Govardhana/Vrindaban/Govardhana I went to Vrindaban

November 12th, 2000


I went to Vrindaban for the day to attend the Vyasa-puja ceremony for Partha Sarathi Prabhu, held on the large veranda outside my room there. About twenty of his disciples attended and it was short, sweet, and intimate. Krishna spoke through me to glorify His devotee. My talk was appreciated, but I can’t remember too many of the details. I just remember how pleasing it was to spend time with my dear friend and godbrother.

Now that kartik is over, I reduced my rounds by a third. I miss the healthy pressure of the vrata (vow). It created a shield of determination to protect me from distraction and personal laxity. One also needs a strong purpose to not allow others to infringe on one’s personal time without offending them. A nama-vrata is a good reason. I started reading ?Follow The Angels? by Srila B.R. Sridhara Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada’s revered godbrother. In that book he gives a wonderful interpretation of the enigmatic verse from the Srimad-Bhagavatam:

“Lord Siva says, ?I may know the meaning of the Bhagavatam and Sukadeva may also know. As for Vyasadeva he may or may not know it. The Bhagavatam can only be known through bhakti, not by mundane intelligence or by reading many commentaries.?”

The idea is that Bhagavatam is not just a matter of words, ink, and paper. It is cit-sakti?spiritual potency, directly Krishna. When the Bhagavatam manifests itself through a qualified person, it is not manufactured from or dependent on that person’s intellect?although the intelligence used in Krishna’s service is an important part of the process. It manifests through the person from a higher realm. It therefore may be beyond a person’s intellectual capacity or memory, and the person serving as an agent to manifest the Bhagavatam may or may not even understand what he has spoken.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur used to pray to each word in the Bhagavatam and volumes of meaning concerning the pastimes of Radha and Krishna would pour forth onto his page. No one could decipher that from the mere literal meaning. So by mundane intelligence even the author of the Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadeva, may or may not know its full meaning. When I put the First Canto of Bhagavatam on tape, I would spend the day before preparing it as nicely as I could. The next day, I would try to present the message as clearly as possible, with the understanding that Krishna is nondifferent from his message. If, by Srila Prabhupada’s grace, I was able to elucidate the text cogently, the experience of hearing the message, both for the speaker and hearer, seemed beyond the intellectual or mental sphere. It was a meditation on Krishna, and an experience of His presence. When you meet someone that is attractive, it is experiential, not academic. In the studying of Bhagavatam we use our intelligence in Krishna’s service, but ultimately it is an observation, not a theoretical study.

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