Vrindaban Met in the evening

November 24th, 2000


Met in the evening with Sacinandana Swami. We discussed our personal spiritual practices. Our conclusion was that although there are certain common factors in everyone’s attempt to perfect his sadhana?selfless service to spiritual master, inoffensive chanting, and the mood of separation, for example?each individual also has an individual practice that will unfold and develop as a response to ones personal sincerity to advance. A good example of a balance between the standard practices of spiritual development and one’s individuality is H.H. Satsvarupa Maharaja who, in addition to his regular preaching services, spends increasing time in seclusion writing, immersed in self-introspection and the cultivation of personal integrity. Another example is H.H. Radhanatha Swami who tries to remain absorbed in the congregational chanting of the holy name, interspersed with intense pilgrimages to holy places in India. H.G. Bhurijan Prabhu has adopted, in addition to his regular sadhana, a comprehensive focus on the Bhagavatam that began from the first verse and is now steadily approaching the Tenth Canto, following in the footsteps of Maharaja Pariksit. Another good example of a serious sadhaka is Sacinandana Swami himself, who has gravitated in his personal practices to prolonged japa meditation, which includes concentrated personal retreats to deepen his attraction for the holy name.

Sacinandana Swami also stressed that we should chant in the mood of separation because it is the mood that is most consistent with our present position?separation from Krishna. It is also therefore the mood of bhajan that we can adopt most sincerely.

We both appreciated the contribution of Gaura Govinda Swami to our line of personal worship, the emphasis and deep understanding of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Partha-Sarathi also stressed this to me in my
discussions with him.

I went to visit B.B. Govinda Swami, who has just arrived. When I entered the courtyard of his house, Maharaja, a large heavy set American-born sannyasi, was sitting next to and dwarfing Nitai Baba, a very sweet, old, and humble diminutively-built local babaji, affectionately stroking his back. Govinda Swami has a heart of gold. He has adopted the 82 year-old poverty stricken babaji and helps with his meager rent and his medical needs. Last year he even arranged a fan for Nitai Baba’s simple room to help him survive another scorching Vrindaban summer.

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