Govardhana When I awaken this

November 11th, 2001


When I awaken this morning, I can barely walk to the bathroom; the feet are that bad. I dress and shuffle slowly to the temple, but I cannot stand during mangal-arati. I have to be more careful about vows that require physical austerity, because the body has limits. I should have been more prepared. Still, I’m very disappointed. I’ve failed to maintain my vow.

There is some solace, however. I can still take shelter of my nama-vrata, and perhaps my afternoon chanting will be more attentive. It is difficult to hear while I’m concentrating on negotiating rough roads with sore feet.

Nama-vrata, a vow to significantly increase the number of rounds daily, sounds like a great austerity. Normally it would be, but not at Govardhana. Chanting here is much easier. Of course, the struggle is there and determination is required, but the dhama gives a strength and enthusiasm in Krishna consciousness that is difficult to imagine elsewhere. Even newcomers experience a substantial surge in their spiritual capabilities here, provided their approach is proper. And when one performs a little austerity here for the purpose of increasing one’s devotional service, peacefulness and enthusiasm inevitably blossom?especially prayerfully circumambulating Giri-Govardhana and begging for the mercy for the holy name.

I am writing this journal entry by the window of my room, which looks out onto the beautiful Dan-ghati view of Govardhana?the place where Krishna enacted the tax pastime. My vision has significantly changed in only a week. Giriraja no longer looks distant. He is friendly and inviting, eager to fulfill the desires of his devotees, whatever they may be. It’s better to ask for krishna-prema.

Bolo Giriraja Maharaja ki jaya!

Japa Realizations I
Harinama is a prayer, but what are we praying for? Our chanting should be thoughtful, not mindless. We should concentrate on hearing each syllable, but why? For us it is not a mechanical ritual adopted from our forefathers, but a dynamic process of realization that we have boldly embraced in this lifetime for enlightenment. Why we came is why we should chant?at the very least. If we are not cognizant of our prayers, has Krishna appeared on our tongue?

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