavana is Krishna’s internal potency. It’s thus Radha’s place and moves for the pleasure of Her beloved (Sri Krishna), which is also naturally Her pleasure. Thus if you’re not here to serve Them, you’re not in Vrindavana. Entering Vrindavana, therefore, means adopting the mood of a humble servant and relinquishing the false ego. Hence, in my journals I usually describe my first day of pilgrimage, of how the dhama humbles me in order to welcome me.

How would Krishna usher me into His dhama this year, or would He at all?

Would it be as He did five years ago, by the big black snake that sat on the step at Kesi Ghat eating a fish? Seeing it, I bolted from the Yamuna water as the sadhu and the brijabasi children laughed. Quite a first day!

Or would it be the monkeys, who cornered my assistant Mikey while he was gathering flowers for Giriraja? Or by the hideous bat that mysteriously landed on my shoulder last year?

Entering Vrindavana 2005

6:00 AM – Arrive In Delhi. Always smiling Gopal is waiting to picking me up. The first sight of a happy brijabasi in over six months is a feast for my eyes. So far, the entry is smooth.

7:00 AM – Turn onto the Mathura/Agra road. We’re still two hours away, but I intensely feel Vrindavana. The purification starts. Everything I keep and identify that is separate from the soul (the servant of Krishna) that I usually have no qualms about possessing and enjoying, is suddenly painfully exposed as anartha, unwanted. I can hardly bare it.

9:00 AM – We bypass our residence and drive directly to the Yamuna. I just can’t enter dhama life without first washing away my sins. I walk along Kesi Ghat looking for an appropriate place to bathe. Thump! What’s that on my back!? My glasses, my only glasses, tumble to floor. The monkey’s swipe scratches my temple, draws blood, but this furry brijabasi mischief maker uncharacteristically fumbles the glasses. They hit the ground before me! I pounce on them a millisecond before my aggressor’s paw. Krishna’s merciful. I could hardly tolerate helplessly watching my glasses gleefully twisted and chewed from a high perch above my reach.

I wipe the blood with my cloth and enter Yamuna’s sacred water. Relief!

11:00 AM – Walk into Radha Raman Bagichha, my Vrindavana neighborhood. Thousands of sadhus crowd the lane. The car cannot enter to get to my house. We carry my luggage in. What’s going on? The first known brijabasi I see on this trip is Balaram Baba, an auspicious sign. He smiles and greets me, “We are feeding three thousand sadhus today. Take bath. Then you join us.”

12:30 PM – I sit peacefully with the sadhus waiting patiently for prasadam. I am completely at home and have no desire to be any other place then where I am. I’ve entered the dhama!

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