I welcome you all to Vrindavan!!!

If with all humility and sincerity we approach the Lord to serve Him with love, then Krishna gives Himself to us, and that includes everything else that Krishna can give.

Conclusion of Srimad Bhagavatam: The supreme perfection of whatever occupation we may be doing, all our responsbilities, all our spiritual practices, is that Krishna is pleased. Srila Prabhupada: This type of devotion is very rare; but although it is so rare, Krishna gives it very easily to one who is sincere, serious, and has no ulterior motive.

Krishna: One who worships Me with love, I give that understanding with which they can come to Me.

When we come to Vrindavan, we should truly humble our self to appreciate the mercy we are receiving; without genuine humility, there cannot be true apprecuation, or gratitude.

How is God great? The Vedas give a glimpse into this.

True nature of material and spiritual worlds according to our Scriptures/Acharyas: There are 14 planetary systems within this material world. Beyond that is the Brahman effulgence. Within that Brahman-jyoti, there are Vaikuntha planets, where the Lord manifests countless forms to exchange love. There the spiritual force within us assumes a personal form, and the Lord reciprocates with that form forever. The highest amongst them is Goloka Vrindavan. There the Lord exhibits the fullest extent of His supremacy. His opulence moves to the side and is overshadowed by His sweetness, charm, love, and beauty. It is a place where the supremacy of Lord is overshadowed for intimate loving relationships. It is a place where Krishna assumes the role of our friend, of our lover, or child. And once in the day of Brahma, Krishna personally comes in this original form along with His original abode. The Absolute Truth can annihilate miscreants through His energies. He comes for the specific purpose of displaying His sweet pastimes, and give us His teachings.

Vrindavan is always Vrindavan. There is absolutely nothing which human beings can do to Vrindavan, because it is a spiritual place. When we cover it in so many with pollution, we are covering our own abilities to see which is already there. Krishna never leaves Vrindavan.

Difference between material and spiritual: When I put myself in the center it becomes material, and when Krishna is in the center it becomes spiritual.

Attitude of approaching Vrindavan by Narottam Das Thakur: Put Krishna in the center. How can I serve You, My Lord? Bishaya chadiya kabe shuddhe habe mon…

Attitude of approaching Vrindavan by Srila Prabhupada: One cannot buy a ticket to reach Vrindavan. This puts our physical body in touch with Vrindavan.

Vrindavan is a state of mind, consciousness. Unless we remove our self from the center, and place Krishna in the center, we will never be in Vrindavan. Actually Krishna is always in the center, but we fail to recognise it. Awakened state of our true self: yad karoshi, yad ashnashi…

Maya is so strong and subtle, it tries to delude us even while we are trying to practice devotional service.It is possible to do kirtan by placing our self in the center- let me become famous by this chanting. Real kirtan is the consciousness (trnad api sunichena, taror…) with which we chant. We should be deeply attentive while chanting. Real kirtan is to recognise and help others recognise Krishna’ supreme fame by keeping Him in the center, and by doing so our happiness becomes eternal and infinite.

With the consciousness of putting Krishna in the center, we will see Him everywhere. Krishna never leaves Vrindavan, but He is there in so many temples, He is in our hearts, He is in His Holy Names. Wherever we chant the Names of Krishna sincerely, we are in Vrindavan.

Appreciation is of paramount importance to understand something’ value, else we will treat it as ordinary, and not treat it with respect. We have forgotten our natural inheritance of prem-bhakti, but we forgotten where it is, and we even forgot we have it.

Bhakti is the process and the art of awakening our true spiritual potential to love.

Pada-sevanam is one limb of nine-processes of bhakti, and visiting dham is an element of it. We come to dham to serve and not to see. When we come with a desire to serve deities, vrijbasis, devotees, Names, through that service attitude Vrindavan reveals it self to us.

BSST: Try to serve and not see Krishna, so that He is eager to see you.

Gaur Kishore Das Babaji Maharaj once admonished a person who claimed to have bought a piece of land in Vrindavan. What a grand illusion that you are the proprietor of a piece of land in Vrindavan. It is all Radharani’ property, and it has infinite value because it is Her property.

There is a story of how Srila Prabhupada got the land for Krishna-Balaram Temple in Vrindavan.

If we actually appreciate the blessing of being in Vrindavan, appreciate who Vrindavan is, then our heart are receptive to the grace of Vrindavan.

Srila Prabhupada: We should come to Vrindavan in the mood of Akrura.

Surrender is not defeat; it is “Sharanagati”. Materially, there is nothing sweet in it. But in bhakti, we surrender our will to the will of our beloved, Krishna. It is the final conquest of truth over illustion, it is when ananda of the soul conquers due to envy and lust and arrogance and illusion. It means liberation from selfishness, egoism, birth and death. It means entering into the realm of pure unalloyed love to receive Krishna’ infinite love and offer our love. In that sweet surrender of love to Krishna are we able to see things in truth. Then we see mamaivamso jive loke… We see every living being as a part of Krishna, and then inherently we start loving everything and everyone. The more we know about Krishna, the more we love Krishna, and see Krishna everywhere. Then we see everything as Krishna’ energy, and since Krishna is in His energy, we see Krishna everywhere. This is Krishna consciousness. This is how we enter Vrindavan.

We are coming to Vrindavan as beggars. Tvam akinchana gochara… Kunti says that those who are too attached and proud of their wealth, beauty, they cannot chant Your Names with feelings, and humility. Impoverished does not mean to be materially poor, or chant after giving-up all one’ possession. Yudhisthira and Parikshit were akinchana gochara, even though they were kings of the whole world. They understood that Krishna is the proprietor, and we are only caretakers. Liberated state is gopi bhartur pada kamlayor…, genuinely feel in the heart to be the servant of the servant. Krishna sees our intent before reciprocating. We come to Vrindavan to beg for mercy, grace, opportunity to hear about Krishna, to serve, beg for that love, and when that eagerness consumes our consciousness, then we are actually in Vrindavan.

Lord Chaitanya valued Vrindavan a lot. When we understand how the great personalities perceive Vrindavan, then we can understand how to approach Vrindavan. He wanteed to see Srianthji on the top of Govardhan Hill, His param-guru’ ishta-deva. He saw the hill as Krishna’ body, and would not step on it. The first stone on the hill He saw, He embraced it in the mood of Radharani embracing Krishna. Srinathji was eager to get Lord Chaitanya’ darshan. One day, while Lord Chaitanya, someone came to Aniyor and said that Turkish soldiers had attacked and Gopal would have to brought down to a village nearby. Lord Chaitanya went to see and danced for a long time. Later realizing that it was all a rumour, Gopalji was taken back, and Lord Chaitanya danced in the procession till the reached the foothills of Govardhan. His consciousness was not to take Vrindavan for granted. As we hear how great souls approached Vrindavan, then we understand. We see through our ears.

Srila Prabhupada was not happy with his disciples swimming and playing in Radha-kunda.

Srila Prabhupada: Go to Radha-kunda in a prayerful mood, and bathing would be to sprinkle a few drops on our head. This means to deeply humble our self, feel oneself infinitely insignificant to receive a few drops of water from the kunda.

We should think that we don’t deserve this fortune of being touched by a drop of the kunda’ water. Whether we put a few drops, or take a full bath, the actual spiritual benefit that we derive depends on our consciousness of thinking the opportunity to be more precious than anything else in this world, more precious than liberation. This is Radha’ love. This is the most precious thing in existence considered by Krishna. Who am I to approach this? But by the mercy of Raha, Srila Prabhupada, and Guru I am able to receive a drop of water from the kunda. This is Krishna consciousness. In this state, how can we be proud.

Radha is hladini shakti. When we connect to Her in this mood, then bhakti, which is Her grace, is awakened in our heart. And then, just like the water of Radha-kunda, this bhakti manifesting through our service becomes irresistible to Krishna.

Prataprudra understood from his guru, Sarvabhauma, that CMP was the Lord. When he saw his guru’ transformation from a dry speculator into a bhakta. The king wanted the same. He immediately accepted when his guru told him that CMP is svayam bhagavan. He was eager to meet the Lord, but the Lord wanted to teach us a lesson through this incident. The king had everything, but without love for Krishna all he had was many zeroes. The king understood this. But Krishna is the 1 in front of all the zeroes; we need not not give-up any of the zeroes. He was willing to give-up all his possessions, his kingdom, to meet the Lord. During rath-yatra, the king swept the road in front of the cart. CMP understood the king’ mood, and He decided to bestow His full mercy on the king.

Madan Mohan Brijbasi’ Story: RNS

First time I met him many years ago, I cried to see his humility. He had always been a brijbasi. His kirtans were so effortless, it flowed in love. Most popular singer in Brajbhumi. For 30 years, they played his songs on radio. When I was at the bedside of BTS during BTS’ last days, we had an agreement that whatever time we spent together in a day we would only speak about Krishna, CMP, acharyas, SP. From the medical perspective, he was supposed to have left every day. When I met him, he had 3 days, but he survived 8 weeks. The conversations and kirtans were very deep. One day I got a phone-call that the brijbasis whom I knew for 40 years were in USA, and were very eager to see me. I promised not to leave BTS, so I apologised that I could not meet them. But then I found out that they were ~45 mins from Gita Nagari. I took permission to meet and get them to sing them for BTS. Every now and then I called him and BTS was waiting for me. There were others and Madan Mohan ji, and I told them that my friend is about to die any moment. They agreed to come over and sing for BTS. Madan Mohan began to sing about Radharani, and he sang with such simple, sweet devotion. When someone chants Krishna’ name without ego, the power of the name can penetrate our soul. As he was singing, BTS went into a state of total ecstasy. BTS’ disciples had never seen him in such a state. Torrents of tears were pouring from his eyes, and he was wailing out loudly. Everyone was crying. To see BTS connect with the Holy Name so profoundly, all of us had the same experience as BTS. After Madan Mohan ended, BTS said,”I wanted to leave my body in Vrindavan, but I wanted to show that wherever there is a temple of my Guru, that is Vrindavan. But Vrindavan and Radha and Krishna came to me before I die.” While I was with BTS, I got a call from Mumbai about Stoka Krishna Pr’ illness. I spoke with on the phone. He was only 32, had a small baby, and he was telling me that why is this happening to me? Why am I fortunate to hear SB, to attend arati, to serve? He was always smiling and grateful. That was in June. After BTS left with 100’s chanting around him, then I was coming back to India. There was an emergency landing of the plane, and the plane had to land at 500mph. All knew that very likely we will die. I remember I was chanting, and thinking that BTS was leaving and the whole world was chanting, and I would leave and no one would know. That was the best japa. The plane was bouncing as it was landing, somehow it landed. It was suspected that the plane would be on fire any instant, and so there were many fire-fighters. Finally, the plane landed, and the pilot apologised for the inconvenience, and hoped that all would fly British Airways again. I always take British Airways whenever I leave and come to India out of gratitude ;). I met Stoka Krishna Pr was going the very last stages of his illness. He was fully conscious. I told him that SP, SSRG are waiting on the other side of the doorway. SKP said I am ready to go. The next day, I was chanting next to his bed but I was really tired. As soon as I went to my room to take some rest, there was a knock on the door of my room. There were brijbasis who had brought many garlands from the temple from Vrindavan temples, waters from all the kundas. I took all and put it on SKP. I went to my room to take rest, and again there was a knock and there were devotees from Govardhan bringing dust from Raghunath Das Goswami’ samadhi. I went and sprinkled it on SKP. I came back to take some rest, and again there was a knock. This time it was Madan Mohan ji. I asked him to sing for SKP, and in that condition, SKP left his body. Madan Mohan ji’ favourite song is one in which he is praying to Radha to sweep different places of Vrindavan. He stayed in Maan Mandir, very famous singer and a very saintly person, he would sweep the steps of the temple, from the top to the bottom, without anyone knowing. He did it for many years. Nobody would care about him, he would be blissfully singing these songs. The day before Sharad Poornima sweeping the steps of Sri Sri Radha Govindaji’ temple, and Sri Radha took him away. Final moment of his life was when he was sweeping the steps of the temple. Y’day we were in his house for the 12th day’ ceremony. This is how we appreciate Vridnavan. Sweeping is such a big fortunate thing to do in Vrindavan. Gaur Kishore das Babaji said that a few small boys sweeping the streets of Vrindavan and covered in dust were the most wwealthy. Once someone was dusting him after offering obeisances, and GKdB said that how could he brush aside the dust which took many million lifetimes to get. Everyday for many hours, Shyamananda Pandit’ service was to be on his all-fours. He would be sweeping Nidhuvan.

There is gyan and there is vigyan. None of the gyan shows any understanding. Vigyan comes from the humility of our service. Srinivas Acharya was teaching how to appreciate Vrindavan, sweeping the pathways all day. He felt himself to be so undeserving. One day, when he was sweeping, he found a beautiful ankle-bracelet. When he saw, he understood it was very special. Srimati Radharani was performing the pastime of dancing with Krishna, and the bangle fell only for Shyamananda. Lalita came disguised looking for it. ShPt said that he would give it only to Radha. There is the manifest and the unmanifest. Lalita brought ShPt to the unmanifested pastime place of Radha. ShPt was Kanika Manjari. Radha pushed that bangle into ShPt’ forehead and gave him a permanent tilak. She also gave him a deity of Radha Shyamsundar. Then ShPt came back to his form in this world, with his tilak. But he continued to sweep the pathways of Vrindavan. Because he valued and apprecaited and so humbled and grateful for the opporutniy to ssweep the streets of vrindavan, he received that darshan, and he accssed that grace. we cannot imitate him.

There is nothing big and small in the service iof the lord. Narottam Das Thakur was the sone of a very rich landlord. He left all wealth to come to Vrindavan. CMP appeared in a vision to NDT, and told NDT to go to Vrindavan and take initiation from Lokanath Goswami. LG was very morose because Rupa, Sanatan, Svarup, CMP had left, while serving Radha Vinoda. NTD very humbly appraoced and prayed to be accepted as LG’ servant. LG said that he never had any disciple. NTD wanted to serve his guru, whether he was initiated or not. But LG was so humble that he never allowed anyone to do anything for him. NTD would go early in the morning to the place where LG responded to nature’ call. As a sqweeper NTD would clean the urine and stool of his guru, and make everything thoorioughly nice. LG would see and be surprised after he saw the aplce always clean for amny weeks. One morning LG went very early and hid behind bushes. LG saw NTD sweeping. As NTD was sweeping, his body covered by dust, NTD was weeping in love, humility, and gratitude, and singing beautifyul songs. LG came out of the bushes, and asked why NTD was doing the cleaning. NTD revealed the essence for all by his response. With tears of love and gratitude and choked voice he said thet he had left all the wealth in the world, and by the grace of his guru he had now achieved the fortuntate ppostition to serve LG. This was how he valued sweeping sewage area. NTD never saw it as a sewage area. He saw it as Vrindava, and as Vaishanva seva. At the time, LG’ heart changed and hea agreed to inititiate NTD.

There is union and separation. Separation increases the joy of union. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Tendency is to always to take things for granted in this world. If we forget to think that our fortune that we have electricity in Vrindavan hearing to the lecture.

Rupa and Sanatan were multi-billionaires. They had palaces, best of clothes, incredible power, populairyt; they excaped all. Sanatan was willing to be imprisoned with the hope of coming to Vrindavan. And after they came to Vrindava, they slept under a different each night onm the ground. They begged for food. They would get some wheat gfrain, add some Yamuna water, put it in fire, offer it to Krishna. They ate chikpeas. But they were in gopi-bhava. They were so grateful, and they saw each tree as kalpa-vriksha, and saw each particle of dust as chintamani. This was wealth beyond any coneption. RgDG would 2000 dandavats everyday, would do Govardhan parikrama everyday.

This should be the preparation for the yatra. Inconvenience or conveninec, is how the mind interprets. There should be gratitude in the heart nonethelss. There shuould be appreciation for SP to have given us an opportunity to come to Vrindavan. If there is no feeling of gratitude toward Vaishnava, there is no possibility of entering into the mood of Vrindavan. KrKvG was here in Vrindavan and he said on behalf of all acharyas that he would offer his obeisances to anyuone who is approaching Krishna, whether a Swami or a neophyte. Thuis was his gratitude.

Every situation is a great opportunity to express our love for Krishna.

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