Thoughts On Entering Vrindavana

October 26th, 2010

October 14, 2010
Sri Vrindavana

Thoughts on entering Vrindavana:

As a man dying of thirst in the desert finds an oasis, as a man with an apparently incurable disease finds the cure… Viswanath Cakravarti describes the feelings of a conditioned soul awakening in Goloka Vrindavana after achieving perfection. Maybe not like that, but I certainly feel relief – great relief – to be in the land of Vraja.

Vrindavana is my home. On entering the cul-de-sac to my Vrindavana place, I see Balaram Baba. He greets me affectionately and insists I immediately take prasadam. I have lived here more than half of my life – that's more than any other place. So many friends, so many affectionate greetings, and so many people who love Krishna are here.

I expected to find Vrindavana covered by urban sprawl and all else that Kali offers. Today I don't see it. I see loving souls and the spirit of devotion. I roll in the dust. I bathe in the Yamuna.

I honor Aindra Prabhu. Twice a day I attend the 24 hour kirtan. I miss him, but his spirit is there in those determined to take up his mission. Some beautiful kirtans continue by his grace.

I vow that while in Vrindavana I will just take food when it comes by Krishna's mercy. Today I am invited for the incomparable maha prasadam from the raja bhoga cooked by Bhuvanesvara. Heavenly figs unexpectedly arrive sent from my friends in Croatia. And then there is a late afternoon invitation to join Indradyumna Swami for his Radha Govinda maha prasadam when he returns from Govardhana parikrama. Wow! Homemade ice cream. Milk sent from the goshalla. So much prasadam. I am forced to honor, not gorge. “No one starves in my village,” Gopal tells Madhavendra Puri at Govinda Kunda. I believe it.

A good welcome this time. I call it happy mercy, but all mercy, whether happy or not, is mercy; it pulls us back to the lotus feet of Krishna. Late morning I walked the parikrama path to the Radha Damodar Temple to pray and chant at Their renowned courtyard of sacred tombs (samadhis). At Sri Jiva's, a sadhu points with a wagging finger of warning at my glasses. My heart drops. I grab them in relief and tuck them away, admonishing myself, “How could I forget to put my glasses away in the very place where monkeys prey on foolish pilgrims in their bananas for glasses scam?” I reflect on my fortune, “How was it possible that I walked the most notorious section of monkey land in Vrindavana with my glasses still intact. Unprecedented!” An unusually good welcome. Happy mercy!

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