Govardhan “O Radha-Giridhari, decorate my

October 31st, 2001


“O Radha-Giridhari, decorate my statements so that they may be pleasing to Your Lordship and inspire the devotees to increase their devotional service to Your lotus feet.”

Arrived at the ISKCON Govardhana Palace, the unparalleled place for Krishna bhajan. Whether it’s the design of the old Vaishnava King’s Vraja residence built perfectly according to vastu-sastra or the association of the saintly brahmacaris here or the omnipresence of Giri-Govardhana or a combination of various factors, peace of mind and a focus on the holy name takes on a new dimension here.

I sit in the evening on the porch outside the King’s neat little bhajan-sthali on the middle turrets of his palace. I look out at Govardhana. The incomparable view of Govardhana here always invokes the intimacy of seeing a dear and kind friend, but surprisingly, today, He seems a bit more foreign. Perhaps I have become too familiar.

As we age in Krishna consciousness we should not, due to familiarity, lose our reverence for the manifestations of the Lord, whether it’s His deity form or even His maha-prasadam. Instead, as we mature in Krishna consciousness, our realization of the Lord’s glories should also deepen. We should humbly submit ourselves with even greater meekness before the holy name, the Deity, and the Lord’s dhama.

Great souls never lose their reverence for even the simplest of the Lord’s manifestations in this world. When even an ordinary pilgrim would offer Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur some prasadam from the Deity he would circumambulate that man three times and prostrate himself before him to respect the Lord’s manifestation as maha-prasadam.

When my Godbrother, His Grace Bimala Prasad, visited his 97 year old siksa-guru, the most respected Sripad Bhakti Pramod Puri Maharaja, he was taken aback and embarrassed to see the old and sickly man immediately pay his full dandavats. When he asked the revered saint why he had offered his respects, the old sadhu folded his hands in a directed way to indicate Bimala’s harinama shawl. Bimal Prasad realized that Maharaja was such a humble and respectful saint that with sincere deference he was even submitting himself to the holy name manifest on his chadar.

The Lord mercifully appears in so many ways to deliver us, but we neglect him. I make a mental note to be much more guarded in the presence of the Lord, especially as His holy dhama. Kartik begins tomorrow. I am so much looking forward to the worship of Sri Radha in Her special month.

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