Monday Morning Greetings 2022 #40 – Home at Last!

October 3rd, 2022

It’s still a mess! Construction on my place in Govardhan was just finished two days ago. Groups of people are already arriving. I’m just not settled here yet. If there is one thing that is certain. I have less the illusion of control here than anyplace else. How can that not be? Śrī Radha is the queen of Vrindavan!


Why do I come here?


I come here for one reason only. My service here is to help pilgrims enter the holy place. The experience of Krishna, the deep faith that comes when God touches your heart is more profound in Vrindavan than any place else.


But my main service is to have that experience myself. You must have something before you can give it. And that experience comes in association with the saintly.


If I think about it, however, I mostly come to Vrindavan not because I am qualified to mine the jewels of devotion here—jewels not just buried here, but present in every speck of dust and every flower that blooms—but because there are devotees that stay and visit here that are qualified to do so. They have entered the holy land in a mood of service and can thus scratch beyond its external covering to strongly feel a deep and very real connection to Krishna. I hanker for their audience.


I think most of us can admit that we are not pious. We just have to look at our birth and the many unwholesome influences we had growing up through our teens. There is one reason only we are here—the mercy of Śrīla Prabhupāda. He created our piety by giving us a mission of service and sacrifice and thus the lens to enter and see the land of selflessness.


I therefore begin my stay here by the audience of those souls who have given their life to Śrīla Prabhupāda.


I visited Kadamba Kanana Swami yesterday evening. I was told I could visit him after he returns at 4:30 PM. I not sure from where he was returning from, but he was leading a parikrama for most of the day. When I opened the door, I was quite shocked. Instead of visiting an energy depleted dying man, I met an energetic and effulgent person sitting upright with full energy eagerly waiting for my visit. How can a person with a hundred tumors in one’s lungs, and that is just the number in one organ, still be alive let alone be firing on all cylinders? His realizations were simple, but deep, because they were said with realization and conviction. In other words, he meant it: “I am ready to go or stay. It is all in the hands Krishna. Why should I care?”


I spent two evenings with Jayadvaita Swami. A devotee thinks of others before oneself. He is here for Kadamba Kanana Swami. He will be with him to the end. His vision of life and service is always very succinctly and clearly expressed. It was honor to hear his thoughts.


I was invited for lunch with Bhurijan Prabhu. Among other things we talked about how to go deeper in vraja-bhakti following in the footsteps of Śrīla Prabhupāda. He stressed two things: deep understanding of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta and service to His mission. The jewels of realizations were flowing. I leave his room a wealthier person.


I have been here a few days, but now I have some hope of being able to truly enter this most sacred of holy lands. I leave this morning for Govardhan parikrama. Vrindavan becomes alive through the smiles of the saints, sādhus, and simple vrajavāsīs I meet along the way whose humble smiles radiate their inner contentment. Home at last!


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