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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Vrindavan Art
Posted: 4th of December, 2004 - 17:17

Chitrawallah Vrindavan Das
The day before, Yadunath had dropped in to convey a message from Vrindavan Das, the artist. He would be coming over for a visit. And promptly he came, just in time for breakfast. Blueberry soup seemed a rare delicacy. "It reminds me of Russia," he said. I'm glad he enjoyed it.

We sat down for four hours or so, covering a wide range of topics from residence in Vraja through Feng Shui to positive thinking. Vrindavan was very concerned for the negatives he had sent us of his art. The plan is to produce posters of his wonderful Vrindavan Art, since there seems to be a constant demand for them, and he really doesn't have the time to run to Mathura and back to produce prints every other day. Anyhow, the negatives — roughly a month ago, he had sent us all of his original negatives through a super-secure, ultra-fast delivery company. They were supposed to arrive in three to four days. However, two weeks passed and nothing was delivered. Then we received a message that they are now stuck at the customs in Finland. After a couple of days, we hear they are stuck at the customs in England. However, a call to the UK office reveals they haven't a clue about the negatives, nor indeed of anything at all. Vrindavan — who is not exactly your stereotype dreamy artist, but a rather fiery character from Kazakhstan — also paid several visits to the local office and urged them to clarify the issue in his usual calm and composed fashion. We did get them eventually, then. On the last Friday prior to our departure. The package said it was delivered from Dubai, Arab Emirates. We heard there was a holy season going on there, so nobody could deliver any packages for a while. Oh well.

We need to have our Giridhari's eyes repainted, and Vrindavan is obviously the man for the job. We already have a pair of "blank" eyes ready, and he checks them out and drafts out a design. "A five to six year guarantee if you don't use oil." We've seen the kinds of eyes he paints, and are not overly concerned over the specifics of the design. One glance from the reddish eyes of Giridhari Lal and you're gone forever.

bhUSaNera bhUSaNa aGga, tAheG lalita tri-bhaGga
tAhAra upara bhrUdhanu-nartana |
terache netrAnta bANa, tAra dRDha sandhAna
vindhe rAdhA-gopI-gaNa-mana ||

"His limbs are the ornaments of his ornaments,
delicately three-fold bent,
and above that, his eyebrows dance....
And with crooked glances from the corners of his eyes
he fires the arrows, carefully aimed,
piercing the minds of Sri Radha and the gopi-gana."

In the course of the evening we set out to meet Baba, but as we reached the ashram we learned he was in the middle of taking a bath. However the room for the book storage was open, so we popped in and met our dear friend, Dina Das, who had just recently arrived from Chand Sarovar where he had spent the last year doing bhajan.

Baba leaving for a walk
Prior to that he had been living here in the ashram and rendering varieties of seva, and had now returned back. He was in the middle of brushing dust off some books and organizing a year's worth of mess there. He has a commendably systematic approach for the seva.

Waiting for Baba, we set out for a parikrama of Radha-kunda, and on the way met Mahesh, another old acquaintance of ours, who runs a STD shop and a small kiosk at the corner of the parikrama road near Nuton Ghera. He is "so very happy" about this unexpected surprise, and we are also very happy to meet him again. Mahesh is a friendly Vrajavasi who often helps foreigners out with different problems. He invited us to sit down and drink a cup of tea, a cold drink or anything, but we had to excuse ourselves and move on as our guruji was waiting. We promised to come back another day, as we would be going for parikrama daily in any case. I will post a picture of Mahesh later on, I'm sure he'll make it into the headlines again.

As we returned to Baba's ashram, he was just leaving out for a walk. He briefly greets us and moves on. We follow him, walking at a slow pace, and bump into Gokulesh, another friendly Vrajavasi whom Malati had visited during our last visit together with Sudevi and Gaura. I was supposed to come, too, but I was stuck in Delhi with the delayed book production. After exchanging a couple of thoughts and good wishes, and after he clarified how his house was our house and how we would be welcome anytime, day and night, we made our way towards the direction where Baba was heading.

On the way we see a most beautiful sight as the sun sets behind the domes of the new Mahaprabhu Mandir. Unfortunately the lighting does not work out that well, and the scenery isn't captured anywhere but in our minds. However we do capture a good jolly bunch of restless vrajavasi-kids who are eager to fit into the camera view. Surprisingly, they do not chase us all the way to Baba, but give us peace after a few dozen meters only. "Ek thaka, ek thaka, pencil, pencil!" "One rupees please!"

We meet Baba and discuss for a moment. I inform him of my correspondence with Jagadananda regarding his desire to visit Vraja-dhama in the near future, and we exchange some thoughts regarding him. After this, we head back to the ashram to pick up our slippers we had left off for the parikrama, buy a few bottles of water on the way, and call it a day.
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