accompanying the entourage of
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
23 February 2008 evening
Dandabat pranams from Sri Rupa Saraswati Sridhar Seva Kunja, Vrindavan Dham.
I know the world is still feeling deeply nourished by Vaidehi Didi's beautiful video offering of 20th February. I couldn't write for the last couple of days due both due to my poor health and to the mind-blowing talks of Srila Gurudev. I just felt inadequate to express those things. Anyhow here is my attempt.
Yesterday afternoon His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, came out and walked across the road to the temple room of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Rasabiharijiu. His wondrous talk there was filmed by Vaidehi devi dasi, and will no doubt appear soon for your transcendental nourishment. Srila Gurudev told us that these Deities are the most beautiful Deities in Vrindavan; the most beautiful in the world. Gurudev said he has the right to say this, because he has seen all. Nowhere you will find Deities like these, not here, not anywhere, he said. He instructed Ranajit Prabhu to take a picture, and when he saw the picture in the camera, he was very happy. Srila Gurudev said he would see this picture every day in his computer.
Every morning we are hearing a wonderful class given by Sripad Goswami Maharaj. These are the talk of the town for hours afterwards. Those who cannot go for any reason quickly get the mp3 file and hear it later. The days are so rich!
Oh and speaking of rich, I know you want to hear about prasadam. Hmmm, this morning we honoured a wonderful flat-rice subji with peas and potatoes, and amazing hot halava with cashews. When the noon aratik began in the temple, all the devotees looked at each other and exclaimed, "Didn't we just take breakfast?"
Today we honoured a subji full of kofta patties, a beautiful cauliflower subji and the usual hot rice, dahl and very rich creamy sweet rice. Ah, it's a hard life, but we must push on! Prasadam is cooked by Kamalesh Prabhu, who gives every drop of the credit for his genius to Srila Gurudev.
Prasadam is daily served by Ravir Krishna Prabhu, nicknamed 'Prasad Prabhu' as the best prasadam server ever! He is sweet and cheerful, and his face shows his heartfelt joy when anyone accepts his tireless offerings of more, more, and more.
The name of our Math here in Vrindavan is Sri Rupa Saraswati Sridhar Seva Kunja. Srila Gurudev said yesterday that this name is very significant, as it describes both our line and our philosophy of divine service.
Srila Gurudev's activities and words are all very deep and significant — and mysterious! Srila Guru Maharaj Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj himself expressed in Gurudev's pranam mantra that all conceivable and inconceivable knowledge will come to him. We will see the true wonders of divine life only by his mercy.
Srila Govinda Maharaj says repeatedly how fortunate we are; that we really do not know how fortunate we are. This morning he said that no one has to wake up a woman to tell her that her labour pains have started. The pains will automatically wake her up. Similarly when this Divine Plane will reveal in our hearts, there will be no need for any external confirmation from anywhere.
A few days ago, Srila Gurudev glanced for only a few seconds around the walls of the Memorial Hall of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, and mystically understood that one verse was missing. Srila Gurudev explained that this verse is the essence of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. In spite of great learning, no one else could see its importance and include it. The verse is:
Sri Rupa Raghunatha pade yara asa; Chaitanya-charitamrta kahe Krsnadasa. "Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krishna Das, narrate Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, following in their footsteps."
Soon this verse will appear, carved on marble tiles beneath the small windows on either side of the asana of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami.
This morning Srila Gurudev again welcomed us in his sitting room, and spoke a long time. He said that tomorrow, Sunday, we will return to Govardhan. Srila Govinda Maharaj wishes to celebrate the Appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad there. He was discussing the feast which will be offered to Srila Prabhupad on that most holy day, and even asked us if we like such and such preparation!
Srila Govinda Maharaj said that those who have not seen Sri Radha Kunda may stop there on the way to Govardhan. He is so mercifully, so ardently, and with so much hope for us, telling many beautiful things about waking early in the morning in Govardhan, picking flowers in Kusum Sarovara, and going to Radha Kunda for seva. But what can my deaf imitation ears hear? All we know is that Srila Gurudev has embraced us and is taking us to the Supreme Truth, which is all beautiful, all charming and all pure, holy, innocent and eternal. It is incomparably more glorious and pure than any kind of religion, it is the service of the servants of the servants of Srimati Radharani. All living beings are striving day and night only to connect with the dust of the lotus feet of such an exalted effulgent personality as our Srila Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. That dust is the fulfillment of all desires.
Our journey may seem a little long and hard sometimes, as we struggle with the shadows and echoes of our, albeit temporary, mental circumstances, but Gurudev is there. Finally after millions of lifetimes, we have found our home sweet home, the heart of all knowledge, our divine prospect, if only we can truly surrender and participate in that eternal joyous service.
We must qualify ourselves for such a perfect existence with love, full surrender, prayer and sacrifice. But we are also there for each other. Srila Guru Maharaj said, "We are going on as a group. Sometimes I am discouraged and you are coming to my aid. And sometimes you will feel discouraged and I will come to your aid."
Jaya all the devotees!
Jaya Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj!
Jaya Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj!
P.S. This evening I was just leaving for the internet place to send this off, when a monkey instantly provided some entertainment outside by running off with the shoe of Manasa Krishna Prabhu! Yesterday, too, we all burst into laughter when we looked over and saw a shoe of Damayanti Didi suddenly flying off the Temple roof.
Srila Gurudev affectionately warned us upon our arrival about carrying plastic bags, and wearing glasses. The monkeys love those two things and will get them by hook or by crook. But our guesthouse is enclosed with a cage-like structure, popular in Vrindavan, to keep the monkeys out. Only the little ones still creep through the bars and scamper around a bit before getting scared or startled and quickly rushing off to their mothers.
Today His Divine Grace beautifully sang four songs: Jaya Radhe, Jaya Krsna, Jaya Vrindavan; Hari Haraye Namah Krsna; Sri Damodarastakam; and Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite. He said that he did not know when he would come back here, so he wanted to sing these songs.
All glories to Srila Gurudev! All glories to the unfathomable affection and mercy of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Rasabiharijiu! All glories to Sri Nityananda Prabhu!
With my humble dandabat pranams,
~Srilekha Devi Dasi