I left for Vrindavan in the afternoon with three other devotees. We reached just when Guru maharaj’s seminar was going on in the Balram Hall. It was wonderful to listen to Krishna’s Vrindavan Lila’s from Guru Maharaj. This seminar was for 5 days and culminated on 17th evening with description of Vrindavan in the spiritual world.
Later I took darshan of Guru Maharaj at his apartment with other devotees. Guru Maharaj always emphasizes on staying under the shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet and ISKCON. Every time I hear his message my resolve to serve ISKCON becomes stronger.
I was also pleasantly surprised to meet HG Mahadevi Dasi here. She had come to meet guru Maharaj to pre pone his seminar by half an hour, which he graciously agreed. Her presence makes me feel so good. She also told me that there may be some rooms available at the hotel next to MVT, I got the last room and the problem of where to stay was solved in 5 minutes. Hari Bol.
I attended the mangal Arti and did my rounds at Srila Prabhupada’s quarters. I found some devotees went for govardhan parikarma today morning and I felt sad I wanted to go for one in Kartika. My consolation was circumambulation of Govardhan mountain devotees made in the temple complex last monday.
I attended a wonderful seminar by HG Sarvabhauma Prabhuji on Damodar Leela. It is always so nice to hear him and he enchanted everyone with his katha.
Guru Maharaj’s seminar started at 4.3o and he again took us to the land of Vrindvan with interesting stories and anecdotes about Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan.
I was most pleased to know that devotees from Ujjain were going for Govardhan Parikarma tomorrow morning, I requested them to take me with them and they heartily agreed.
The temple for choc o block at 4.30am, there was hardly space to even enter the compound. I squeezed in took darshana and left. We left for Govardhna Parikarma around 5 am and it was nice to be in a bus load of devotees. I had the good company of HG Radhapad Prabhuji from Ujjain during the initial yatra. After many solo parikarma’s I was back with devotees.
I hurt my foot within half an hour into Parikarma and foolishly looked for a Dr. or chemist as it opened the top layer of the skin and pained, I was also worried for the infection walking next 5 hours with an open wound. I lost all the devotees, as they went ahead, and could not find any chemist as well that that early hour of the day.
I paid my obeisances to Girirah Maharaj and started another solo parikarma ! After sometime I got hold of my pain and could concentrate on being present in the most holy Govardhan mountain. Early morning parikarma always works best for me. There were occasional blaring loudspeakers selling their wares but on the whole it was peaceful and enriching for my body as well as soul.
I thought about my little injury and realised the following
1. As an aspiring Vaishanava I should not have walked over a pile of garbage which got me injured. I will not take short cuts and always walk on the clean route.
2. I realise that my consciousness was not pure before starting the parikarma. Inspite of feeling great somewhere deep I still had the feeling of achieving another Parikarma rather than feeling truly humbled and acknowledging that I have got mercy to be able to offer my respects to Govardhan.
I pray to Sri Giri Govardhan that I do not forget these lessons.
Giriraj Maharaj Ki jai !
We were back in Vrindavan around 2 pm. I got my bandage done at Bhaktivedanta hospital, very quick, and cheap, Rs 50 for bandage and Rs15 for the tetanus shot.
I kept a fast for the parikarma day and felt bad that I did not keep the last 5 days of Kartika. I attended Guru Maharaj’s seminar at 4.30pm, how I wish that Guru Maharaj should speak 2 hours each in the morning as well as afternoon. It was wonderful katha and Q & A.
Then came back to take darshan of guru maharaj at his apartment and meet devotees.
While coning out I met HG Saranga Prabhuji, who told me to come continue my fast till tomorrow afternoon and then join for a feast at Guru Maharaj apartment , devotees were to open the 5 days fast between 11.45 and 12.15pm. Hari Bol.
I attended the Mangal arti, took darshan of my beautiful Lord. I did my rounds at Prabhupada’s quarters. We had wonderful morning Kirtan by HH Lokanath swami maharaj before the Guru Puja. Then attended morning class by Guru maharaj, its so much learning for me when I see Guru Maharaj starting the class by asking everyone if they are feeling too cold and did everyone is sitting on the carpet. He is always caring for the audience. The class was wonderful and so were later his signature Q & A session.
I later sat in the well maintained park in MVT to complete my rounds and almost dozed off in the sunny weather!
I went to attend the feast at Maharaj’s apartment with Sumeet Prabhu and his family at 12 noon. It was surely a feast for the brahmacharis wo had kept the 5 day Bhishm panchak fast. I was just a freeloader. The food was simply delicious and there were so many dishes. I just about manage to finish my first servings with some effort. Guru Maharaj then came and asked almost everyone on how are they doing and encouraged us to eat more.
Guru Maharaj took a small session/class with students in the afternoon. Sitting there I realised how guru Maharaj started by asking them how was their trip to Vrindavan, who all came for the first time and then slowly took them into higher topics and that too with a such an ease. Its art Guru Maharaj knows , he always asks questions relevant to the audience and then still gives them a message in a very easy to understand manner.
I then rushed to meet HH Jananand Maharaj. I read about him in the mails HG Chitralekha devi dasi sends on her google group. Sumeet Prabhu serves him very well and due to his mercy I could meet maharaj. He was staying at ISKCON Goshala. As I went around looking for his room, I realised how good the aura around the goshala was. It was very peaceful, almost a farm like ambience. I took darshan of Maharaj he came across as a very gentle and simple soul. One can not help but admire how Srila Prabhupada touched each of his disciple and turned each of them into such devotees with different mood of serving their Guru and ISKCON.
I would love to stay in Goshala next time.
It was then time for the last class of the seminar Guru Maharaj was taking in the balram HallHe took us to the transcendental journey of the spiritual world and virtually summarised Sanatana goswami’s Sri Brihad Bhagavatamrita in one and a half hour. As Gopa Kumar from one `loka’ to another we could understand the hierarchy of each loka. We also saw how with a simple heart, right mantra and outright eagerness to meet Krishna Gopa Kumar finally receives the mercy of the lord and join Him in His eternal pastimes in Goloka Vrindavan.
I was sitting on the bench inside the hall due to my injured foot, and as I looked out of the window during the class, I saw the now familiar smiling face of HG Mahadevi Dasi ! Hari Bol. She smiled and left.
After the seminar many devotees left for their homes and I too had planned for the same but changed my prog for Monday as I could an opportunity to serve Guru Maharaj again.
As Guru Maharaj’s lecture was going on I heard the sound of sweet nectar, I knew it was Sachinandan Maharaj’s kirtan, suddenly there was a big desire, rater sort of cry, to see Maharaja and attend his retreat. The kirtan topped after sometime.
As I was going back to the hotel room I saw HH Sachinandan maharaj going towards temple from the Krishna Hall. Hari Bol. I paid my obeisances immediately.
After I came back to the temple and as I entered from the side door I could hear HH Sachinandan Maharaj was singing the kirtan. My joy knew no bounds. In my sudden spiritually uplifting mood the first thing I did was to buy the Chaitanya Charitamit book set. I bought the packet with me and then sat in the temple complex. Soon I was deep into the Kirtan by maharaj. He sang with deep feelings. I sang with my full voice and could connect with Lord. The Kirtan continued till 10 pm. It was so so wonderful to hear him. I had attended Maharaj’s retreat last year and over the period of time I lost most the instructions but in 10 minutes each word came back to me. Totally immersed, those were transcendental 2 hours for me. Thank you so much Maharaj.
HH Sachinandan Maharaj Ki jai !
I did not attend the mangal arti as I woke up late. Hurriedly went to do japa at Prabupada quarters. As I entered, I got the darshan of HH Sachinandan maharaj again as he too was chanting his rounds there.