Govardhana About five years ago

October 18th, 2000


About five years ago an old sadhu told me that after years of practice the mind could become one’s humble servant. It was said with conviction. Imagine, in the morning, having our distracted minds humbly obeying our order to just focus on the Holy Name without diversion.

Besides its mystical potency, the dhama, like every place, carries the vibration and mood of the people who reside there. It also carries the vibration and mood of the environment that it’s residents construct according to their modes. Unfortunately, the dhama is now being covered by materialism. Vrindaban is now even filled with cyber cafes, although they are quite primitive by modern standards. Even still, although the dhamas are now somewhat externally vibrating with materialism, the potency of the dhama cannot be denied?especially if one approaches the dhama with the determination to live there for the pleasure of Hari.

Fortunately, Govardhana is still just a simple village. The vibration there is very powerful from the pure sadhus and Krishna’s best servant (Haridas-varya), Giri-Govardhana. If one enters Govardhana with some determination for spiritual life, the mind becomes subdued and the holy name becomes much easier to hear. I chanted today with faith and concentration.

Absorption in the holy name touches the heart and one’s vision becomes clear. Unfortunately, that means that one also sees oneself. I saw my selfishness. Even writing this journal seems somewhat self-serving. Ceto darpana marjanam?chanting cleans the heart. The attic is being swept and the dirt is coming out.

Fear is also there. I fear becoming a servant. I am attached to a world that grossly and subtly moves for my comforts and pleasures, not the satisfaction of God. These attachments are deep-rooted and I don’t want to surrender. Good chanting always comes to the point of facing one’s lack of surrender. The choice is then given: Continue with determination, purify yourself, go further and surrender, or slacken up and stay where you are. The anchor of attachment has to be pulled up, but it takes sincerity, it’s takes courage, and it takes strength.

The heart is churning. Hope arises for Krishna’s mercy. At least I am not bored by nama-seva.

I think I realized today what Bhurijana Prabhu was explaining just the other day about the relationship between realizing the bliss of Krishna consciousness and becoming compassionate. We had another sat-sanga in Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu’s room. The discussion was about the nature of Govardhana, but we also discussed how the dhama becomes covered. That led to a discussion about how materialism was rampant.

With the expanding development of information technology, the world is becoming more and more opposed to spiritual life. It has thus become, in many ways, more difficult for devotees to become Krishna conscious than even ten years before. It has become increasingly difficult for people to maintain basic mental health?what to speak of Krishna consciousness. Jayadvaita Swami mentioned how Mrgesh, his assistant for the month who works for one of the biggest chemical (drug) companies, told him that the industry is shifting in a big way to an emphasis on the development of antidepressants. Suddenly I began to remember my last eight months in America, and how I counseled at least five devotees with the initial symptoms of a nervous breakdown and several others with clinical depression. I became disturbed and felt deeply for these devotees. It was a markedly strong emotion, compassion. Govardhana has made spiritual life such a positive reality. I strongly desire to give it to others because spiritual life can pacify the mind and satisfy the heart.

I sometimes worry about my disciples. That is the karma ones gets for taking disciples.

The good old days in Vrindaban meant you were cut off from the rest of the world. I remember when Satsvarupa Maharaja used to visit us in Vrindaban in the late ?70s. He would very much appreciate that there were no phones in Vrindaban and that being in Vrindaban completely isolated you from the world. To us today, such a place may seem even hellish. What is night for the conditioned soul is the time of awakening for the introspective sage.

I am doing my deity seva very carefully for Kartik. No short cuts, but conscientiousness and cleanliness?no succumbing to passion, distraction, ignorance, or laziness. Such worship gives taste in Krishna consciousness. Attentive spiritual life brings bhakti because it is meditation on Krishna. From meditation comes attachment for the object of meditation. That attachment is bhakti and bhakti is pleasure.

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