October 13, 2003 – Karttika

October 13th, 2003


Japa Thoughts V
I caught myself chanting this morning for a while without a specific entreaty. For prayer to be effective, it must be accompanied by an appeal for some form of mercy as in, ?O Lord (Krishna), O energy of the Lord (Radha), please engage me in your service!?

Parikrama I
Mikey and the other devotees who were attending my class in Vrndavana came to visit. We were planning a visit to a few places at Govardhana, but we spent most of our time here at the asrama due to problems with our car. I spoke for several hours on the glories of Govardhana, mostly from the roof of the Bhaktivedanta Asrama. Finally, our car came and we were able to spend an hour at Govinda-kunda absorbed in kirtana.

Our experience: Parikrama in the holy dhama is a very powerful spiritual practice. The association of the holy dhama inspires the chanting of the holy name and the chanting of the holy name manifests the holy dhama. The sincere pilgrim on parikrama therefore experiences a very powerful dynamic because the holy dhama in conjunction with the holy name increasingly manifests each other?s glories.

Sense gratification is external to the self. It is thus not inherently satisfying. We are usually left to either hanker for material enjoyment in the future (passion), or reminisce about it in the past (ignorance). Parikrama (chanting and hearing at the places of the Lord?s pastimes) is completely satisfying to the self. It quickly brings one to spiritual goodness?an absorption in the ?eternal present.? Today I sensed that we were satisfied in the moment, chanting Hare Krishna at the foot of Govardhana.

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