25th of December, 2004 - 6:31
Meeting Govardhan
24th of December, 2004 - 16:27
Festival of Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaja
23rd of December, 2004 - 17:36
22nd of December, 2004 - 20:08
A foggy day at Yamuna
21st of December, 2004 - 20:21
The garden of rasa
20th of December, 2004 - 17:25
Siddha Madhusudan Das Baba's festival at Surya-kunda
19th of December, 2004 - 18:38
The lake of Sri Chaitanya
18th of December, 2004 - 18:44
In Vrindavan
17th of December, 2004 - 16:58
At Radha-Roman's house
16th of December, 2004 - 16:09
Today Delhi going
15th of December, 2004 - 17:30
Inquiries on bhajana
14th of December, 2004 - 20:01
A crash and Radha-Krishna katha
13th of December, 2004 - 18:14
A fairly uneventful day
12th of December, 2004 - 19:31
Publicity in the whole universe
11th of December, 2004 - 18:05
On bad deeds and good character
10th of December, 2004 - 16:50
Disappearances and instructions
9th of December, 2004 - 16:59
8th of December, 2004 - 17:49
Festival of Narahari Sarakara
7th of December, 2004 - 17:54
Back to Radha-kunda
6th of December, 2004 - 21:42
Visiting Vrindavan
6th of December, 2004 - 15:49
Half-way around Govardhan
5th of December, 2004 - 16:09
Electric outage
5th of December, 2004 - 15:04
Vrindavan Art
4th of December, 2004 - 17:17
Thoughts on our bhajana-marga
3rd of December, 2004 - 17:32
Meeting friends all day long
2nd of December, 2004 - 23:51
The second day in Vraja
2nd of December, 2004 - 17:39
Meeting Baba
2nd of December, 2004 - 0:20
From New Delhi to Vraja
1st of December, 2004 - 19:33
Giridhari's flute busted!
1st of December, 2004 - 7:30

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In Vrindavan
Posted: 17th of December, 2004 - 16:58

You'll recognize Dinesh's when you see this old man sitting in a cloth store. We suspect he may be Dinesh himself. He sits there all day long, in that very same spot. I don't think we've ever seen him not sitting there.
Early in the morning, we head for Vrindavan with Braja Kishori. In a shop at Loi Bazaar, we bump into Braja and the family. Our first meeting in person. Having chatted briefly, we agree to meet for lunch at MVT in an hour or so. We pop in at Rasbihari Lal & Sons briefly, I need to get some Bengali, Hindi and Sanskrit books to brush up on my skills a bit, especially on some practical Hindi vocabulary. They're asking about Madhurya Kadambini and need a new stack of the books that are already printed, 25 each. The books seem to be selling all right there.

The sabji-market has some dill available, a rare commodity at Radha-kunda. We also get some fresh turmeric there, a particularly healthy spice. Then, some clothes at Dinesh's, and heading to MVT.

Rasaraja is already sitting in the garden and waiting for us. We've been chatting and corresponding on an almost daily basis for a good while now, but as with Braja, this is our first meeting with him in person. We don't seem to be running out of things to talk anytime soon. He joins us for lunch with Braja, Gaurapriya and the kids at the MVT restaurant. The prices are a bit above the average, but the food is tasty and clean.

A monkey looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Their older kid, Bhaktivinod, turning three years in a couple of weeks, knows the art of eating. In a matter of minutes, he turns his white t-shirt into a Hawaii-style cloth, and some food goes as far as the mouth even.

After the lunch, we head to Rasaraja's place and meet his wife, Prema, and the kids, who seem to be in full action already. They are very excited about the monkeys, I show them some photos I have just taken at Loi Bazaar. They fill us in with all the cool events that have taken place just very recently — getting locked in and climbing out the window, falling off a swing, and all. Rasaraja and Prema have brought Malati a big bag of gluten free foodstuffs, as they are hard to come by in Vraja. A bit embarassing, granted, but very welcome.

Returning to Radha-kunda and dropping off our bags, we head to meet Babaji Maharaja. Braja Kishori, Ananda Hari and Jahnava join us, and we ask about a good number of topics. We inquire along the lines of the themes of the 14th, on various matters of bhajana. On the matter of archana, Baba says that mudras, various symbolic gestures, should not be used, as they are contrary to the moods of Vraja we aim for. Though we derive archana-practices from various agama-shastras, the pancaratra-literature, we must be selective and only adopt the practices that are favorable for developing our desired mood of devotion.

It's about 11 PM as we head home.
After the darshan, we visit Ananda Hari and Braja Kishori. The visit extends until the very late hours of the night, as we seem to not be running out of topics to discuss. The ladies are looking at some pictures in their photo-album and discussing various topics concerning thakur-seva, while Ananda Hari and I seem to be veering off to more abstract philosophical topics. Why is the soul in the material world, what is the origin of our bondage, does the soul possess sat-cit-ananda as a part of its inherent nature, what is the relationship of sat-cit-ananda and sandhini-samvit-hladini, and so forth. Fairly extensive topics, I'll not even try to cover them here. They seem to be unclear to many. Ananda Hari, we hear, has no problem talking until mangala-aratik time.

The doors at our house are already locked, but fortunately Bul Bul's mother in law is sleeping light enough to hear us coming, and she opens the door for us. We live upstairs in a separate room, but have to use the same downstairs door to get into the building.
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