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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Meeting friends all day long
Posted: 2nd of December, 2004 - 23:51

Works even during electric outages!
Now that we've unloaded all of our stuff from the previous visit and I have my UPS in place, it's about time to get the PC set up and the internet connection working. Easy enough, all things considered. Amazingly easy. I am online in no time at all.

In the middle of the installation, Advaitadas pops in. We chat for a brief moment and he picks up the payment for the Grantha Ratna Panchakams we had agreed on. Then he heads for Yugal's place for a visit.

Once I'm done with setup and I've checked in at Gaudiya Discussions and read my mails, we head out for the bazaar for some shopping. First we met Krishna Das, a Bengali guru-bhai who runs a bookstore — Kundeshvari Granthalaya — on the side of the parikrama marg after Mahaprabhu Baithak. They have recently purchased a new computer and are badly in need of some assistance. It seems my karma follows me wherever I go... Then Shivadas, a Manipuri living at Radha Kund since his childhood, came riding on a motorcycle, and again we chatted for a while. As he drove away, we bumped into Lakshman Pujari, a Vrajavasi from Nimbarka-sampradaya who is friendly with many Western pilgrims there. Again we exchanged some thoughts, and he conveyed his good wishes for our visit.

Soon enough we meet our favorite fruit-wallah. There are a couple of brothers who live in a nearby village and come over daily to sell their goods. Jolly folks, all of them. The fruit-wallah tells us he now also has an electric shop. The business is expanding, I note. Right next to him, there is the cloth-store we have frequently visited, and we also chat with the cloth-wallah for a moment. Right after him we walk past doctor Ram's reception, and he too welcomes us to Radha-kunda and chats for a moment. As we move on, we also meet Jahnava, an Italian lady who has been living at Radha-kunda for years, and has recently had a new house built for herself. We also meet Advaitadas again on the parikrama-road.

A view of the local bazaar after Kundeshvar Mahadev.
Once the shopping is done, we head for Baba's ashram for the evening darshan. There is quite some traffic there, so we wait outside along with Karunamayi Das and Karunamayi Dasi. Finally as the influx of people calms down we go for darshan. Baba inquires on the quality of our accommodations, and checks whether everything is overall fine. We are happy to tell how satisfied we are with the place with all of its lush environment and peaceful atmosphere. Subal Baba's house at Nutan Ghera, opposite Bhaktivinod's bhajan kutir, had been a bit too noisy the last time over.

Hari Charan, a gurubhai from Kerala who now lives at Raman Reti, having moved there from Canada a while back, once told me a story about the loudspeakers in Kerala. A law was passed outlawing the big, horrible and noisy loudspeakers. Only regular amplifiers were allowed. Then, some smart fellows realized they could just build regular looking amplifiers with the crazy loudspeakers (yes, the kind you only see in cartoons and in India) inside, effectively keeping up the same level of noise. Baba laughed. He told a similar law had also been passed in West Bengal, restricting noise levels and times for keeping the noise on. However, he regretted, no such thing was in place in U.P. He cut a joke about U.P. I didn't quite follow, swapping the Uttar of U.P. for something more descriptive.

I asked whether Baba was planning to stay at Radha-kunda the whole winter, throughout the cold season, as I had heard he sometimes goes to West Bengal. He told he would rather go in the hot season, in the summer time. He has a doctor there who effectively treats his knee pains with acupuncture and acupressure. There is also another doctor in Jagannath Puri who is good at this. Baba asked whether we had any plans to visit either of the two, and we told we would be happy to go, perhaps during a time when he was there, too. Baba was wearing the knee-warmers we had brought him, and he told they were very comfortable.

Baba said that probably for us, the winter will not be a problem as in our country it is so cold. We told that everywhere in our country, there were three-layered windows that kept the cold outside, so outside temperature was different from inside temperature. "All are rich in your country?", Baba wondered. "No," I said, "This is standard, it must be. Otherwise, how would anyone stay alive."

Baba asks, "In the West, in America, is there any holy dham there?" "No Baba, not for our line of bhajan anyway," we reply. Baba had heard that there is a New Vrindavan in the United States, and asks whether everything there is artificial or so. We told that they have Giriraj there and everything, all exported. Baba asks whether it is true that there is a cow there that can give 72 liters of milk. Unfortunately, we have no idea, and we wonder about the quantity as well. I then explained how different species of cows are cross-bred to refine cow brands that give more and more milk, and how there is an entire science developed around this.

Baba mentions how material science has nowadays become very advanced, and also mentions computers again. "In just one second, one can be all over world." He then narrated how at the time of Mahaprabhu, spiritual science was equally advanced. Back in those days, in just one second one could attain prema-bhakti just by seeing Mahaprabhu.

A very early kunda-samskara
We asked a question from Malika about the reason for the number 108 as the quantity of beads in japa-mala. Baba related how in this world, all humans have 16108 material desires in the course of their life. God, clever as he is and trying to get people to turn towards him, instructs that of these 16108, only 108 need to be given for him, and with the rest one can do as he pleases. However as those 108 desires are given for him, the rest will follow and the entire samsara will become spiritualized. Such a trickster he is.

In the end, Baba mentioned how soon there will be a kunda-samskara of Radha-kunda, beginning 26th December this year. At this time, all water from Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda will be flown out and the bottoms of the pools cleansed. They will be without water for two months or so. (We will of course document all of this.) Baba told that a rich ISKCON-wallah has donated filtering machines to be placed at the bottom of the kundas that will automatically be purifying the water. He has already had the same thing done for a number of kundas in Varshana and elsewhere, and the program will continue. Sadhu sadhu! Such envinronmental benefactors are desperately needed to preserve Vraja-dhama.

We made our way out, leaving the two Karunamayis there. Karunamayi Dasi has to leave the day after tomorrow because of her work back in Italy, and she naturally wants to spend every possible moment in Baba's association.
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