Sands of Raman Reti
2nd of January, 2005 - 18:47
1st of January, 2005 - 17:21
31st of December, 2004 - 18:32
"He will speak to you."
30th of December, 2004 - 16:46
Spiritual mayor of the town
29th of December, 2004 - 13:17
28th of December, 2004 - 17:53
Meeting with Baba
27th of December, 2004 - 17:02
Parikrama of Radha-kunda
27th of December, 2004 - 16:56
The new initiates - Evening
26th of December, 2004 - 18:13
The new initiates - Morning
26th of December, 2004 - 18:12
Posted: 28th of December, 2004 - 17:53
The morning was foggy, but the clouds dissolved by 10 o'clock. In preparation for Tarun's upcoming diksha, we figured some additional pilgrimage would be in place to purify the heart and to bring the mind to a fulfilled and receptive state.
Thus we left for parikrama of Govardhan. Only the first half, though, turning back after Manasi Ganga, as we were a bit short on time, and Tarun was still a bit tired after his flight here.
First rocks of Govardhan near Gwal Pokhar.
After a quick visit to Kushum Sarovar, we headed towards Gwal Pokhar, where the cowherd boys once hassled Madhumangal, stealing the sweets he had collected during Surya-puja — and on top of which he was sitting to ensure their safety. Around here, Govardhan comes up from below the ground for the first time. Nearby is Shyama Kutir and the beautiful Ratna-kunda, one of the most serene places around Govardhan. That's the place where Sri Krishna rejoined the gopis after defeating Sankhachuda.
Taking darshan of Manasi-ganga at the Mukharavinda Mandir, we headed to meet Sanatan Goswami and Chakalesvar Mahadeva. However, our visit there was brief as usual, as customarily you won't have ten seconds of silence from the various pujaris and pandas who hassle you for donations. Before continuing the parikrama, we also paid a visit to the samadhi-mandir of Siddha Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja. At the ashram, we met the Mahant, Sri Harimohan Dasji, whom you may remember as the enthusiastic old man playing mridanga at the festival of Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji at Radha-kunda a few days back. I offered a donation for Siddha Baba's seva, and he gave me two booklets, one containing Siddha Baba's biography, the other a brief manual for yogapitha-seva. After receiving some laddu-prasad, we moved onwards through the bazaar.
Siddha Baba's samadhi-mandir at Manasi Ganga.
Downtown Govardhan, near Dana-vedi, is awfully busy with traffic.
Dana-vedi is the area of the tax-collecting pastimes you may read of from books such as Dana-keli-kaumudi and Dana-keli-cintamani. Clearing through the bazaar and taking a left turn in the end towards Radha-kunda direction, we noted to our surprise that Govardhan was visible much of the way onwards from there. I do not recall being able to see Govardhan all that much in the past, perhaps some forest has been cut down, or some walls broken away. A pleasant surprise, whichever the case. Passing by Uddhava-kunda, where Uddhava Mahashaya resides in the form of grass, we headed onwards.
Downtown Govardhan, a large delivery of grass.
There was a goshala near Uddhava-kunda with dozens of very sweet cows. Malati had some bread she had taken as a snack on the way, which we served out to them. Such enthusiasm! They were actually a bit silly, in a sweet sort of way. We love cows. A small cowherd-girl showed up, curiously watching what we were up to. And soon enough the old man of the family came around, too.
Three small puppies stood on a platform near the goshala, all cuddled together. One of them must have had fever, he was shaking real bad. What a pity we didn't save any of that bread for them, I'm sure they could have used some of it too.
How cute can you get?
Soon enough we reached Radha-kunda. On the way around the kundas, we purchased the malas required for Tarun's diksha, and then headed to Vrajananda Ghera. We told Babaji Maharaja of our returning from parikrama. He is always happy to know that devotees are taking darshan of the various holy places of Vraja. As Tarun asked whether he could keep the name he already had, Tarun Kishor, or whether Baba would like to change it, Baba said that actually,
since both Tarun and Kishor mean essentially the same thing, he would change it a bit. We also agreed that in the evening, we would come to show him some footage of the festival at Surya-kunda.
Babaji Maharaja upstairs in the ashram.
On the way back home, we bumped into Nitai Das from Sweden, our neighbor who has been living at Radha-kunda since a long time. He invited us over for a gathering of devotees on the new year's eve. Nitai is a disciple of Haridas Babaji, the brother of Krishna Das Madrasi Baba, who used to do bhajan at Govinda-kunda.
In the evening, we returned to Baba's ashram with Tarun and Yugal. I brought my laptop over, too. Baba laughed at some of the scenes there, including a buffalo staring at the camera and chewing and chewing, and a close-up of a pot full of some kind of sabji with chilis as the main ingredient. He was happy to have the darshan of this festival, as he had been unable to attend himself. I also played a short collection of clips from the adhivas-kirtan of his guru-maharaja's festival. Dina Das and some others attended, too. It was a long, fulfilling and exhausting day.