Govardhana Intoxicated bees were humming

November 10th, 2000


Intoxicated bees were humming here and there amidst the rows of lush green trees filled with colorful, aromatic flowers. All the lakes, rivers, hills, and forest resounded with the melodious singing of flocks of many kinds of birds as they flew from place to place. Madhu-pati Sri Krishna, accompanied by Baladeva and the gopas entered Vrindavana and, while gazing the cows,vibrated a mellow sweet tune upon His alluring flute.” (Venu-gita 10)

Yesterday my chanting and service was slack. This morning a slight malaise,or fear, entered my consciousness. It was the familiar feeling one gets when you commit yourself to becoming resident of Vrindaban, but become relaxed in devotional service Vrindaban is Krishna?s internal potency and, therefore, everything here moves for His pleasure. If one is living in Vrindaban, but moving for his own pleasure, one is moving in the wrong direction. His life has become incompatible with the dhama and that unnatural situation is immediately felt in the heart.

Our property here, almost two acres, is filled with a variety of beautiful trees and flowers. Lok-pramana (evidence by village talk) espouses the theory that the king who built this small palace as his place of worship in Vrindaban even planted all of the possible varieties of local medicinal plants. There are rose, marigold, and tulasi gardens; rows of ashok and neem trees; and plenty of tamal and kadamba trees?favorites of Krishna and Radha. The kadamba trees here also form a beautiful kadamaba-kunja (a forest room manifest exclusively by the natural growth of flowers or trees). A six-foot indigenous red-stone and mortar Rajasthani wall surrounds the property with a three-foot wrought iron spiked fence on top. It is necessary for security and to keep the thousands of Govardhana monkeys from our beautiful gardens.

Every animal has its own nature. Monkeys do monkey business, or damage. Therefore, at our house in Vrindaban, we plant mostly roses because, evidently, monkeys don’t like to eat them. Of course, they still come to break their stems and destroy them. The ashram in Govardhana, therefore, employs two chokidharas (gatemen) armed with imported slingshots just to keep out the monkeys. It’s a full-time job. At around 6AM, just after sunrise, the monkeys come from all directions to siege the palace. “Rah! Ah! Eh!” the chokidhars grunt, as they chase one monkey after another from the roofs of the towers on the various corners of the palace. They also chase them from the gardens until they jump back over the wall. “Rah! Ah! Eh!” the brahmacaris shout, as they also join in, as does Kesava Bharati. It’s war!

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