Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Gopīnātha Temple, Jaipur -HG Mālati Mataji – Lecture; Indradyumna Swami’s Parikrama -2015

Memories of Śrīla Prabhupāda

– By Her Grace Mālati Mataji


As most of you must already know, this year marks the 50th year anniversary of the departure of Śrīla Prabhupāda from India and his subsequent arrival in America. This has resulted in many amazingly wonderful celebrations.

One of the most amazing celebrations occurred in Calcutta on the day of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s  departure from Calcutta Port on August 13th but 50 years later. The devotees set-up a very daring plan. Generally such ambitious plans take years of planning. But they literally pulled it off with about two and half months. They hired the enormous Netaji Stadium found in Calcutta which is famous for having a capacity of 13,000 people.  They planned to fill the stadium to its full capacity twice, in one day; in other words, hosting a morning program of 13,000 devotees and then an independent evening program, consisting of another 13,000 devotees. This amounts to 26,000 devotees!  The goal would be more readily attainable if the program was free, but the guests were asked to pay. Concern crossed their minds a few times and they wondered, “Maybe we have gone a little bit beyond our ability here.” They had very ambitiously invited devotees from 125 countries around the world. These countries represented the presence of ISKCON. The devotees orchestrated this whole plan to celebrate Prabhupāda’s departure. Embedded in their plan was to enter the Guinness book of records on two accounts. One was by having the most people from the most countries partaking in a single yoga session. And the second was by having the largest choir with the most number of people from different countries. Bhakti yoga was the yoga session and the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahamantra chanting was the choir.

However, the topmost reason was to honor and celebrate Śrīla Prabhupāda’s remarkable success in departing from India. Countless devotees came, including a large number of  Sannyāsīs such as: Bhakti Charu Mahārāja, Rādhānath Mahārāja, Jayapatākā Mahārāja, Bhakti Purshottama Mahārāja and many others. Numerous top name local and national political heads attended the celebration out of personal belief and conviction in Śrīla Prabhupāda—that he had, indeed, done something great. They weren’t hiding their appreciation. However, as is prone in India the law was broken by over-occupying the stadium. On both occasions the full capacity of 13,000 was reached, but 15,000 devotees were given entrance—thereby a total of 30,000 devotees attended both events! This excludes the thousands of people who were so eager to honor Śrīla Prabhupāda, but were reluctantly turned away. The Calcutta celebration was like the kickoff ceremony for—the 50th year of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure from India. About a week and a half later—in Houston, Texas, USA—the next ceremony took place. It was not as large, but it was enthusiastic. Following this was the arrival ceremony in Boston.

The celebration in Boston was great because that is where Śrīla Prabhupāda first stepped off the boat Jaladuta that brought him to America. They had an unbelievable day of activities that began with the Mayor of Boston reading a letter which proclaimed that that day is to be A.C. Bhaktivedanta Day in Boston. For the first time the Indian flag was raised in Boston. All over Boston they knew that that day was Bhaktivedanta Swami Day. Next, a grand Harinām with Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Murti (full-size Murti) proceeded and a large pandal was constructed in the well-known park called The Boston Commons. Śrīla Prabhupāda used to take his morning walk in that very same park.  And then Giriraj Swami, who is an alumnus of Boston, gave the Bhāgavatam class on the pandal in the park. Then a second Harinām went from the park to the dock where Śrīla Prabhupāda stepped off the Jaladuta. And there was a great boat that allowed 900 devotees to climb aboard. Not everybody could fit onto the boat as there were more than 900 devotees but the devotees filled the boat, along with Śrīla Prabhupāda, and for 3 hours we sailed around the Boston Harbor, seeing how it was for Śrīla Prabhupāda to first enter and what he was seeing when he first arrived in America. During this period there were memories of Śrīla Prabhupāda such as Kīrtana and Gurupuja. Many senior devotees were present. Then we got off the boat and began the Harinām back to the Commons park. The reason I’m telling this story is because this morning the chanting was so blissful with Baḍa Hari Prabhu. It was such a blissful Kīrtana and during the Kīrtana you were feeling as if you somehow got lifted into a transcendental realm; and of course you’re in Govinda’s courtyard, so everybody is a devotee and I was seeing the monkeys, the pigeons, and the peacocks—all as devotees. It’s a beautiful vision.

In the Harinām from the boat back to the Boston Commons there was very intense chanting, but joyfully intense and there were many chanters, but Chandramauli Swami and Mahavishnu Swami from the UK were the main ones. Trivikrama Swami who’s quite elderly also became enlivened—and so did other younger devotees.  And sometimes in America when you have a Harinām, people aren’t always as happy to see you as you would like them to be. But somehow, on that day, Prabhupāda’s mercy was flowing outside of the Harinām. And everybody was just smiling and usually what happens on Harinām, is that devotees aren’t always so considerate and take up the whole side walk, right? And people get a little annoyed. But, on that day, they were just happily jumping aside and looking with such pleasure at this beautiful chanting. It was a Saturday. Boston is a touristic place; there was beautiful weather, and so many people were out.  We would stop in places and chant for a while and then move on. At one point you couldn’t tell the so-called spectators from the so-called devotees. Everybody was looking just like a devotee. There was just no distinction and when I saw that, I started laughing because it was such a wonderful thing. So the Kīrtana this morning was reminding me of that wonderful experience.

Somehow by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s extreme kindness and mercy, I got to come along with the group of devotees who came here to Jaipur, probably because my husband was the secretary that helped. So there was an amazing pandal program, an outdoor program that was arranged and it was right on the grounds of Govindaji Mandir. And the extraordinary thing for that occasion was that we had done pandal programs before, but the devotees always had to go out to gather, raise and beg for the money. And you know it was quite an effort to finance one of those programs and dozens of devotees would be involved.

This particular program was organized with Prabhupāda’s permission by two ladies, Her Grace Kauśalyā Devi Dāsī and Her Grace Śrīmatī Devī Dāsī. And they had come to Jaipur and they noticed the amazing mood—which is still here, that amazing mood—but it didn’t have all the commotion that’s there now. There were no motorcycles, cars, subways and trains overhead. It was a quietly, beautifully different city. When they came for their first Maṅgala Āratī to Govinda’s and they saw all the people just literally running—you know, you see in the morning when you come to Maṅgala Āratī, people are running to get in and we just felt so inspired to see this extreme devotion—they thought we must bring Prabhupāda here.

In the olden days there was not much of the tourism industry that is going on now. So being  Western devotees in India was a very unusual sight—especially dressed in Sāri and tilak. It was very unusual, like never seen before. We were so strange to them that sometimes they would come up and they would take their finger and rub it on our hand or arm and look to see if we were painted white—like, they wanted to see if color would come off. So these two girls were noticed by the population here and of course all they could talk about was Śrīla Prabhupāda. And some of the leading people came to meet them and they told them their desire; they expressed, “We have a desire to bring our Guru here.” And they told him, “He has books—published books, we have temples around the world.” You know, so they were intrigued that they wanted to meet Bhaktivedanta Swami. So they agreed, “Yes, we will do something.” And they contacted Śrīla Prabhupāda to request permission. You know they couldn’t invite him to do a program unless he agreed. And he gave the permission. So it was the people of the town who really were helping these two ladies pull off a wonderful event. And they were the ones who assisted in the financing and helped introduce them to the important people they needed to make contact with in order to ensure that this was a very first class operation.

So when you first go through the gates of  Govinda’s Mandir—on the left side—when you go through the final arch—on the left—if you look a little bit there is a gazebo—a round outdoor enclosed canopy.

It was enclosed, but it was round and it had like a temple dome top with lattice work all around and then there was a veranda. Many of the buildings you see now came after. They are newer buildings but that gazebo stood on its own! Śrīla Prabhupāda lived in there and continued his work from that little enclosure. Shyāmsundar, that was my husband, lived with him and one servant. And the rest of us stayed in very elegant Dharma-śālās. Our Dharma-śālās were just up the road. And they were cement rooms—just cement—the walls, the floor, the ceiling, with straw. So that was it, you just brought your own bedding, and you slept on the straw on the floor. No private room. Of course the men had their own room. And then there was one small room with just a water tap—that was the bathroom. And it was very cold because it was January. This place gets very cold in January. But we weren’t seeing any disadvantage because we felt so blessed to be here with Śrīla Prabhupāda in this wonderful place.

When Śrīla Prabhupāda arrived, the plan was to have a grand procession and take him through all the main streets in town. So they wanted to get an elephant. Because we had seen in different types of situations when the great person was being honored like a big yogi or something, they would have him on an elephant. But there was some other things going on and all the elephants were booked. So then they thought, “Well, if he can’t get an elephant, one of those beautiful silver horse-drawn carts with a beautiful white horse—that would look very good.” But it was wedding season. All the white horses were booked. What we ended up with was a bullock cart with a very old white bullock missing one horn.

You know, Prabhupāda, he didn’t need elephants and white horses, he didn’t need it actually. He has such a beautiful presence himself, that his presence would eclipse anything else. And I remember the devotees were apologetic, because at least we were going to have the parade; you know, we had the procession, but they were apologetic—you know what they were like… And Prabhupāda just, he took a look, and then he got on the cart and he sat in a very, as he would, straight-backed position. And I was at the back of the cart but for some reason I was thinking, “I’d like to be on that cart with Śrīla Prabhupāda.” And I didn’t usually think like this. But I was at that moment, “I would like to be on that cart with Śrīla Prabhupāda.”  And then Śrīla Prabhupāda turned to me and he said, “Where is Sarasvatī?” Well, Sarasvatī was my child; she was a small girl at that time. And he said, “Bring her.” So my daughter got to ride with Śrīla Prabhupāda. And as a mother, I felt completely satisfied. Just like when King Prataprudra wanted to meet Lord Caitanya but Lord Caitanya refused him, then Lord Caitanya asked for his son and blessed his son and the King Prataprudra felt very satisfied.

One, two things: you know, there were so many things that went on but my service actually was that I was Prabhupāda’s cook and the house cleaner. So for me everything was based on making sure I somehow or other could adequately do my service under the circumstance, which also included taking care of my husband and my daughter and the other lady devotees. So we would all run down, we would join all of the Jaipur devotees running to Maṅgala Āratī in the morning. And then we would chant rounds and every morning, Śrīla Prabhupāda sat with us and chanted the Govindam prayers: “Govindam Ādi purusham …tamaham bhajami” so that was very beautiful.

Śrī Gopīnātha ki Jaya!

Thank you very much, Hare Kṛṣṇa!


Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda Temple, Jaipur -HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

Pastimes of Govindajī

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

Before we begin I’d like to introduce you to two very wonderful disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda who’ve joined us this morning. They’re going to be with us for a few days. My dear Godbrother, HG Batu Gopāla Prabhu, whom I originally met in New York. He used to preach to me; he helped make me a devotee. He used to engage me in helping him paint the temple when I was a new BhaktaBhakta Brian. I still remember his classes on Īśopaniṣad and I still remember going out on the streets of Detroit with a bright white head just shaved up and new crisp white dhoti and he was leading, playing mṛdungas, “Oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ pūrṇāt…”

In time we went our separate ways, I was always so inspired. I always considered him light years ahead of me in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness and with his wonderful wife, they raised two beautiful daughters, pure devotees of the Lord already in their young age in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. And he’s come to Jaipur for his first time, so we get to serve him now and show him the wonderful sights of this beautiful city. So please offer him all the help he may need while he’s with us on our Parikramā, offer him all the respect and adoration that he deserves. If it wasn’t of him I might not be sitting here. Batu Gopāla Prabhu ki Jaya!!!

Another devotee maybe doesn’t even need an introduction, a very, very famous devotee who did so much personal service for Śrīla Prabhupāda. You see her in many of the old photos with Śrīla Prabhupāda. She was here in Jaipur cooking for Śrīla Prabhupāda when he visited here: Mother Malati Prabhu. She had so much personal association with Śrīla Prabhupāda. She will share some of the wonderful pastimes she had with Śrīla Prabhupāda here in Jaipur a little later. She’s done many wonderful services. We could go on for many hours. She’s a member of the GBC, watch out! And of course she’s joined with her beloved Godsister, my Godsister, Śītala Devī Dāsī. She came all the way from Vṛndāvan down with us here; she made it. I was praying to Kṛṣṇa and all the incarnations that she would make it, especially Dhanvantari. And Manyu Prabhu came down with us from Vṛndāvan, as well, with his son. And Kalasamvara Prabhu is here. Caturātmā Prabhu is here. Did I get everybody? Ah, Baḍa-Hari Prabhu. Well, you know Baḍa-Hari Prabhu. I think I’m here, too. All us old guys are having senior moments. We’re forgetting everything! And Uttamaśloka, my favorite translator, has joined us from Vaikunthaloka.

[oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya …prayers]

I will start speaking without further ado, because it’s going to get pretty hot in about 45 minutes or an hour; and we want to take a little Prasādam and our plan is later in the morning to go over to the Rādhā Govinda temple, or the Rādhā Gopīnātha temple. We have come to Jaipur. The name Jaipur literally means the “City of Victory”. Why this very beautiful city was given this name we will reveal later on in our talk this morning. But for the moment, for now, I’d like all of you to meditate on exactly where we are in the middle of this very beautiful garden, this very beautiful complex here at the famous RādhāGovinda temple.

If you could go up in the air, well you can with our drone, if you go up in the air and look down, you would see this temple more or less is situated exactly in the middle of this big city. There’s a reason for this. The reason is that for the people of this city, Jaipur, the most important Person in the city, the most important Person in the country, the most important Person in the world, the most important Person in the creation, lives here with His eternal consort. Can you guess who the most important Person in creation is and who is His eternal consort?—The most important Person in the material creation and the most important Person in the spiritual world is ŚrīŚrī RādhāGovinda and His eternal consort, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

It was planned in exactly that same way. This city had a specific plan about 300 years ago. The king himself actually became the architect of this city and he started on this big blank page and the first thing he did was put the temple of Govindajī right in the center of the city, and he put his quarters right beside the temple. Every morning when he’d wake up, the first Darśana he’d have would be the lotus feet of his Iṣṭadeva, Govindajī. In other words the city of Jaipur was planned with the worship of Govindajī in mind. There’s a saying in the West, in Europe, in Italy: “All roads lead to Rome.” You could say here in Jaipur, “All roads, all hearts, all minds lead to this beautiful temple of RādhāGovinda.”

How this all came about?—This history which all Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas just love to recount and to hear, I’ll explain this morning in summary, because I gave a similar talk a few years ago. It was actually when I looked in my notes, it was 47 pages, so I reduced it to nine. But we will get the essence, and that’s important about the history of Govinda. Actually here they say Govindajī, and those of you are Indian know that “ji” is affectionate. Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvan is very easy to approach, He is very loving, He has Rasa with His devotees, so there is an intimate relationship, so we are allowed to call the Lord “ji”, Govindajī, the locals call Him Govindajī.

This history of Govindajī goes back 5,000 years just after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa from this planet back to the spiritual world. Kṛṣṇa’s departure from the Earth is called MauṣalaLīlā. Actually, many of you are maybe just hearing this word, this phrase for the first time: MauṣalaLīlā. How many of you are familiar with this term, MauṣalaLīlā? One devotee! Probably, because he reads the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Kṛṣṇa’s departure from this Earth planet is called MauṣalaLīlā and is described in the first few chapters of the eleventh canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. We don’t hear much about Kṛṣṇa’s departure. Of course, Śrīla Prabhupāda does touch upon it in various purports throughout the Bhāgavatam, because it is a Līlā of Kṛṣṇa. But you very rarely if ever hear our Gurus, our Sannyāsī or esteemed Bhāgavatam speakers lecturing about it or what to speak extensively about Kṛṣṇa’s leaving this world. On our Vaiṣṇava calendar, there’s never, I’ve never seen a disappearance day festival for Lord Kṛṣṇa.

His appearance is celebrated in a magnificent way, but you never say, “Oh, today is Kṛṣṇa’s disappearance. Let’s have a festival.” Never mentioned. No one even talks about it. We sometimes celebrate the disappearance day of great devotees, but we never celebrate the disappearance of the Lord. Why? Well, at present we’re all so busy trying to revive our lost relationship with Kṛṣṇa, what to speak, you know, we don’t want to think about Him leaving our lives. We’re trying to reconnect with Him. The word religion comes from the Latin word ‘religiō which means to literally reconnect. To reconnect to what, with God, with Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda says the word “yoga” has the same connotation, the same meaning, to connect with the Absolute Truth. So generally, we don’t like to talk about Kṛṣṇa’s departure. We’re meditating all the time on meeting Him again: ‘Jagannātha svāmī nayana pathagāmī bhavatu me’.…Oh Lord of the Universe, kindly be visible to me. So we’re just aspiring devotees and we think in this way; imagine if you’re an advanced devotee, you’ve had Kṛṣṇa’s association, and He disappears from your life. What is that like? Logic tells us that as much as you’re attached to something when you lose that thing, to the same degree you feel separation.

A mundane example, you know, if you lose your Gamshā —it’s okay; but if you lose your watch in the bathroom, then “Woah!” You know, the separation is more intense, because of the attachment. The advanced devotees, especially the devotees on the highest platform, Uttama-Adhikārīs, pure devotees of the Lord, who have KṛṣṇaPrema, how do they experience the separation of the Lord? It’s no mystery; it’s described by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers. Something He is preparing us for at some point in our progress in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. “Oh Govinda, feeling your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain. I am feeling all vacant in the world in your absence.”

One time ŚrīlaPrabhupāda was giving Darśana on the grass at New Māyāpura in France. And he was speaking on the subject matter about how the pure devotee, he just sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere. He sees Kṛṣṇa in everything, he’s always with Kṛṣṇa. Oh, he was elaborating, giving analogies, examples and then about 45 minutes later, he finished and said, “So are there any questions?” So I just wanted to get Prabhupāda’s attention, so I thought up a question. I said, “Prabhupāda, you—” I raised my hand, he said, “Yes”—I said, “Your speaking how the pure devotee sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere, but in His Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers, Lord Caitanya says that He’s feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa, He doesn’t feel the Lord’s presence. He’s suffering in that way, how do we—it seems contradictory.” So Prabhupāda looked at me for a moment and [acting out Prabhupāda]. He started to explain, he said, “Yes, the Lord goes away to make His devotee mad for Him.” And then he paused and looked at me a little closer and said, “But anyway these things you will understand one day when you are very advanced. We will not discuss this anymore.”

This is a subject matter for very elevated devotees, but we can appreciate that the residents of Vṛndāvan in particular because they were so attached to Kṛṣṇa, when He left, they felt so much separation. There were devotees all over India, all over the planet, there were devotees in Dwarka, devotees in Mathurā, devotees in Vṛndāvan but they all had a common trait amongst them: that was they all loved Kṛṣṇa more than anyone’s ever been loved before.

When Kṛṣṇa left, we can hardly imagine their pangs of separation. So the ruler of Vṛndāvan, the executive king of Vraja Maṇḍala, of that area of India, of the surrounding areas, was actually Kṛṣṇa’s grandson at the time that Kṛṣṇa left this world. His name was Vajranābha. So as a ruler he was very concerned for his people, the ruler has to take care of the material needs and the spiritual needs of the population and he was a devotee, so he was feeling “How will all these devotees that are literally dying in separation, what can I do to appease them, to satisfy them? Our beloved Lord has left. What can I do? They’re just crying. No one’s doing any service, no one’s moving, no one is hardly even breathing. They’re just crying.”

Fortunately, for them and for us and for the countless generations that will come in the future, he came up with a great idea. He decided to supervise the carving of and the installation of different Forms of Kṛṣṇa according to different places where Kṛṣṇa performed His pastimes throughout Vṛndāvan. This is a good idea, because as we know, the Deity form of the Lord is non-different from the Lord. As the young brāhmaṇa said to SākṣiGopāla when he met Him in Vṛndāvan, he said, “My dear Lord, you are not a statue. You are directly the son of Mahārāja Nanda.Any devotee who approaches the Lord sincerely, and engages in service to the Arcā-vigraha, the Murti of the Lord, then by His mercy, by the mercy of Guru and Gaurāṅga, even in the neophyte stage that devotee feels or experiences His presence.

Vajranābha, he personally supervised the carving of eight Deities. Now bear in mind he was the grandson of Kṛṣṇa, he knew what Kṛṣṇa looked like. So he personally supervised the carving. That’s better than a photograph. He personally was with the Lord, he knew the mood of the Lord, he knew the Līlās of the Lord, he knew the countenance of the Lord, everything about the Lord, so he watched the carving of each Deity. He sat and, “No, no, move that there—okay, ah, perfect! Place that Deity at GovindaKuṇḍa, place that Deity at Vaṁśīvaṭa, place that Deity at SevāKunja”, like that. Whatever the mood of the Lord was in a particular Līlā, he established the Deities there. All, these eight Deities were around Vraja.

He supervised the beautiful carving of :

  • Govindajī;
  • Harideva, which is the Deity worshipped at Govardhana Hill;
  • BaladevaDaujī, which is another Deity, we passed on our Parikramā on Govardhana Hill;
  • Keśava, a Deity who has unfortunately disappeared;
  • Śrī Gopāla, who Madhavendra Purī found also at Govardhana, is now worshipped as Śrīnathaji;
  • SasksiGopāla, I mentioned briefly;
  • Madana-Mohana, we visited that temple of Madana-Mohana; and
  • Gopīnātha—later in the morning, we’re going to go see Gopīnātha.

All these Deities were carved and the dresses were made and the ornaments were made and the installation was done and they were established very nicely, and different devotees who had different moods would come and worship the Lord in these different parts. Something was there: “Ah, okay, Kṛṣṇa has left but He is present here in His arcā-vigraha form.” They were appeased somewhat. Prabhupāda said in New Dvārakā­ when he was installing the little RādhāKṛṣṇa Deities, “If you serve these Deities nicely according to all the rules and regulations,” he said in his lecture, “One day, these Deities will speak to you.” The devotees in VrajaMaṇḍala, they would be somewhat appeased. Unfortunately, after the Lord disappeared, well you know what happened. The sun set so to speak. And the dark age of KaliYuga began. With the disappearance of the Lord, immediately the dark age of Kali Yuga began.

Foreign invaders began descending in India, plundering the wealth of this country, just destroying much of its heritage. In particular, Muslim invaders would destroy temples and Deities. So during this time, this dark time in Vaiṣṇava culture, devotees had to hide their beloved Deities. Can you imagine? Many of you have Deities. It came to the point where you couldn’t worship your Deities anymore because the invaders were coming plundering your town, breaking your temple. You had to go somewhere and hide your Deities and never know what the future would be. What would that be [like]?

These eight Deities were hidden by Their devotees, by their pujaris, and they hid Them in the bushes, in the jungle., Sometimes they placed Them in lakes or ponds, they’d submerge Them in the water. Sometimes, they’d dig big holes in the Earth and bury Them in the Earth and create a secret map and give it to somebody to keep, to some grandmother, you know, it was all very secretive. The Deities were hidden and after time went on, people pretty much forgot where the Deities were. So it looks like that’s the end.

But as we all experience in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, or if you’re new to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, you will experience in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, no matter how sad the story is, in our lives, in our community, in our organization, ultimately there’s always a happy ending. Last year one of my dear God-brothers, BimalaPrasāda, passed away and I was really lamenting. And one of my friends said, “No, he reasons ill who says that a Vaiṣṇava dies, when thou art living still in sound. A Vaiṣṇava dies to live and while living tries to spread the Holy Name around. Don’t lament for Bimala, he is in a better position now.” I went, “Haribol!” There’s always a happy ending in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. This is a transcendental movement. If we’re sincere and we’re practicing nicely, eventually everything becomes auspicious.

In this particular case, this particular history where all these very famous Deities carved by—you could say installed by—Vajranābha and worshipped by the residents of Vṛndāvan, then hidden in lakes and ponds and under the Earth—They were rediscovered by the very plan of the Lord Himself. He felt it so important these Deities be rediscovered and worshipped for the benefit of the world. He made a plan Himself that They could all be rediscovered. Who is that Lord Who made this plan?

kṛṣṇa-varnam tvishakṛṣṇam


yajñaih sankirtana-prayair

yajanti hi su-medhasah

Kṛṣṇa came in this age as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And part of His plan for spreading Kṛṣṇa Consciousness throughout India and eventually the world was initially to set up a spiritual headquarters in none other than Śrī VṛndāvanDhām, to revive the glories of Vṛndāvan. Because 4,500 years into this inauspicious age of Kali Yuga, externally, to the external vision, Vṛndāvan had become just overgrown; it had become like a jungle, just a few old Bābās living there, chanting, but it was covered. Of course, it’s never covered. It’s always the spiritual world, but it appeared like that.


Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu called upon His most intimate disciples (the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan) to whom He revealed everything in various ways and gave them various service: “Go to Vṛndāvan! Write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Rediscover the lost places of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Build temples and install Deities.” He was building the framework for an international movement that we know eventually manifested from Prabhupāda’s heart as the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan ki Jaya! ISKCON ki Jaya!

Those six Gosvāmīs: Rūpa, Sanātana, Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Raghunātha Dāsa, and Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa all made their way to Śrī VṛndāvanDhām in due course of time. They didn’t all come together as a group. It’s a long history, but they all made it. So how they succeeded in this one particular instruction of reestablishing temples and Deity worship, actually it’s very mystical. Most of the time instead of finding these lost Deities, these Deities found them. I believe Caturātmā told the story of how Sanātana Gosvāmī found Madana-Mohan? We heard that pastime.

Jīva Gosvāmī received his Deity Dāmodara from the hand of Rūpa Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī carved RādhāDāmodara very intricately, very beautifully and gave that Deity to Jīva Gosvāmī. As all of you know famously, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, one of his Śālagrām Śilās mysteriously, mystically manifested as RādhāRamana. Madhu Paṇḍita, he was chanting japa near Sevā Kunja in Vaṁśīvaṭa where Kṛṣṇa would play His flute, and came, moving some brush aside, he found Gopīnātha, who had been hidden by the pujaris thousands of years ago, so it’s quite amazing.

All these Gosvāmīs, in one way or another established temples and worship. Only Govindajī had not revealed Himself yet to Rūpa Gosvāmī. It’s described that he would sometimes wander through different parts of Vṛndāvan, different villages, looking for Kṛṣṇa, looking for Govindajī. In his transcendental madness, he would ask the villagers or the Sādhus, “Have you seen Govindajī? Have you seen the Lord of my heart?” So time went on and Kṛṣṇa says in Gītā: “yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy ahamFor my devotee, I protect whatever he has, and I provide whatever he requires for his sevā, for his service.” So one day, the feelings of separation in the heart of Rūpa Gosvāmī caused the Lord to reciprocate fully with His devotee.

“All of them as they surrender unto Me I reward them accordingly.” If you surrender 25% to Kṛṣṇa, He’ll reveal to you 25%. 50%-50%, 100%-100%, He’ll give His very self to you. So one day not far from the Yamunā in a little Kunja, a little hilly area, Rūpa Gosvāmī came to the point of total desperation, “Govindajī! Govindajī! Govindajī”, crying, crying. Suddenly, a little boy appeared, a little cowherd boy, “Bābā, why are you crying? Are you hungry?” As Kṛṣṇa famously says to many Sādhus, “No one in my village goes hungry.” So Rūpa Gosvāmī looked up, “Your village? You’re a six-year-old boy. I have serious things to think about. Go play with your friends.” But the little boy, he insisted, he sat down next to Rūpa Gosvāmī, put his hand on his knees, “Bābā. Tell me why you’re so sad.” So for whatever reason, Rūpa Gosvāmī revealed his heart to that cowherd boy.

He said, “You know, all the other Gosvāmīs and so many Sādhus, they had fulfilled the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu to establish worship of Deities here in Vṛndāvan, but I haven’t found my Govindajī, and I don’t know where he is.” The little boy said, “Bābā, I know where your Govindajī is.” So Rūpa said, “You know where my Govindajī is?” “Yes,” the boy said, “I know, because I sport in all these fields of Vṛndāvan. With my friends and with my cows, I go here, I go there, I go everywhere. I know Vṛndāvan very well. I know everyone in Vṛndāvan, I know every place in Vṛndāvan. I know everything about Vṛndāvan.” So Rūpa’s kind of like, “What?” But there was something special about this boy. In the Bible it says, “From the mouth of a child”—especially this child.

The boy said, “You know, Bābā, every time I come down here near the Yamunā I noticed on that little hill out there (there was a little hill there) every day one beautiful cow, like Surabhī cow, she comes and she walks up that little hill and she pauses for a moment and it appears that she becomes overwhelmed with intense emotion. And that Bhāva, that love, causes milk to pour from her utter into a hole in the ground at the top of that little hill. It seems almost like a pastime to me.” And then the boy walked away.

Well, this got Rūpa Gosvāmī thinking, “The little boy knows where my Govindajī is. What is the connection and what is the mystery behind the cow pouring milk?” He is most intelligent. Next day he went to that place and he went behind a tree and he watched that Surabhī cow and sure enough, she climbed up that little hill and at one moment, she  emptied all her milk…Then she went away and so Rūpa Gosvāmī came. That whole area was soaked with milk. He noticed that in that hole there was a little protruding—it looked like a topknot on the head of a Deity. You see on the old Deities sometimes how they have a little topknot, like representing Kṛṣṇa’s hair tied up like that. If you look closely—I looked, I got to go in just this morning and I saw closely, Kṛṣṇa has a topknot. I was thinking, “That’s the same topknot that Rūpa Gosvāmī saw!” And he saw a topknot, and he kind of brushed away like that and he saw the beautiful beaming face of Govindajī and he fainted in ecstasy.

Govindajī found him in the form of the cowherd boy, Kṛṣṇa. So he immediately stood up, “Hey, everybody! I found Govindajī. Come help me get Him out of the ground.” He’s in the middle of the forest, there’s no one around. But Kṛṣṇa is in the heart of every living entity, He is especially dear to the residents of Vṛndāvan, so in the heart of the residents of Vṛndāvan, this message was transmitted and so many cowherd men came with their shovels, and their picks like this, and then very carefully, Rūpa Gosvāmī excavated this big Deity. You see how big He is? All these big strong men, they placed Him there. And Govindajī had been rediscovered by the Bhāva, by the love of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī.

It’s so amazing. It’s so easy to love Him, just the mysterious transcendental way that He reappeared, His transcendental form. Even today, people are coming to the temple hundreds of years later, and having Darśana of Govindajī with the same enthusiasm as those villagers who rediscovered [him]—listen to that crowd! The same enthusiasm. He’s such an attractive Deity, such a powerful Deity, such a potent Deity. Even today, they’re crying their hearts out, “Govindajī, Govindajī!”

That spot where he rediscovered the Deity, that hole in the hill, that spot still exists. I was told that if you visit the Govindajī temple in Vṛndāvanit’s there, it’s broken, we all pretty much know the history, it’s a little hill upthat temple, and you go inside, there’s a room in the basement area where they’re still worshipping an eight-armed form of Yoga-maya. And I’m told if you go and you ask the priest there to take you down the winding staircase which is in the basement; in the basement, there’s a staircase still going down, down, down, down. You’ll go down to that, the hill that the temple was built on and that spot, there’s the hole where Govindajī was discovered and you can take Darśana there.

Rūpa Gosvāmī wrote a letter to Lord Caitanya, just like he had previously written with Sanātana Gosvāmī when they’d first heard about the Lord, they wrote Him a letter introducing themselves, so again he wrote a letter and he told Lord Caitanya, “I have found Prānadhana he [the Lord of my heart], Govindajī. I’m going to begin His worship, as per Your instruction.” So Lord Caitanya received that letter. He was very happy and in that letter Rūpa had requested some help, so Mahāprabhu who was living in Purī at that time, I believe, He sent a very intimate follower of His—Kāśīśvara and He told Kāśīśvara, “You go help Rūpa and you be the pujari, the first pujari, for Govinda-Deva.”

When Kāśīśvara arrived, Rūpa had a ceremony to reinstall the Deity. It’s not that the Deity ever leaves His form, but these ceremonies are saṁskāras, they create impressions in the hearts of devotees. So to impress upon all these devotees that the Lord was there, Rūpa had an installation ceremony in February 1536. He personally presided over the installation of this Govindajī Deity and many devotees came. What was the next step? Build a temple; because they were worshipping Him in a grass hut. I won’t elaborate on anything from this point on. We have many more beautiful discussions about Rūpa Gosvāmī, Govindajī, Rādhārāṇī by Mother Śītala tomorrow.


How to build a temple for Govindajī? Sanātana is a Sādhu, a Sannyāsī—he had nothing. How is he going to build a temple for Madana-Mohan? So again Kṛṣṇa helped His devotee. It’s very obvious in the lives of pure devotees, it’s like so obvious, it’s amazing how some mundane scholars don’t get it. It’s just amazing how, it’s obvious how Kṛṣṇa intervenes and helps His devotees, like He helped Śrīla Prabhupāda. It’s obvious. So how did Kṛṣṇa help Rūpa Gosvāmī build a temple for Govindajī in Vṛndāvan? Here’s the story. This is the real news. In 1590, there was a very powerful emperor—Muslim emperor ruling most of India. His name was Akbar.

Akbar was a Muslim but he had made alliances with different Hindu groups which was his diplomacy. He said, “If you work with me, I won’t destroy you.” “Oh, we’ll work with you.” So many, many Hindus, many princes, and even some kings, were working with this emperor and expanding his kingdom. So one Hindu general in the Muslim army of Akbar, he was a very powerful general; his name was Mān-Singh, and he’d performed some very courageous activities in battle. So the word got out that Akbar wanted to meet Mān-Singh and give him maybe some money, maybe elevate him to a higher status,  a bigger general, but the rumor was maybe Akbar would give Mān-Singh a grant of land and make him a small king.

Mān-Singh went from the area of Delhi where he had his troops go to Vṛndāvan and he fell at the feet of Govindajī. And in the presence of Rūpa Gosvāmī, he said to the Deity of Govindajī, “Lord, if you can make sure that I get a tract of land—a big tract of land—and I become a king, I will raise enough money to build you the most beautiful temple this world has ever seen.” So two days later, he had his Darśana with the emperor, so Akbar in the presence of so many courtiers and ministers and members of the public, he said to Mān-Singh, “My dear Mān-Singh, you have been fighting so nicely; you conquered so many dacoits. You have kept us safe. I grant you a very large piece of land, and you’re no longer a general, you’re a king, working under me, the emperor.” So Mān-Singh came out of that ceremony and thought, “Well, I have to raise some money now. I promised Govindajī I’d build Him a big temple.” And by his ways, he collected that money and came back to Vṛndāvan. He employed different people to start building that temple.

It’s an architectural wonder, even today it’s a protected heritage and it’s just a masterpiece of architectural skills. It took a long, long time to build actually, several decades, I think, to build that temple. But eventually the Lord was installed in that temple, Govindajī, and later, He was joined by His eternal consort, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, whom you see beautifully sitting on the throne here in Jaipur. Now that’s a class in itself how Rādhā came to Govinda. But that’s the pastime that Śītala’s going to share with us tomorrow. Unfortunately some centuries later, one very demoniac Muslim ruler again, by the name Aurangzeb, ordered the destruction of all the temples in Vṛndāvan.

The story is that he was sitting in his palace in Agra and he looked towards Vṛndāvan some distance away, and he saw that Govindajī’s temple was bigger than his palace. He told his troops, “Destroy it!” So by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy the word reached Vṛndāvan before the armies came and you know the major Deities were all taken and hidden very quickly, except for RādhāRamana. RādhāRamana didn’t have to leave Vṛndāvan. Because these were Muslim times and the builders who’d constructed that temple, constructed the Rādhā Ramana temple to look like a house, so when the soldiers, if the soldiers ever came to destroy temples, “Uh! That’s not a temple, that’s a house, let’s move on.” And that’s exactly what happened.

Most of Vṛndāvan’s Deities were moved out of Vṛndāvan, but what became one town’s loss became another town’s gain. Just like when we lose a devotee here amongst us, it’s our loss, but it’s the devotees’ in the spiritual world—it’s their gain. A couple more points. Initially Rādhā and Govinda when They were moved out of that temple, They went to Rādhā Kuṇḍa and They were hidden in a small house in Rādhā Kuṇḍa. Actually, they built kind of a temple inside the house and that spot, where that temple was is still called the RādhāGovinda temple. It’s right on the banks of Rādhā Kuṇḍa, we’ll visit there. But it was all very secretive, only a few devotees knew where They were.

When the Muslims became a little suspicious, they might go out there, then They were moved to another town. And after a couple years, They were moved to another town, and then They were moved to another town. All these Deities were moved all around, just to keep Them away from the Muslims who were searching for Them to destroy Them. In those villages there were some villagers—you know they’re like Vaishyas, but there was one called the Jat, they were like warriors really and many of them sacrificed their lives, fighting the Muslims to protect these Vṛndāvan Deities, as the Muslims went searching for Them. So that’s all happening up there in UP, one state, but down here in Rajasthan, this was like a Kṣatriya state, there are many powerful kings and warriors, and they’re always fighting amongst themselves. Very powerful, and one very powerful king down here, he heard this history and he was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa by nature, so he heard that these Deities are hiding and being moved. His name was Jaya Singh. so he thought, “Oh, I’m living here [in] Amer,” he said, “Let me build a city and bring the Deities of Rūpa GosvāmīRādhā Govinda—put Them in my city and protect them from these Muslim invaders.”

Amer Palace is a big palace on the hill, that was where he lived, and that was his city, but he decided to move ship, everything to Jaipur, and he took out the map—this was a desert area, and he drew it. He said, “We’ll put a temple  here and my quarters will be here and the businesses will be over here and the Go-śālās will be over here and the streets…” He planned the whole thing and the city was built; there was nobody living here, no Deities and what to do? How to get the Deities here? They’re hiding in some village somewhere. So through his spies, because kings have lots of spies, he learned that RādhāGovinda had moved very far South from Vraja, They’d actually come into Rajasthan. There were in one village which is now called appropriately Govindapur. I don’t know exactly how far away, this is maybe a hundred kilometers or something like that but he found out. They were there, so he made a plan that Rādhā Govinda were put in a bullock cart and covered with hay and a sleepy old guy with a big white mustache and a red turban, when he was under the cover of darkness, he’d just be driving his hay to the market in some village nearby one morning, but he’d just keep going and keep going and in the cover of darkness he’d just drive into Jaipur and then yeah—the Deities were here. But it didn’t work exactly like that.

Historians have related how it unfolded, you could actually make—Steven Spielberg could make a wonderful movie about this, the plot is perfect, as is always the case in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Everything else, all these other movies are perverted reflections. They could really put on wonders—to satisfy the hearts of all living entities by producing these cinemas about the pastimes of the Lord. So as the bullock cart was moving with a few farmers and a couple of ladies with babies, the word got out to the Muslim patrol, because the Muslim patrols were looking for Hindus not acting properly and they’ve always got an agenda: “If you ever find one of Those Deities, smash it!” Word got out, somehow or other, this is no ordinary bullock cart, that’s no ordinary driver, he’s a devotee, and those are the famous Deities that Aurangzeb wanted to smash. They’re almost at the gates of this big empty city.

This Muslim patrol of soldiers, they came charging down the road to intercept the bullock cart. So the bullock cart driver, he whipped them and the bullocks started running and the dust is coming up and the hay is coming off, and he is charging towards the town and people are up on the ramparts. The town has these walls, it’s called the pink city. The walls are actually saffron, but they say “Pink city” and there are the crowds up there cheering on the bullock cart. The Muslim patrols, with their horses and the soldiers with their swords raised, they’re charging behind and, “Are they going to make it?” The people are [saying], “Jaya! RādhāGovinda-Deva!” The Muslims are getting closer and closer. Now it’s morning time, the sun has risen. Everyone is seeing what’s happening. As I said, there’s always a happy ending in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, so the bullock cart sped through the main gates of the city. They closed the gates, and the Muslim soldiers—they had to stop. Thus there was a big celebration in the city. When Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-Gītā, “I am adventure,” He really is part of the adventure.

If you have an adventurous spirit, you can also help the Lord in His adventures. So we are part of a great and very glorious history and culture. We can have pride in that. We don’t want to be proud ourselves, but we can be proud of our Deities, we can be proud of their sevā, we can be proud of their service. Our hearts can swell with pride in that way, we’re part of a great spiritual heritage which is ultimately meant to deliver the whole world in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

I think if they made a movie like that, most movies people see maybe two or three times and buy the video and they watch it three or four years later. You could watch this video again and again and again and never be satiated. It’s transcendental Līlā. So it’s important to know the history, the philosophy, the mood of pastimes like that so next time or later this evening when we go before RādhāGovinda, you’ll look at Him in a different way. How will you look now? You’ll look with transcendental eyes and you’ll appreciate Him much more, because as I mentioned the other day, saintly people see with their ears, not through their eyes.

So it’s hot, it’s getting a little humid, there’s a few flies. It was a long bus ride yesterday, it was many hours, kept stopping, and there wasn’t enough prasādam when we first came, and it was too spicy and you didn’t get the room you wanted, you know. But all these difficulties are all worth it, when you get to sit in this transcendental abode. We’re at the lotus feet of RādhāGovinda in the association of so many wonderful devotees having wonderful Kirtans. It’s all worth it. Those things just kind of pass away when you can relish these special moments of your life and being here in a special garden of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda. We can tolerate those austerities. India is not an easy place, but the holy places make it all worthwhile.

So tolerate the austerities and relish the ecstasy. This beautiful place that we are now, you can say is non-different from Vṛndāvan. And it’s very nicely described in a spiritually poetic way by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadas Kavirāj Gosvāmī. He describes in Caitanya Caritāmṛta: “In a forest of desire trees known as Vṛndāvan is a golden mansion and in its midst is a jeweled throne at the place called Yogapitha. Seated thereupon is Śrī Vrajendra-nandana, Śrī Govinda-Deva, a veritable Cupid incarnate. He is served there as a King, bedecked with divine clothes, ornaments and other paraphernalia. And served incessantly by thousands and thousands and thousands of devotees.”

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda-Deva ki Jaya!

Śrī Vrajabhumi, Śrī Vṛndāvan-Dhām ki Jaya!

Śrī Jaipur Jaya!

Śrī Jaya Singh ki Jaya!

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī ki Jaya!

Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan-Dhām ki Jaya!

Śrīla-Prabhupāda ki Jaya!

Worldwide ISKCON ki Jaya!

Back home, back to Godhead ki Jaya!

Gaura-Premanande Hari-Haribol!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……………..  Govinda!

Thank you very much.

Nityānanda-vat – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

The Glories of Śṛīngāra-vat or Nityānanda-vat

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

[Following opening address follows from 59:28 time laps in above video after Madhav Prabhu’s Kirtan]:

Prabhus, I’d like to welcome all of you to Nityānandavat. It’s also called Śrīngāravat. We’ll be discussing this during our talk this morning. But before we begin, it’s my very great pleasure to introduce you to one of my spiritual mentors and a very, very, very, very, very close friend of mine who is a direct descendant of Lord NityānandaAnup Gosvāmī.  [Applause, “Haribol!”]

I met Anup Gosvāmī a couple of years ago in a very unusual way. He’s the Mahānta in charge with his family, but he takes most of the responsibility for this sacred place. That is a very prestigious position, but he showed his very deep humility. One day, I was doing Parikramā and I was just outside the road here and it was kind of a rainy day, and there was this Bābā, this Sādhu with long white hair and disheveled blue clothing out there begging for a few rupees for his Nitāī.

I kind of bumped into him and he said, “Oh Mahārāja, can you give a few rupees for Nitāī?” I thought, “Who is this Bābā?” I didn’t have much time and I kind of, I don’t know if I gave a small donation, went on my way, but later on, I learned and realized that he’s actually the Mahānta, he’s in charge of this great project here.

I came back to offer my respects and a very close relationship began over time. Actually a couple years ago, I brought Anup Gosvāmī to Poland and he was on the Polish Festival tour for about two or three weeks. I was a little hesitant to take him to Woodstock, because if any of you have been to Woodstock, it’s really the epitome of Kali Yuga. There are so many Jagāis and Mādhāis—real Jagāi—modern-day Jagāi and Mādhāis, and I thought Mahārāja is from India, he’s a Gosvāmī, aristocratic family, he might be kind of repulsed by seeing all these low-class people drinking and wearing very few clothes and speaking bad language. I thought “Oh, this may not be good for Gosvāmī.”

But I remember the first Kīrtana we had in the Kīrtana yoga tent that night. We have that tent, we have Kīrtana with all the kids who come—there must have been a thousand kids in the tent. And I think it was Mādhava Prabhu who was leading and all these youth, these kids from all over Poland, many of them were drunk. They were chanting, “Hare Kṛṣṇa! Hare Kṛṣṇa!” And Mahārāja was in ecstasy; he was like, “Jaya Nitāī! Jaya Nitāī!” And he just got so ecstatic and I thought, “Wow! This is the mood of Lord Nityānanda who displayed the ultimate compassion to the most fallen souls.” He was the Commander-in-Chief of Lord Caitanya’s Saṅkīrtan Army.

He’d come to Kīrtana every night and just sit there and relish seeing all these fallen souls chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And I thought that was enough. He should just stay back in the school during the day, because we’re going out on the Ratha Yātrā. We’re passing all these kids passed out on the ground, sleeping in their tents, drunk. He said, “No, no, I want to go on Ratha Yātrā.” And during the parade he was right out front with this symbol that Nitāī used to carry for the Saṅkīrtan party and he would be chanting and dancing, “Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa! Chant!”

He is a great well-wisher, he is very appreciative of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s efforts to take the mercy of GaurNitāī to the western countries, and he’s very supportive of our International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. So I’m always trying to tell him, “I am your servant—”Daso ‘smi, Daso ‘smi”—He said, “No, we are friends.” But the reality is I am his servant. He’s very kind to see me as a friend, because we love doing the same activity, spreading the mercy of Lord Nityānanda all over the world, to all the Jagāi and Mādhāis of Kali Yuga.

He has practically single-handedly carried on the project here. He has a very wonderful devotee wife; she cooks very nice Prasādam. But practically single-handedly he’s maintaining this whole place, he maintains these beautiful Deities, preaching the glories of Nityānanda, so it’s quite touching to the heart. And he loves when we come here and have our programs. He would be happy if we came here every day.

I love to come here. Yesterday, I was very sick. I was crying in pain. And usually when I get that flu you get here in Vṛndāvan, it usually lasts three days. I was praying last night, “Please, Kṛṣṇa, please cure me so that I can go to the program and serve the lotus feet of Anup Gosvāmī”—and I got better. I’m fine.” [Applause, “Haribol!”].

He’s the care-taker of some very precious objects—transcendental paraphernalia. He actually has the jewels that Nitāī would wear around his arms when he would go out on Saṅkīrtan. He has those in his room—you can go and take Darśana later in the morning. Those jewels were brought by Mother Jāhnavā here to Vṛndāvan for safe-keeping, Jāhnavā Mata. He is the caretaker and the fierce protector of these beads. These are the beads of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. And after the program is over, he’ll take the beads back in his room and you can come and have Darśana of these beads, and you can offer some nice donation for the Sevā of this sacred place, Nityānanda vat.

We have a very friendly relationship, but sometimes Gosvāmī chastises me very heavily. “Mahārāja, why aren’t you coming down to Nityānanda-vat? And simply sitting here chanting on the beads of Jīva Gosvāmī? Why aren’t you coming daily and chanting on the beads of Jīva Gosvāmī?” That’s a very nice chastisement. Such an offering is simply causeless mercy we can hardly comprehend, how much mercy that is. So I asked him in his room very humbly if I could wear the beads of Jīva Gosvāmī during my discourse, so I might get some intelligence and say something nice. I think he agreed. [Applause, “Haribol!”].

[Anup Gosvāmī speaking]:

nitāiyer koruṇā habe, braje rādhā-kṛṣṇa pābe

dharo nitāi-caraṇa du’khāni

heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi

dṛḍha kori’ dharo nitāir pāy

āra kabe nitāi-cānder koruṇā koribe

saṁsāra-bāsanā mora kabe tuccha ha’be

viṣaya chāriyā kabe śuddha ha ’be mana

kabe hāma herabo śrī-bṛndābana

rūpa-raghunātha-pade hoibe ākuti

kabe hāma bujhabo se jugala-pīriti

[Anup Gosvāmī speaking…Translation follows]

“One who wants the mercy of Lord Nityānanda, they must come here. Nityānanda Prabhu has four places: one is His place of birth, one is His place of marriage, one is Kharda, and one is here. When Nityānanda Prabhu first came to Vṛndāvan, this is where He met Mahāprabhu. From here He went to Navadvīpa. And then from there, He went to Nandanācārya’s place where He met Mahāprabhu. Then Jāhnavā Ma came to Vṛndāvan with this Kunti. That Kunti was given to Nitāī by Hussain Shah. That Kunti here is being worshipped here. Here there are three small Murtis: NitāīGaura and Jāhnavā Ma. Those Deities were brought here from Bengal by Vīracandra Prabhu.”

“And then the disciplic succession was maintained here. Since then the worship has been done and the Kunti has also been worshipped here. Until then, since that time, only the descendants of Nitāī have been worshipping here, Jīva Gosvāmī, who is a conduit of Nitāī’s mercy. Before, my father was in charge of the RādhāDāmodara temple. At that time (1962), Śrīla Prabhupāda was in Vṛndāvan. My father was the one who gave Śrīla Prabhupāda the place to stay in RādhāDāmodara. So when they gave the temple over to the next authorities who are taking care of it now, at that time, they took the beads with them. Since that time, the beads have been worshipped here.” “Jaya Nitāī! Nitāī-Gaur Haribol!”  [Applause].

[Śrīla Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja speaking]: I’d like to remind all the devotees to please give very generously to Anup Gosvāmī. You will be greatly benefited by donating to a direct descendant of Lord Nityānanda. If you want Nityānanda’s kṛpā, Nityānanda’s mercy, then you help this Sādhu, this Gosvāmī maintain this most sacred place.

I myself give lots of lakṣmī to this temple, because it’s a very, very special place and he’s a very special devotee. We’ll also be bringing him back to Poland again this year for part of the summer tour. And this year, we are going to bring his good wife, as well. She can give counsel and instruction to all the young ladies.

So you can either give to Mahārāja directly or when you go into the room to see the jewels of Lord Nityānanda which you know you can’t see in one billion lifetimes, you can give a nice generous donation to Mahārāja there. Okay, so I’ll be speaking now about Śrīngāra-vat and Nityānandavat.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to welcome a very dear friend of mine and a very wonderful disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda, His Holiness Kavicandra Mahārāja, he’s joining us today. [Applause, “Haribol!”] Mahārāja is a member of the GBC, sannyāsī, initiating Guru, and has so many responsibilities all over the world. So this place is auspicious, but his presence makes it even more auspicious.

Kavicandra Gosvāmī Maharaja ki—Jaya!

Śrīla Prabhupāda ki-Jaya!

Śrī Nityānanda-vat ki—Jaya!

Śrīngāra-vat ki—Jaya!

Gaur Premanande! – [“Haribol!”]



[Opening prayers…]

Five thousand years ago, even in more recent history, five hundred years ago, the Yamunā river used to flow right by here. That’s why you see all these sitting places, all little shrines as you walk along the area here, because they were all built on the banks of the Yamunā river. Now Yamunā Mai has shifted some couple hundred yards, or a mile in the distance, but traditionally this was where the Yamunā river flowed by. And at that time, Vṛndāvan was actually a van—it was a forest of trees. Now it’s become a concrete jungle.

Five thousand years ago, this was a place where all the cowherd boys would come and their cows would drink the fresh water of the Yamunā and eat the soft grasses on the banks of the Yamunā. And simultaneously, this was one place where Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa would come and have Their confidential pastimes. Actually, most pastimes take place in particular places. The Rasas are not mixed, so the cowherd boys don’t mix with the girls and the parents don’t mix with the kids. The Rasas take place in different parts of Vṛndāvan. They don’t mix. But this is one place where both the cowherd boys would come and the Gopīs would come. It’s a very unique place. Previously, this particular place where you’re sitting was distinguished by the fact that there was a huge banyan tree here of which you see a small portion there still remaining. So in Sanskrit, the Banyan tree is called vata. Vata means many things, but it also means “Banyan tree.” And Śṛīngāra means decorating with clothes and jewels and ornaments.

Śṛīngāravat means that place where Kṛṣṇa often decorated his beloved Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī with clothes and ornaments and jewels and make-up and so forth—here. And as the cowherd boys would see from distance or hear about Kṛṣṇa decorating Rādhārāṇī, they became inspired by the Gopīs‘ service and they asked Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma if they could also dress them in beautiful clothes and ornaments here at Śīngāravat. So Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur says, Devotees come here to be inspired in that same type of service, particularly dressing Kṛṣṇa in beautiful clothes and ornaments. In his prayers to the spiritual master, Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur sings, Śrīvigrahā rādhananityanānāśṛṅgāra”—that one of the duties of the Spiritual Master is to engage and train his disciples in decorating the Lord in a particular form as His, in the Archa-Vigraha, the mercy incarnation of Kṛṣṇa.

This is the place where pujaris come to be inspired in that service of dressing Kṛṣṇa in beautiful clothes and ornaments, putting jewels and decorating in this way. They come here to become inspired to perfect that particular service. Śṛīngāravat: very important place.

By Kṛṣṇa’s arrangement I was listening to a tape just the other day and Prabhupāda was saying, “One should worship Kṛṣṇa not just once a week or just once a month, but one should worship Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day.” He said, “In this regard, we have our worship to our beloved Deities.” Then he paused and you could tell he was addressing whoever the pujaris were and he said, “Kṛṣṇa should have a nice dress, not once, not twice, four times a day—or as much as possible!”

He said, Kṛṣṇa is the most opulent Enjoyer. And the duty of His devotees is to supply Him things with which He can enjoy.” So here the whole business is decorating Kṛṣṇa with beautiful clothes and ornaments. And Kṛṣṇa, He set the example Himself, here at Śṛīngāravat. Because it is here, right under this Banyan tree that Kṛṣṇa would sometimes dress and ornament Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in preparation for the Rāsa dance. It’s interesting because generally we think of the manjaris or the sakhis as those personalities who decorate beautiful Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Rūpa Gosvāmī says generally, the Gopīs generally decorate Rādhārāṇī eight times a day. But sometimes Kṛṣṇa had the opportunity to help them in that service. And when He did so, He did it so expertly, with so much love, that all the cowherd girls would eagerly watch His every move in decorating Rādhārāṇī in order to improve their own service to Her. So the Ācāryas describe one of those particular pastimes.

Here on the bank of the Yamunā in this forest of trees with this big Banyan tree, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa met here and for a long time in the Kunja, Kunja-bihariKṛṣṇa’s the Enjoyer of the groves of VṛndāvanThey performed Their confidential pastimes. And in the midst of those pastimes, They lost track of time. We often say some kind of material śloka that, “If you’re doing something you like, time passes very quickly, and if you’re doing something you don’t like, time passes very slowly.”

In the midst of Their topmost confidential pastimes, They lost track of time, so VṛndāDevī, who’s in charge of arranging all these pastimes, she arrived and she said, “Hey, You’re both going to be late for the Rāsa dance this afternoon.” So at that moment, that time, Rādhārāṇī manifested some māna—it means She became angry with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa: “We’ve just enjoyed Our transcendental pastimes, why are You angry at Me?” So Rādhārāṇī said, “You lost track of time. We’re going to be late for the Rāsa dance. And all My Gopī friends will miss out on Your transcendental association.” This is the compassionate nature of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Prabhupāda describes in the CaitanyaCaritāmṛta that She’s such a great devotee, She takes ten thousand times more pleasure to engage others in Kṛṣṇa’s service than Herself doing the service.

Then She said, “And look at Me!” She was all unkempt and disheveled, because of Their pastimes, Her dress was here and Her hair was here. She said, “How am I going to show up at the Rāsa dance like this?” So Kṛṣṇa reassured Her, He said, “Devī, let Me put You back together very nicely. Let Me put on Your make-up. Let Me decorate You with all these gold and diamond and rubies and sapphire ornaments. And I promise You it won’t take more than a minute.” So Rādhārāṇī turns to Lalitā and Lalitā says, you know, “He’s just a boy, He’s a cowherd boy, we can do better than Him.”

Rādhārāṇī tended to agree with her, but in Her heart of hearts, She wanted to have that intimate association with Kṛṣṇa, so after awhile, She said, “Alright, but do it nicely and don’t do it too quickly. Don’t rush the job.” So Kṛṣṇa looked around, He was smiling. So you can see the remnants of this Banyan tree, this big beautiful tree, right there where devotees are sitting, Kṛṣṇa sat with Rādhārāṇī to put on Her makeup and Her jewels. And He asked the different Gopīs to go different places and acquire different jewels and ornaments and bracelets and bangles and make-up, so all the Gopīs ran off and got all this paraphernalia and came back.

Viśvanāth says that as devotees, each of us have a worshipable Deity whom we love to serve in so many ways. And Kṛṣṇa, although He’s God, He also has His worshipable Deity who He loves to serve: Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Viśvanāth says dressing Her is the life of His life. So understandably Kṛṣṇa took a long time. And when He finished He stepped back, and all the Gopīs went, “Oh, soooo beautiful dressing you’ve done. You’re a boy, but you have done such beautiful dressing.” So Viśākhā whispered something in the ear of Lalitā, so Lalitā who’s usually very kind of fiery and she gets angry when Kṛṣṇa mistreats, so-called mistreats Rādhārāṇī, she stood up at a very unique time, she said, “On this very day, under this banyan tree at Śṛīngāravat, we declare that this cowherd boy, Kṛṣṇa, He’s the emperor of pujaris.”

Then everyone just looked at the beauty of Rādhārāṇī, Her transcendental beauty, Her effulgence, all Her divine qualities and how expertly Kṛṣṇa had decorated Her with the jewels and ornaments. Everyone, just like, they became like statues, nobody was moving, just totally immersed in observing the beauty of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī as Her beloved Kṛṣṇa had dressed Her; only Rādhārāṇī had not said anything. The Sakhis had all shown their approval and all the young manjaris, they were just stunned but Rādhārāṇī hadn’t said anything yet.

TungaVidyā, one of the sakhis, very carefully came forward and offered Rādhārāṇī a mirror. And as everyone was looking, Rādhārāṇī took that mirror and She looked at Herself, that reflection, and She smiled. Everyone’s heart became pacified. But then She said, “Oh! We’re late! Let’s go for Rāsa!” And they went over to a place called Nikuñjavana, where the other Gopīs were waiting impatiently for the Rāsa dance. And you know the Rāsa dance was going on, it’s a very wonderful occasion. It doesn’t just happen once, it happens all the time in different places around Vṛndāvan. On this particular occasion, all the Gopīs are whispering, “Rādhārāṇī looks especially beautiful today. Who dressed Her?”

The word got out that Kṛṣṇa dressed Her and all the Gopīs were smiling and their love and appreciation for the Emperor of Pujaris increased unlimitedly. So I mentioned the cowherd boys would bring their cows down here to drink the fresh clear water of the Yamunā river and to eat nice, soft green grass that grew on the banks of the Yamunā river. So the cows are grazing and they’re drinking the water and you know, boys are boys, and they’re just kind of laying down and throwing their sticks up in the air and kind of playing with each other and exchanging sweets, like that, and suddenly, Subala says, “Hey, boys! Why don’t we decorate Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma?”

Raktak, one of the boys, he said, “Decorate? Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma? What do you mean?” So Subala said, “You know, like, when we go through the villages and we see the brāhmaṇas, they’re in the temples, they’re decorating their Deities, let’s do the same thing. Let’s decorate Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma like the Brāhmaṇas decorate their Deities in the villages.” So [they are] laughing and saying, “Yeah!” You know, it’s not that they see Kṛṣṇa as God like a Deity who they’re going to [decorate], but they just want to imitate the Brāhmaṇas in the village who decorate Deities, so “Yeah, let’s decorate Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. That’ll be a lot of fun!”

Viśvanāth says, in the same way as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are for the Gopīs their worshipable Deities, so Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are ultimately, although the boys don’t acknowledge it, the worshipable Deities of the cowherd boys. All the cowherd boys approached Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma; “Oh!” Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma thought there was going to be a wrestling match. They’re tightening Their belts, “Okay, boys, we going to have a wrestling match?” And the boys said, “No, we’re going to decorate you with beautiful clothes and ornaments.”

Some of the boys found a big slab of marble that was hanging around and they put it right next to that banyan tree right where Kṛṣṇa decorated Rādhārāṇī and they put Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma on that marble slab. And you know Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma are kind of uncomfortable, saying “What’s going on, guys?” “We’re going to decorate you.” “Well, okay.”

One of the boys said, “Wait a minute! Let’s make a canopy!” Because we see in the temples when the Brāhmaṇas decorate the Deities they have kind of a sṛnga-asana over Them. The boys, “Oh yeah, yeah!” So they went and got twigs and flowers and leaves and vines and they made a beautiful canopy over the marble slab where Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were sitting.

Subala said to Raktak, like, “Well, how do they do it? What do they do?” So Raktak said, “Well, you know. They open the doors and then they pour water on the Deities’ feet.” So some of the boys ran over to the Yamunā, got some water, and they sat, they started pouring the water over Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma’s feet. Then he said to Raktak, “What’s next?” He said, “They take soft cloth and they wipe down the Deities.” So the boys took soft cloths and they started down the legs and the feet. It was all kind of in fun, because in Vṛndāvan, there’s no aisvarya Bhāva, it’s all spontaneous fun. Kṛṣṇa’s your friend, He’s your child, He’s your lover. But they were pretending in the mood of the Brāhmaṇas in the temples. And everybody was having a good time.

Then Subala said, “Get some more things we can offer”, so the boys went around. They got flower garlands and different ornaments; they got colored minerals and different dust of Vṛndāvan. Some of them found some fresh silk cloth and they put it on trays and they all came forward and very reverentially offered all these articles to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. This is all happening right here, this is why this is Śṛīngāra-vat. So then Subala said to Śrīdāma, “Śrīdāma, you know, you’re really good, you’re like an artist, can you go paint some beautiful designs of fish and birds on the faces of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma?”

Very soon the pastime was over and the boys said, “Let’s go play down at the Yamunā”, and it was sort of the kind of thing they did for a few hours and then later when Kṛṣṇa snuck away to meet Rādhārāṇī at twelve noon at Rādhā Kuṇḍa, He came with these beautiful designs on His face and silk cloth and His hair was combed and jewels and you know, Rādhārāṇī hadn’t seen Him like that before—ever really. They were all like, “Wow, look at Kṛṣṇa! He looks different today!”

The Gopīs are saying, “He is so wonderfully decorated.” And all the Gopīs were thinking, “Who dressed Kṛṣṇa so nicely?” This is Śṛīngāra-vat; this is where Kṛṣṇa would decorate Rādhārāṇī and this is where the cowherd boys would decorate Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma—very special place. Viśvanāth concludes by saying that Śṛīngāra-vat is a place where we can come and meditate on the expertise of Kṛṣṇa, the Gopas, and the Gopīs in dressing Their respective Deities and refine that devotional service ourselves.

How many of you have Deities? Worshipping Deities? Well, this is a very special occasion. Later you can put your head on the wood of this ancient banyan tree and pray to become expert in that service of worshipping your Deity. And to commemorate these wonderful pastimes at Śṛīngāravat, you can see over here on your left there’s a little altar where those pastimes are depicted. Now if you ask Anup Gosvāmī where we are, he’ll say, “Where are we? Nityānandavat!” “Anup Gosvāmī, where’s Śṛīngāravat?” “Yes, we’re at Nityānandavata!” Vata again means banyan tree, so Nityānandavata means that place where Nityānanda when He came to Vṛndāvan, this is the first place He came and He sat under that banyan tree.

Just up the Parikramā Mārga here a little way there’s a place called Imli-tala. When Lord Caitanya came to Vṛndāvan for the first time, He sat at Imli-tala and that’s commemorated with a beautiful temple and Deities, so when Nitāī came, He came to Nityānandavat. He sat under this banyan tree.

If you remember from your studies in Caitanya-Bhāgavata or Caitanya Caritāmṛta, there was a period where Nitāī went on pilgrimage all around India waiting for the Saṅkīrtan movement to start, because it took some time for Nimāi to grow up, take sannyāsa and start the Saṅkīrtan movement, so where did Nitāī wait? He waited here at Śṛīngāravat.

While here at Śṛīngāravat, Nitāī would play like a little cowherd boy here on the banks of the Yamunā, remembering His pastimes as Lord Balarāma. And when local children would come here to swim in the Yamunā, He would join them in their childish games. Now again, Nimāi was growing up and He was Nimāi Paṇḍita. He had His Gurukula, His school, He had His pastimes. So He took sannyāsa, I think at the age 25, so the Saṅkīrtan movement didn’t really begin in earnest till a little bit before that and after that, Nitāī didn’t join Lord Caitanya until the Saṅkīrtan movement actually started.

Nityānanda was sitting here anxiously waiting for the Saṅkīrtan movement to begin. Something like it’s a big marathon, the December marathon and you’ve finished Prasādam and you’re waiting for all the devotees to get in the van and go out, and you’re anxiously waiting to go out on Saṅkīrtan. So Nitāī was sitting here anxiously waiting for the Saṅkīrtan movement to begin.

Viśvanāth said He would sit under this banyan tree. What would He do? He’d loudly chant all day long:



Sometimes, He would call out, “Oh, My Brother! Where are You? Where are You? When are We going to go out and deliver the fallen conditioned souls? Gaurāṅga, Gaurāṅga, Gaurāṅga!”

All this took place right here. This whole area is permeated with the loud chanting of Nitāī chanting the Lord’s Holy Names. Śivarāma Mahārāja told me that Lord Nityānanda stayed here 20 years. And when He was 32, He left for Navadvīpa to meet Gaurāṅga and begin His Saṅkīrtan movement.

One more little pastime! While Lord Nityānanda was staying here at Śṛīngāra-vat, there was a wealthy brāhmaṇa who renounced everything and came to Vṛndāvan and lived out at Govardhana Hill. His name was Artha-vanta. He renounced everything, and went out to Govardhana Hill. And every day, he’d just walk around, around and around and around Govardhan Hill.

Now His worshipable Deity was Lord Balarāma. So as he was going around Govardhan Hill, he was calling out for the mercy of Balarāma, just praying that one day he could have the vision, he could have the Darśana of his worshipable Deity. So because the Lord is present in the heart of every living entity, Lord Nityānanda, who’s non-different from Balarāma, was here at Śṛīngāravat. He understood the desire of His devotee. So He decided to go out to Govardhan Hill and give His Darśana to Artha-vanta. So Nitāī traveled from here, Śṛīngāra-vat, out to Govardhana Hill and He sat in a very secluded place. Nowadays there are not even anymore secluded places at Govardhan Hill but in those days, it was really jungle. So He sat in a secluded place and He took some Prasāda.

He waited for His devotee, Artha-vanta, to pass by on his daily Govardhan Parikramā. And sure enough, Artha-vanta passed that secluded place where Nitāī was sitting taking His Prasādam and he looked over at Nitāī. He saw this beautiful effulgence radiating from the Divine form of Lord Nityānanda and he could understand, “This is no ordinary person!”

Very greedy to get the mercy of Lord Balarāma and see his worshipable Deity face to face, Artha-vanta went and he paid full dandavats at the lotus feet of Lord Nityānanda. And he said to Nitāī, “Sādhu, you appear to be an Avadhūta! Surely, you can give blessings.”

Nitāī said, “What blessing is it that you are desiring?” So Artha-vanta said, “Please bless me that one day I can see face to face the Lord of my life, Rohini-Nandana, Lord Balarāma.”

As I was reading this pastime, I was thinking, “Oh! Well, the natural conclusion is that Nitāī’s going to reveal Himself as Lord Balarāma to Artha-vanta, but He didn’t do that.” He said, “Surely, you will receive the Lord’s mercy,” and He took some Prasādam from His own plate and He put it in the hands of Artha-vanta. He said, “You take this Prasāda.” So Artha-vanta took a little piece of his cloth and he tore it and he put that MahaPrasāda there. Little did he realize, it was Nitāī’s own MahaPrasāda. He tied it in a bundle and he carried that and eventually he finished his Parikramā, went home, took a bath, and was ready to eat that Prasāda.

Of course, his home was just a little grass hut somewhere near Rādhā Kuṇḍa. He was a renunciate; he lived all alone. So he finished his bath, and for his Prasāda, he said, “I will take the Prasāda of that Sādhu and maybe by His blessings I’ll have the Darśana of Lord Balarāma face to face.”

He opened that cloth and spread it out to four corners and put the Prasāda out there like that. PrasādaSevāya…So then he took that Prasāda and he put it in his mouth and as soon as his lips touched the divine remnants of Lord Nityānanda, his hairs started standing on end, his body started quivering, his voice was faltering, tears were flowing from his eyes like torrents of rain and he fell unconscious with KṛṣṇaPrema.

Then he would wake up and he’d take more Prasādam and his hairs would stand on end again and his voice would falter, tears would fall—he’d fall unconscious. It took him a few hours to finish the Prasāda. So then he went to sleep and he had a vision where first he saw this Avadhūta Nitāī and then he saw Balarāma, then he saw Nitāī, then he saw Balarāma, and he put one and two together. He realized that Avadhūta was actually Lord Balarāma and he had had Darśana face to face with his worshipable Deity.

As soon as he finally woke up without performing any type of rituals or oblations or anything, he just jumped up, didn’t even take a bath, he didn’t chant any mantras, he didn’t put fresh cloth, he ran to Govardhana Hill,  to that spot where he had seen the Lord. Nitāī was still there, effulgent as the Sun, as the Moon, and that brāhmaṇa came, “Shoooooooooom” [sound of offering dandavats]. And he lay down and he grabbed the feet of Nitāī. He said, “Nitāī! Balarāma! Nitāī! Balarāma! Balarāma!” He had Darśana of his worshipable Lord.

Lord Nityānanda took that brāhmaṇa’s hand and He put it close to His chest and He spoke for a few hours and enlightened him with transcendental knowledge:

tad viddhi praṇipātena

paripraśnena sevāyā

upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ

jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

[BG 4.34]

When we receive mercy from our Spiritual Master, especially in this form of divine knowledge, then Sevā has to be there, we have to remunerate, we have to reciprocate by offering our Spiritual Master some Sevā so the brāhmaṇa said, “Avadhūta! What Sevā can I do? How can I repay my debt to You?”

As I was reading this pastime, I was thinking, “Oh, Caturātmā Prabhu will very much like the next part.” So Nitāī said, “What Sevā can you do?” And He picked up a small Govardhana śilā, and He showed that to the brāhmaṇa. He said, “This is non-different from the son of Mahārāja Nanda. This is Kṛṣṇa Himself in the form of the Govardhana śilā. I want you to take this Govardhana śilā and you cover it completely in gold with a nice chain so I can wear that Govardhan śilā in gold around My neck.”

Artha-vanta left and he went back to where he previously lived and renounced everything, and begged from all his former associates and family members, got gold, had that gold melted, put it around that Govardhan śilā with a beautiful chain. He came back and gave it to Lord Nityānanda and it is mentioned in different scriptures how Nitāī always had that beautiful golden Govardhana śilā around His neck.

Of course we can’t imitate the Lord, we can follow in His footsteps, we can worship the Govardhana-śilā, but I don’t think we should imitate and put the Govardhana śilā in gold and wear it around our neck. Prabhupāda didn’t ever instruct us like that, although he did instruct us that we could worship the Govardhana śilā. Please don’t go to Govardhana Hill, pick it up, and put it in gold and all—all my disciples are wearing Govardhana śilās in gold around the world. No, this is the Lord.

Now with all this knowledge and hearing all these pastimes, next time you come here, you can fully appreciate this transcendental place. I’ll admit I’ve been coming here for many years and, “Oh, this is very beautiful. Oh, this is the banyan tree that Nitāī sat under?” Pay my obeisances. But only after I did all this research was I able to actually understand how potent and how wonderful is this transcendental place—Śṛīngāravat, which is very nicely maintained and glorified by my friend Anup Gosvāmī.  And he’s very happy when devotees come here and they chant and dance in great ecstasy. He said, “Mahārāja, when you bring all the devotees, will they dance? Will they chant very loudly?”



I said, “Yes, they will.”

The perfect thing to do here in this Śṛīngāravat where Nitāī spent so much so many years is to have a big Kīrtana. But before we have a Kīrtana a few practical details: Tomorrow, we’re going to be leaving for Jaipur to take the Darśana of RādhāGovinda, just one thing after [another], just gets better and better and better and better, so many of the original Deities of Vṛndāvan are there. So we’re going to leave tomorrow morning in the buses at 5:30. We want to get through Bharatpur. Bharatpur’s one city not far away; we want to get there before the traffic starts, so we’re going to leave at 5:30 in the morning for Jaipur.

We’ll stop a little bit outside of Bharatpur along the way to Jaipur. We’ll have Prasādam, you can bring your breakfast Prasādam. Oh! You’re bringing! Oh! Rasikā and Govinda are providing the breakfast Prasādam. [Applause].

Then when we get to Jaipur, we’re going to settle in our different hotels; no we’re not, we’re going to have Prasādam. Where are we going to have Prasādam? Oh, we’re going to have Prasādam at RādhāVinoda temple. The pujari there’s a very wonderful GauḍīyaVaiṣṇava and he arranges nice Prasādam for us every year.

Then we’re going to go to our hotels and then if we have time, if you’re all quick enough, we’re going to go take evening Darśana of RādhāGovinda. The first thing we’re going to do the next morning is go have Darśana of RādhāGovinda. And behind the temple, there’s a big beautiful area of park, with a big lawn and we’ll have our program there. The next day we’re going to have a feast at Raju’s factory like we did last year. And the next morning we’re going to go to Kurukṣetra. How many of you have been to Kurukṣetra? Two, three. I have never been, so I am looking very much forward to that. Actually, I’m just looking for excuses to keep talking so I can keep wearing these beads.













Śrī-Śrīngāra-vata ki—Jaya!

Śrī Nityananda-vat ki—Jaya!

Śrīla Jiva Gosvāmī ki—Jaya!

Śrī Anup Gosvāmī ki—Jaya!

Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu ki—Jaya!

Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu ki—Jaya!

Śrī Pañca-Tattva ki—Jaya!

Goloka-Prema Dhana Harinām Saṅkīrtan Yajña ki—Jaya!

Śrī Nama Prabhu ki—Jaya!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe-Śyāma!