Today we celebrated Govardhan Puja by offering dandavats to Giriraja Govardhan. I remembered that one of the reasons Sri Krishna arranged the Govardhan Puja was to remove the pride of His devotee Indradeva. So among other prayers, I was humbly requesting Girigovardhan to please remove the Sumeru mountain of pride within my heart. Just like a sharp thorn thrust within the eye causes blindness, the sharp thorn of pride pierces the eye of our self-realisation and causes spiritual blindness. Please Giriraja, lift this mountain of pride from my heart and allow me to become your genuine devotee. Today we began in the lane leading to Jatipura village. Passing the Vallabha Sampradya Mukharavinda we proceeded to the end of the village, then turned left to return to the main road. The area along the boundary wall had been used as an open toilet. There were multicoloured mounds of freshly deposited remains of the previous day’s curries, and, the waters used for cleansing had trickled across our path. As I was prostrating my body in the dust, glancing left, catching various aromas, I realised that the bad, smelly desires of my heart were no better than the waste products on the side of the path. The only difference was that path-side stools had passed easily from someone’s body, whereas the stool-like desires of my heart cling and cling, never wanting to come out. As much as I may read, or chant, or pray, or serve, I am understanding that I am totally dependent upon the causeless grace of Sri Radhe and Sri Krishna to free my heart from these filthy material desires. O Giriraja-dharan, O Giriraja Govardhan, please bestow your grace upon me, allow me to one day become your devotee. Turning to the main road we proceeded a short distance till we again entered the inside path. As it was Govardhan Puja the parikrama path was full of pilgrims and the dust from their feet covered our bodies. Half way between Jatipura and Govardhan Village we stopped our parikarama, our car was waiting, we stopped at Giriraja Sweet Shop for kacoris with a pumpkin subji that was like a sweet hot chutney. Madhava bought fresh jalebis, delicious Bengali chum chums, and we proceeded to Kusum Sarovara for our bath and picnic. Returning home, the devotees had worshipped my Giriraja beautifully. The altar was decorated with many flower garlands, pleasant incense and aromatic oils were burning, Giriraja had eaten a feast cooked by Vrindavan Bihari, mountains of delicious fruits, and tons of sweets. My neighbour Balarama Baba sent samples of the 56 preparations he had offered to Giriraja, Vijaya Radhika prepared sweet rice that tasted like amrita from the spiritual world. After a long shower we honoured the Lord’s tasty foodstuffs. Then I fell into a deep comatose situation. After an hour I rallied my spirits, again bathed, dressed, and went to Madhava Prabhu’s kirtan on the MVT lawn. It was celestial. Following that the vaisnavas allowed me to sing in the temple. After offering my lamp to the deities I walked in the cool Vraja night to Varaha Ghat relishing japa. Though Diwali was yesterday, I can hear big explosions of firecrackers throughout Vrindavan. Good night dear friends from blessed Vrindavan on the evening of Govardhan Puja. I pray that you all had blissful celebrations filled with sweet remembrance of the Lord’s Govardhan Lila. May the ever merciful, best devotee of Lord Hari, Giriraja Govardhan fulfil your heart’s deepest spiritual yearnings. O Vrindavan, my home, the land I love, please let me serve you.