In December 2009, I was visiting a few temples in Vrindavan at around noon. While coming out of the Goswami Ghera of Sri Sri Radha Raman, I was in a dilemma about whether I should go to Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda temple or into Loi Bazaar to have something to eat because I was literally starving since morning and I had only had Krishna Balaram’s caranamrita…after a great hustling debate in my mind, I finally subdued the thought of going towards Loi Bazaar and decided to go to Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda.
Saveguarding my belongings from the sharp eyes of monkeys, I reached the temple just when the dieties were enjoying their Rajbhog Aarti. After the Aarti, the deities went for their afternoon rest and I prepared to set out of the complex. The instant I turned away from the temple, a great hand rested on my shoulder. I turned back again to find that the one who stopped me was Radha Gokulanand’s pujari with a plate full of Rajbhog prasadam in his other hand. He asked me to have some prasadam before leaving the temple premises. It came as a surprise since Krishna gave me what I was in need of, and that too without my even asking for it!! Then suddenly Srila Prabhupada’s quote that no one goes hungry in Krishna’ s Vrindavan crossed my mind.
I was amazed to experience how one’s desires are so quickly fulfilled in Sri Dham Vrindavan, and that too without one even asking for them!!
This was my Vrindavan experience..Sri Vrindavan Dham ki jai!!
Chandan Yatra at Krishna-Balaram temple in Vrindavan. This video brings you both the festival atmosphere and the sneak view of the preparation behind the altar curtain.
Chandan Yatra at Krishna-Balaram temple in Vrindavan. Chandan Yatra is a festival which is celebrated during the hot season. Temple Deities all over the India are covered with sandalwood paste known for its cooling effect. This video brings you both the festival atmosphere and a sneak view of the preparation behind the altar curtain.
Spring time… by Aindra Prabhu’s mercy, I was in the 24-hour kirtan in Vrindavan. We had intense service everyday, which was full of nectar. Aindra Prabhu was inspiring me so much. He used to say: ‘The more you put energy in kirtan, the more you’ll get spiritual benefit!’ It was a simple sentence, but because he was saying that with such conviction and experience, it left a deep impression on me. That was the day of the boat festival. The deities were going to swim in the Yamuna.
I decided to go a little before and take bath in the Yamuna. It is well known that Keshi Ghat is a very, very auspicious place to do so. I got there, contemplating the upcoming kirtan while putting on my gamcha and offering dandavats to Yamuna Devi. Those who have been in Keshi ghat know that the river there is very deep. I went into the water, held the last step with my outstretched arm, and dived three times. When I came up the third time, I was eye to eye with the two blazing eyes of a black snake, which was poised to bite me. In a second I realized that I might never get to be part of kirtan or eat Radha Shyamasundara’s maha cheese cake again in this life time! But Krishna gave me a chance. I dived deeply, swam some distance by stream and came out, like one newly-born.
We can see the value of these opportunities to chant Hare Krishna, especially in Vraja dhama. There is the tendency to lose our Krishna consciousness, but all kinds of troubles are meant to wake us up and provoke a kind of “earthquake” in our consciousness. So it is far better to keep ourselves alert in service to the Lord’s Holy Name, dhama and His devotees, as says Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
nama-sudha-rasa, gao krsna-jasa
rakho vacana mana mora
“Lord Krsna is the life of the River Yamuna. He is always absorbed in amorous pastimes, and He is the moon of the gopis’ minds, which are like the cakora birds that subsist only upon moonlight. O mind, obey these words of mine and sing the glories of Sri Krsna in the form of these holy names, which are full of nectarean mellows”.
Otherwise, we risk having meetings with snakes and facing other unwanted happenings.