Govardhana I really worked on

November 10th, 2001


I really worked on my feet last night?soaking, scrubbing, massaging with oil. They feel slightly better, but they are still quite bad. Again I ponder whether or not I should go. I reason, “My feet were worse yesterday and I made it, so today I should certainly be true to my vow.” Just a short ways into the parikrama I realize that my feet today are much more sensitive. My pace slows to a crawl. The Radha-kunda side of Govardhana has long sections of rocky, broken paved roads, and hard rugged dirt paths. Even when I am healthy these stretches are testing. Frequently I stop to sift painful small granules of sand from the long and deepening cracks opening in both feet.

It is not even a quarter of the way around and I sense defeat. Although I am determined to complete my vow, I realize the toll taken physically, there is no way I will be unable to walk tomorrow. Three and a half hours later I collapse in relief at the front gate. Asit, as he does every night, is waiting for me at the ashram door. He greets me affectionately and helps me upstairs to my room. I’m tired, but very spiritually enlivened. With my feet burning, but my spirits so high, it becomes so obvious that happiness and distress don’t exactly parallel physical pleasure and pain. Actually, I’m feeling so enthused in service to Giriraja that I’m ready again for the long haul tomorrow.

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