31 Mar Journey to Vrindavan
In 3 days, I will be in a transport going to Vraja. I am trying all my best to keep my consciousness and heart fixed on Radha and Krsna.
It’s said that getting to Vraja is a difficult task because you should get the mercy of the Lord. I have 6 hours left to change my flight tickets. I have constant pain in my stomach for a week already. I’m really in huge doubt about whether I should take a plane or not. If I get into an emergency state, I will have a serious problem out there in India. I could change my flights to Kartik Masya and try to solve the problem with my health.
I had to finish this dilemma, so I’ve decided to change the flight to October. I’m really worried because the pain doesn’t fade and it may be the gallbladder issue. I should see a doctor. I feel so shattered, because in my mind and heart I was already in Vrindavan. I miss it so much. I feel separation and it’s so sad that I was not accepted by Krsna to go there. First, I fled Radha Kund when the pandemic started, and now I’m too scared to go back. I’m in a loop trap. I feel miserable and stupid. Where’s my saranagati? I’m bound with so many ropes of attachments that it just makes me sick. The only hope and happiness is as long as I have the chance to chant my beloved names of Radha and Krsna.
What can I say? While wearing lungi and a turban under the hot sun… Yes, I’m in Vrindavan. It’s totally crazy. My flight change request was declined. I’ve got a few positive medical appointments, and with the blessings of my mother, I took the trip. Hopefully, the pain will fade in a few weeks.
This first night I have nowhere to stay. I’ll try to find a shelter in some corner. I will try to stay on the roof of the Russian house and try to feel the mood of Vraja. To feel Radha Krsna, to feel my heart state. Contrary to that, I feel spiritually weird. Maybe because I’m tired, confused, and shelterless. I’ll just let it sit for a while.
Six hours in Vrindavan. Feels like weeks. The mind eventually slows and calms down. Waiting for Radha Shyamasundar darshan.
Ananda Vardhana Swami always told us to come earlier for a darshan when the curtains are still closed to build up a mood of eager waiting. When the curtains were finally open and a full temple of devotees raised their hands and joyfully shouted while kirtan was performed, I was overflown with emotional mercy. I stood for a solid half an hour, experiencing the sensual treasure as a temporary gift.
Prabhupada gave me an eternity. Can I give him my temporary life?
Walking the roads of Vrindavan and having the luck to swim in the most auspicious dust. If you’re not feeling any shake in your voice, cold flow in the body or the smallest tear coming out of your eyes, something is not right. And there’s only one cure – the mercy of Radhika.
While walking the parikram in Vrindavan, a merciful and pure-hearted old Brijwasi couple, upon seeing me crossing by, with eyes full of love and folded hands, looking into my eyes, warmly said – Radhe Radhe. I felt bliss and intuitive understanding pop up in my mind. Possibly Radharani was curious to see to whom her devotees sent her names, and at that moment she mercifully looked at me. I felt love. This is the mercy of Dham. Just because the pure Brijwasi are always ready to pray for you. Wonderful Brijwasis.
Even though I know the tattva on why Radha’s and Krsna’s relationships are exactly the way they are, still, I am always bewildered by the fact that she is the wife of another man. I also know that Abhimanyu never even dares to look at her, not to mention touch her. But I’m still confused, because up there they don’t know this tattva and for them it’s a different reality.
„The main bower, surrounded by desire trees, is the pleasure palace of Radha. Surrounding this and separate from this are the bowers of the sakhis and servants” – Sri Vraja Riti Cintamani.
A Kalpa vriksa, known as a desire tree, is a place for a Vaishnava to fulfill their inner wishes. But more sweet is the idea that all the kalpa vriksas are actually there for Radha. So when I see a beautiful trees today, I will beg them to fulfill all the deepest wishes of Sri Radhika. She burns in separation from her beloved and, hopefully, soon, Narayana will help them unite.
Time dissolves here. I came to Vrindavan with a sadhana plan – much more japa rounds, reading, translating, going to parikramas, visiting temples, being inspired by themathic meditations, listening to audio books, and lilas. And instead of this diary, I had planned to write about the Dust in Vraja. The truth is I’m far away from being a fan of soulless sadhanas. Despite the fact that I chant at least 16 rounds per day, I think that the one holy name cried out with love is more important than hundreds of empty names.
„To the east of Govardhana lies the pond called Dana-nivartana (where taxes were levied). Remembering this place, Krsna immediately attains beauty as he trembles and his hairs stand on end”.
One baba spends entire days outside with his Gopal on the left side of Krsna Balaram mandir. He is chanting japa, reading sastra, and sometimes he brings a garland to Srila Prabhupada. I like him. Mostly because he is constant. I often give him some money or buy a garland for his Gopal.
In the evening, I was going back home when he was asking for charity. I passed him with pranam, but then I noticed he asked for food. I thought, why not order him a nice hot butter masala dosa? So I did it at Govinda’s. I took it as a take away. When I gave him a bag with dosa, I experienced a cute moment. The moment he saw the bag, he froze with surprise, a wide smile, and beautiful shiny eyes. I handed it to him and noticed how happily he was checking what was inside. Simple as a child. That moment, baba, pure Krsna’s devotee, was so beautiful and I wondered how beautiful should be Krsna when he becomes amazed.
Being on the land where Krsna was present is pure bliss. Thinking about his footsteps somewhere around here and seeing all these Brijwasis as eternal hidden Krsna’s companions is incredible practice. That’s probably the main reason I come here.
I sat in the mandir in the corner, just to enjoy this glorious mood, which is nicely carried by Radha Shyamasundar devotees. I can’t see any deities from my sitting place. But what a miracle! Surprisingly, I’ve noticed that I can see Radha through the columns. Our most beautiful Radha is watching silently and mercifully without us knowing it.
I wonder how this system of lust works. If a person is in love, he thinks only about the object of his love. He sees no one and nothing else. The only thing of interest is what is connected with the beloved one. Looking at the pictures of Gauranga, you can see this wonderful absorption. Try to imagine what the feeling of connection and attachment he had towards Krsna.
There is also some result in my life when I try to fix my mind on Radha Krsna. At least I’m used to them. I like to know that one day I will meet them. I like to feel the warmth emancipated from this faith. But on the other hand, I experience lust towards other human beings. It’s so sad and cringe. Only through mercy is it possible to go insane and fall madly in love with the divine couple. Moments of bliss are not enough. I need a deadly transcendental glimpse of Radha and Krsna.
Something I will never forget. At Radha Kund, I met two friends, Sidharta and Sanatana. We decided to try our luck by bathing in both kundas. It was pure joy to be inside the liquid form of Radha’s and Krsna’s love. Just after we finished our procedure, put on tilakas and got ready to leave, I took part in a funny lila. I was standing on the third step of Shyama Kunda waiting for Sanatana to dress up. All of a sudden, he inserted his wet gamchas into the black bag, which is the most interesting thing for a monkey. One monkey noticed the bag and couldn’t help herself with the craving. Sanatana, playfully and fearlessly, started to irritate the monkey. I felt like something bad was going to happen because I was standing in between the folks and the monkey, which was already coming too close. To my prophecy, the animal jumped and kicked all of us with her legs. Everyone was fine, but I somehow lost the balance and unexpectedly slipped, and in seconds I was full body in the Shyama Kunda. I didn’t hurt myself nor were my belongings damaged. Suddenly, I became extremely happy. For me, it was like receiving personal divine attention.
The life in Vrindavan is so different every time you come back. Some major changes I’ve encountered in myself are the way I understand India. I’ve never travelled to India, I’ve been only to Vrindavan. And this time, I’ve found out I don’t even need to go to sacred places – all I need is to know I’m on the land where Krsna, Radha, and all the Brijwasis were walking, breathing, playing, joking, bathing in Yamuna, and were totally absorbed in love emanating from the pure bhakti.
I met my friend Amit and will be staying at his house for the next few weeks. He is pure Brijwasi. We talked about Krsna, about his character and attitude. He mentioned that he is like a lovely and naughty child who does whatever he wants. He is playful and acts out of pure love.
I was wondering why Radha and Krsna deities were not coming, and Amit replied to me with a story of his mother. His mother is a servant at the Radha Raman temple. Once, covered in the mood of anger, she was preparing a new robe for Krsna, which turned out to be too small. Soon she felt that Krsna was not happy.
For Brijwasis, it is totally normal to feel Krsna. They live and protect him.
Amit’s wonderful family is amazing. Full of love. He is sensitive and emotional. It’s a blessing to know him. I feel like the biggest rascal in front of him. And I should say, he brings me a daily lunch prepared by his wife, which tastes like nothing on this earth.
You may think – Oh, maybe it’s my offences I willingly or unwillingly performed which had an effect on my spiritual practice and japa? Or sometimes, you feel inspired. But what if I tell you that the reason for your continuing to chant the names of the Lord is simply because somewhere in India, in Vrindavan, is a Brijwasi with a melting heart, and who is praying to Radharani to show her mercy to this rascal, Vanipriya das?
Tonight I had a vivid dream. I was in a group of devotees performing a kirtan. At a certain point, everything stopped and came to silence. Somehow I felt brave enough to start chanting – Ra! Ra! Ra! Everyone followed with – Dhe! Soon everyone out of happiness started to chaotically run to whatever side and loudly chant – Ra! Dhe! It was funny and sweet.
Wonderful trip. It is fascinatingly difficult. The weather is hot as boiling water, no close devotees, no seva. I was left alone with my conditioned self. It’s all about relationships and congregational service for the Lord. The only form of Radha Krsna I have is my chanting. But let’s be clear, it’s a big game, a big task. I need deities to whom I can offer service, care for them, live with them, speak, sing, dance, or do whatever else I am capable of. Japa requires an enormous amount of strength and mercy. It’s hard to catch up when you slip the rope. Deities require your physical engagement. It may become automatic, but at least they look at you and give you darshan. To chant congregationally, you need a friendly relationship. Now I know how important it is to be in lovely sanga.
I guess being an artist by nature brings some rules too. Literally, I can’t stand the routine. I can’t stand the thought of having the same exact day tomorrow. And as said, this is crucial for sadhana, which within its concept is based on timings. But I can’t accept this. A schedule is just one aspect of sadhana that works for some people and not for others. Being yourself and sincere with Krsna should bring the feeling of happy practice. All comes from mercy. Even the strong desire to obtain pure love comes from mercy.
Day by day, time comes to an end. So much happened inside of me.
Amit, pure Brijwasi, and his wife’s daily prepared prasadam were melting my heavy heart. His body is radiating love. Every word he says, every smile he shows, is full of love. Anything he says is based on love. And today, he said something that hit me. He repeatedly told me that I could return whenever I wanted and that I should always stay at his place. He shared his thoughts that he could feel my heart because I’m his dear friend and that he loves me. Finally, he mentioned that when I leave, he will feel lonely and just after, he burst into tears. I was astonished by his sky-clear heart. I witnessed this enormous amount of love. This is Krsna. This is the reason I came to Braj. I came to feel the pure Brijwasi love.
During the last few days in Vrindavan, I had annoying congestion, which I thought was caused by Indian dust allergy. My taxi driver didn’t show up. He probably fell asleep and ignored my calls. Thankfully, the taxi manager organized another one who safely brought me to New Delhi airport. After a few hours in the airport, I started to feel worse till I reached the moment of intense fever, extremely heavy congestion, and constant cough. It took me nine hours to get to Helsinki and an extra few more to Vilnius. It was absolutely horrible. I was cold, constantly coughing, sneezing and clearly feeling how miserable the material world is.
After reaching the destination, I went straight to bed and slept for a long time. I checked my phone the next day and discovered that I needed to be in Tallinn tomorrow at noon because my Guru agreed to reward me with full diksha. Being weak and wasted, I asked my loving parents to help me travel to Estonia. The next morning, we started our trip, and in the evening I participated in a yagya.
The next morning, still in the mood of amazement, I got a message, which shot me with joy. I was asked if I would like to serve my personal Radha Krsna deities.
Will I get them? The story just started. And really, Krsna loves me so much.