New Ekachakra Dham It is

June 3rd, 2001

New Ekachakra Dham

It is raining so I have doubts about the feasibility of today’s Vrindaban parikrama at Innis Free Gardens. If necessary, we will all squeeze inside the Sri Sri Nitai-Gaura Nataraja temple for the weekend and, by the holy name, try to transcend any inconvenience.

Nitai clears the rain for the parikrama. I promised the devotees that Innis Free Gardens with its lotus flowers, waterfalls, Japanese gardens, and natural beauty could invoke a sweet remembrance of Vrindaban. They were not disappointed. My favorite part: the water mist from the large rocks below the garden which we easily visualized and worshiped as Govardhana. Still, it’s hard to beat the exquisitely sculptured and contoured Chinese and Japanese gardens that we approached in the mood of Varsana.

Upon leaving Vrindaban one summer, a sadhu consoled me by saying that if I see a river in America and think of the Yamuna, the Yamuna in Vrindaban will accept my prayers. I felt comforted. His suggestion was somewhat consistent with the instructions of Krishna delivered by Uddhava to the gopis to mitigate their separation from Him: “I [Krishna] am always in Vrindaban in my bhava expansion.” Krishna’s instructions to the gopis suggests that He is ultimately manifest within His internal potency and thus certainly manifest in the hearts of one infused with the internal potency by dint of intense devotion. Vrindavan denotes the internal potency. That Krishna never leaves Vrindaban thus also means that He is never outside of His internal potency.

Many traveled long distances to get to New Ekachakra dhama. The travel, the small feast upon arrival, and the long walk in the damp forest of Innis Free appears to have utterly exhausted the devotees. I am seriously concerned whether or not they can make the rest of the program for the evening. I am amazed, however, that by the time the devotees return to New Ekachakra dhama and become absorbed in a few favorite Krishna bhajans, the overwhelming fatigue has disappeared. Why I am so surprised? Do I doubt the power of the holy name?

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