Govardhan Retreat – “No doubt of success for worshippers of bhaktas!”
By Adipurusa Das
Dear and Respected Devotees! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Hare Krishna!
Radharani’s mercy and love is like the unconditional love of mother. A father loves us but wants us to bring good marks and achieve success, however, a mother loves unconditionally – said Sri Sacinandana Maharaj at the opening of the Japa and Kirtan Retreat at Varsana. Varsana is the place of such mercy. More that 400 devotees have been able to experience the magic blessings of the japa, kirtan and Krsna-katha with serious practitioners under expert guidance in Varsana, Ter-kadamba, Krsna-kunda for 6 days.
Now our group and guests have gathered for the 12th annual Govardhan Retreat under the kind gaze of Sri Govardhan Hill.
Here are some short excerpts from the opening ceremony. We will be trying to post more on Dandavats and http://govardhanretreat.com – due to PAMHO retracting its full-scope conferencing services, you may not receive these in your email, unless we find an alternative for a 1000-member email conferencing.
Please let us always get absorbed in Krsna consciousness, at least indirectly, but best in the most potent and inspiring direct ways.
“This year’s focus – respecting a bhakta”.
… Welcome to all of you, great souls, coming from far away to be with Giriraj Govardhan.
Our bodies may already be here, but the minds may still be back in Europe, China etc. … We should learn to respect devotees. One of the aspects of the Govardhan is that he is the best of bhaktas. … To obtain something special we need approach a great person, and then a difficult thing becomes accessible. … siddhir bhavati va neti samsayo ‘cyuta-sevinam nihsamsayo ‘stu tad-bhakta- paricarya-ratatmanam
“The servants of the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead may or may not attain perfection. There is some doubt. But for the servants of the Lord’s devotees there is no doubt.” CB Antya-khanda 3.486, Govinda-bhasya (3.3.51) … Krsna says in the Bhagavatam “mad-bhakta pujyabhyadhika” – worship of My devotee is higher than My own worship. … Recently I was praying to Giriraj Govardhan for a merciful sign and all of a sudden a cobra appeared before me and hissed. But then a parrot appeared and attacked the cobra, chasing it away! This is not characteristic of parrots. The cobra decided, “OK, no German meat today” and turned away.
In your childhood did you also dream how good it would be to have a magic wand? So Giriraj here is the mountain of million of cintamani wish-fulfilling jewels.
Every year I feel humbled, being younger in age and service. Still, I was told to never refuse an opportunity to preach. My topic this year is “Leaving Religion and Coming to God–Krsna’s Mercy on the Wives of the Yajna Brahmanas” … Who were the wives in the previous lives? How is it that they got darsan of Krsna and their husbnds didn’t? … The wives of the brahmanas became the gurus of their husbands. It is especially significant because the next pastimes is the Govardhan-lila. … There was a group of Vaisnava brahmanas who were challenging Bhaktivinod Thakura and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and their concept of pure devotion. They said that unless one is born in a brahmana family one cannot be a guru, and they said that Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami was given a Govardhana-sila by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu because Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami “was not a brahmana and was thus not qualified to worship a salagrama-sila”. … Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami prays: 10 nirupadhi-karunena sri-saci-nandanena tvayi kapati-satho ´pi tvat-priyenarpito ´smi iti khalu mama yogyayogyatam tamagrhnan nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana! tvam “Although I am a cheater and a criminal, unlimitedly merciful Lord Sacinandana, who is very dear to you, has given me to you. O Govardhana, please do not consider whether I am acceptable or not, but simply grant me residence near you.” Ref. VedaBase => Chapter 14, Part 2, Giriraja as Hari-dasa-varya
Nirupadhi-karunena – means by “unqualified mercy”, not considering whether you are a brahmana or a woman, by the unqualified mercy of Sri Sacinandana I am getting Govardhan.
Dana-keli-kaumudi, Sri Rupa Gosvami … Krsna wants to impose a false taxation, you could say, on the gopis as they go to sell their yogurt and ghee. The intricacies and subtleties of the pastime far exceed my capacity to present. With humility I pray that, like a child, who picks a book and tries to read even mispronouncing the words, I can divide the book into 5 parts and present to relish some taste together with you. … We have to hear more and more about Krsna and His activities in the spiritual world. Without this how can we find a bridge between this world with all its attractions and the spiritual world? Srila Prabhupada says in a lecture:
I would like to share the first 2 slokas from this play, the Nandi-slokas – they sum up what the playwrite of an Indian drama wants to convery and what the blessings does he want to offer. They have also been presented by Krsnadas Kaviraj Gosvami.
(Srila Prabhupada’s translation:) “‘May the sight of Srimati Radharani’s kila-kincita ecstasy, which is like a bouquet, bring good fortune to all. When Sri Krsna blocked Radharani’s way to the dana-ghati, there was laughter within Her heart. Her eyes grew bright, and fresh tears flowed from Her eyes, reddening them. Due to Her sweet relationship with Krsna, Her eyes were enthusiastic, and when Her crying subsided, She appeared even more beautiful.’ Ref. VedaBase => Madhya 14.181
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains, May the sight of Srimati Radharani who experiences 7 emotions and just the sight of Her beautiful eyes bestow upon us pure love of Krsna. Not even Krsna, not even Radharani, but just the sight of Her beautiful eyes.
Pride, ambition, weeping, envy, fear and anger all at the same time. It is likea mixture of yogurt, candy, honey, ghee, pepper, camphor, cardamom – a very delicious drink.
While this is a little too esoteric and we may find a little difficult in the beginning to comprehend and concentrate, by the blessings of Sri Govardhan we may get a glimpse…
“All glories to Radha’s love for Krsna, the enemy of the demon Mura! Although it is all-pervading, it tends to increase at every moment. Although it is important, it is devoid of pride. And although it is pure, it is always beset with duplicity.” Ref. VedaBase => Adi 4.131 [Dana-keli-kaumudi (2)]
These contradictory qualities are hard to comprehend. Krsna Himself wanted to taste Her feelings but He could not being their object. So He appears as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
I don’t know how much we will understand, but we will give it a good try.
Bhurijan Prabhu A tour of pictures around the hall:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu dances in the boat, crossing the Yamuna, feeling separation.
Next, at the Jagannatha Ratha Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu feeling separation not from Krsna but from Krsna’s Vrndavan pastimes.
Then, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu fainting when seeing Lord Jagannatha for the first time.
Then, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is amazed at how Sri Rupa Gosvami in a newly composed poem understood His mood of separation from Krsna.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu runs to the Govardhan (Cataka parvata).
Srila Prabhupada, our guide and Ratha-yatra.
There is a common theme between these pastimes.
Madhavananda Prabhu’s topic speaks about pastimes at Batrol, on the border between Vrindavan and Mathura area. And Jagattarini Mataji’s topic pastimes speak about Krsna attracting us to Krsna, WITHOUT hearing about these qualities of Krsna’s kindness we stay under the sway of the material energy. By hearing these pastimes we want to be with Krsna and this wanting to be with Krsna is the fire that burns the trash of all the accumulated material desires. We need to protect the bhakti creeper (taste, faith) from the unwanted desires, upasakha gana, but also water by the water of hearing. We cultivate it like a farmer, who prepares the ground, plants the seed, weeds out the undesired plants, then this creeper will pierce the universe, going beyond, till we feel, “Krsna you are the treasure of my existence”.
The processs of cultivation is very much the process of cultivating the mood of separation. Not that we want to be separate from Krsna, but when the feeling of separation from Krsna becomes intolerable, we will reach a new plane. This is the process that Mahaprabhu came to teach and Srila Prabhupada came to teach. … Between the 33 chapter (Rasa-dance) and the 35 chapter (Yugala-gita, the Gopis’ feelings of separation) there is a chapter on Vidyadhara liberated from the body of a snake by Krsna – and this Vidyadhara became a snake because of pride. And the next demon destroyed is Sankhacuda, manifesting envy — Krsna and Balarama dancing with Their individual gopis and Sankhacuda thinks, who is most qualified to dance with this most beautiful gopis – “it’s me”! Talk about pride and envy! And this gets Sankhacuda killed.
< But they were so much enriched with the gopis' feelings of separation that they enjoyed transcendental pleasure at every moment. Similarly, when Lord Caitanya was at Jagannatha Puri, He was in the role of Radharani, feeling separation from Krsna. Those who are in the disciplic succession of the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya should always feel separation from Krsna, worship His transcendental form and discuss His transcendental teachings, His pastimes, His qualities, His entourage and His association. That will enrich the devotees to the highest devotional perfection. Feeling constant separation while engaged in the service of the Lord is the perfection of Krsna consciousness. Ref. VedaBase => KB 35: The Gopis’ Feelings of Separation When in Perth I presented the topic of my presentation to Maharaj, he asked a natural question, “How can you feel separation from someone you do not directly know?” We will read something that is oceanic. Just like Mataji said she does not feel qualified to enter her topic I don’t feel qualified to enter my topic. In Uddhava’s visit to console Brajabasis in ch.46 we will hear some of the openings of the hearts of Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda Mata, and we hope their fire will ignite our parched hearts with hankering for Krsna. —– The full recordings (without my typos, omission, and miscomprehensions:-) will be available at http://vihe.org under Audio, in a few weeks time. Please check Dandavat.com and http://govardhanretreat.com for updates. Begging for your kind blessings, on behalf of your servants at VIHE, Das Adi Purusha
But they were so much enriched with the gopis' feelings of separation that they enjoyed transcendental pleasure at every moment. Similarly, when Lord Caitanya was at Jagannatha Puri, He was in the role of Radharani, feeling separation from Krsna. Those who are in the disciplic succession of the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya should always feel separation from Krsna,[What word stands out? - "Always"]
worship His transcendental form and discuss His transcendental teachings, His pastimes, His qualities, His entourage and His association. That will enrich the devotees to the highest devotional perfection. Feeling constant separation while engaged in the service of the Lord is the perfection of Krsna consciousness. Ref. VedaBase => KB 35: The Gopis’ Feelings of Separation
When in Perth I presented the topic of my presentation to Maharaj, he asked a natural question, “How can you feel separation from someone you do not directly know?”
We will read something that is oceanic. Just like Mataji said she does not feel qualified to enter her topic I don’t feel qualified to enter my topic. In Uddhava’s visit to console Brajabasis in ch.46 we will hear some of the openings of the hearts of Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda Mata, and we hope their fire will ignite our parched hearts with hankering for Krsna.
The full recordings (without my typos, omission, and miscomprehensions:-) will be available at http://vihe.org under Audio, in a few weeks time.
Please check Dandavat.com and http://govardhanretreat.com for updates.
Begging for your kind blessings, on behalf of your servants at VIHE, Das Adi Purusha
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