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Sri Gri Govardanaji Rvc Govardana Puja 2010

Dear Respected sadhus,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Well, yes there are various strictures in taking a Govardhana sila from Govardhana Hill that should be followed to ensure a healthy relationship with Giriraja. The rules and regulations are there to ensure a proper bhava, for this Thakurji is the topmost, representing the love Radha and Krishna have for One Another, or can be worshipped in various other Krsna forms.

On one hand, we have the rules and regulations, and the other hand we have 'Krsna's arrangement' that supercedes the vaidhi principles, because a 'unique situation' can indicate Krsna's desire. God is not like an angry spider, as soon as you make a mistake, He will pounce on you in retaliation for an offense you have made like one of our New York state troopers(smile). We have to keep a vision of the larger picture at hand, the Lord is concerned with your bhava.

What many devotees misunderstand in the private sevas(which should not compete Srila Prabhupada's desire for us to participate in the public, the temple services) is that just as the sevak has feelings in the relation to Him, the Lord also has feelings towards the sevak, like the two sided coin, so this endeavour should not be undertaken unless it becomes a dedicated lifetime offering between two personalities. We miss the basic point that our Deity has feelings too, and if we break the relationship, stop the pujas, or give Thakurji popcorn while we go out and relish curd feasts, then quite possibly Thakurji will become 'inconvenienced'. However Giriraja worship is famous for satisfaction in simplicity, He just wants our regulated bhakti.

Having said all that just pray to the Lord, not 'my will but thy will be done'....I am sure Giriraja, as result of the present arrangement would rather be worshipped with sweets etc. than be kept in a box due to smarta rules and regulations. Whose is to say that the Lord did not orchestrate this arrangement and what a loss for us that we have failed to realize it? I would suggest that you begin the puja and look out for the Lords desire. If there is by chance any difficulty(there are some sudden negatives happening around in your life) then make plans for Thakurji to be placed back on Govardhana.

To safely obtain a Govardhana sila, as prescribed by Brajavasi law, Thakurji should be given by a Brajavasi, gold of the same weight should be left on Govardhan(because we are preachers a gold tulasi leaf, now about 800 rupees, has been done by some) and a parikrama should be done with the sila.

Again these practices are there to underline the importance involved with regard to to this commitment, establishing a relationship. If one makes these offerings, this increases that 'sweetness' of Giriraja coming into your life. Then again there are no hard and fast rules, we just want to ensure that Thakurji is happy.

Just like recently, some devotees from the UK had been going daily to the steps of Radha Kunda doing some cleaning sevas, sweeping and brushing, and had developed a nice relation with a local Brajavasi and in appreciation they gave his family a fridge to accommodate the hot times in India. After giving the laxmi for this gift(all they had left), when they went to the Kunda for seva, they found a beautiful rare sila on the steps. It was duly given by the Brajavasi, just a new friend, with relevant instructions for puja etc., but this made full circle that the Lord did not mind going to the West, there is a confirmation in relationship and reciprocation.

In conclusion: Take this as an arrangement that Giriraja has come to you, begin the worship and see how things go and in a future visit to Braja, and in the future, as an offering, you can follow through with the various protocols, that you may have missed. Also the day that Thakurji has come into your life , you should have an annual festival offering for Him to celebrate His appearance in your life.

For us the most important upacaras to be offered to Thakurji is the Nama seva, Vaisnava seva, and Jiva daya(communication work to help others). Then Giriraja will be most pleased with you.

So begin your puja and allow the Lord to enjoy your sevas.

Best Wishes
Your servant
Bhaktisiddhanta Swami
*Re: * RVC Puja - question A Sila from Goverdana Hill, Vrindavana. India. 4/28/10

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Sri Gri Govardanaji Rvc Govardana Puja 2010

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Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

It is mentioned in Sri Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (13.2):

aksnoh phalam tvadrsa-darsanam hi
tanoh phalam tvadrsa-gatra-sangah
jihva-phalam tvadrsa-kirtanam hi
sudurlabha bhagavata hi loke

Devotees of Bhagavan are extremely rare in this world. Therefore the perfection of the eyes is to see them, the perfection of the body is to touch them and the perfection of the tongue is to glorify them.

In this verse, a fortunate person who has been blessed by darsana of a bhagavad-bhakta is overwhelmed with bliss. He says, “To have the darsana of a Vaisnava is indeed the perfection of the eyes, to touch him is the perfection of the body and to glorify him is the perfection of the tongue, because in this world such bhagavad-bhaktas are extremely rare.”

It is stated in the above verse, aksnoh phalam tvadrsadarsanam hi – the perfection of the eyes is to have darsana of a Vaisnava. In such darsana the mood to render service under that Vaisnava’s guidance is indeed expressed. Vaisnavas do not know anyone apart from Sri Bhagavan. In turn, the vaisnava-sevaka does not know anything apart from rendering service according to the directions of the Vaisnavas.

This sevana-dharma (service attitude) of the servant is not aimed at attaining personal enjoyment through acts of seeing and touching the Vaisnava. Bhagavan and Bhagavan’s devotees only accept our true nature (svarupa), which is devoted to service. They never accept our mundane nature, which is devoid of service.

Bhagavan is not a mundane entity (prakrta-vastu). Similarly, the pure soul (suddha jivatma) is also not a mundane entity. In his pure state, the jivatma is naturally devoted to service that pleases Bhagavan. The intense eagerness for the darsana of Bhagavan that is observed in him is solely due to his eagerness to render service to Bhagavan. The perfection of the sevaka’s feet in visiting the dhama of Bhagavan is manifest in order to attain service to Bhagavan. He cleans the temple of Visnu with his hands, thus enhancing Bhagavan’s pleasure. The sevaka’s two eyes become blessed by collecting all types of beautiful objects solely for the service of Bhagavan. With the help of his nose, the sevaka is led to gather various fragrant objects to assist in satisfying Bhagavan. With his tongue, the sevaka performs the kirtana of Bhagavan’s name, form, qualities and pastimes, thus enhancing His bliss.

Besides this, he offers extremely tasteful food to Bhagavan, having examined them with his tongue. The sevaka (the servant) has a spiritual body so that the sevya (the object of his service), Sri Bhagavan, can experience the pleasure of touch from that sevaka.

We have entitled this essay: “The Attitude of a Servant: Being the Seen, not the Seer.” This means that one should not consider himself he who sees Bhagavan. A person should never hurry to have darsana of Bhagavan with the aim of personal enjoyment. When a person has kama, the desire to please his own senses, then the door to the transcendental abode of Bhagavan closes to him. And when mundane endeavours for personal enjoyment and false renunciation have been completely eliminated from a heart that has been illuminated by exclusive surrender to Krsna (krsnaika saranata), then the servant’s sole disposition will be to render service exclusively for the pleasure of Bhagavan.

The transcendental gopis of Vraja dress solely for the pleasure of Krsna. Phalgutva, to falsely renounce that which pleases Krsna, can never result in finding a place in their hearts. Their obsession for Krsna is solely to render service to Him. Their act of looking at Krsna’s lotus face without blinking their eyes is also solely to enhance His bliss. When Krsna sees that the gopis are looking at Him, He becomes delighted. Because they are aware of this, the gopis are exclusively intent on attaining darsana of Him. When they look at Krsna, it is not with the intention of personal enjoyment through being the seers. In other words, it is they who become visible to Krsna; they become the objects seen by Him. Solely to give Krsna bliss, they ‘show’ Him their nature (svarupa), which is completely devoted to serving Him. Here the act of ‘showing’ does not express their ego, but indicates the excellence of their service.

Thousands and thousands of pilgrims visit holy places in order to have darsana of Bhagavan. Although most think that they received His darsana, they are actually still an unlimited distance from receiving it. When one has actually attained darsana of Bhagavan, he is unable to utter statements like, “The deity is made of wood”, “The deity is made of stone”, “The deity is made of clay” and “Jagannatha has no hands or legs”.

The act of these pilgrims’ ‘seeing’ is saturated with the spirit of personal enjoyment, which is not the spirit of a servant of Bhagavan. The afore mentioned expressions show that the very act of ‘seeing’ Bhagavan is itself covering and barring their vision. Many have lost the path by which they can have darsana of Bhagavan due to being covered by the darkness of the spirit of personal enjoyment, which is darker than the new moon night. Therefore, with their deliverance in mind, my sri gurupada-padma, Srila Prabhupada, has cautioned:

Do not go to see Lord Jagannatha with a spirit of personal enjoyment, which is born of aversion for Him and which is prevalent in this world. Enter the temple of Sri Jagadisa carrying the necessary ingredients – that is, a service attitude that delights Lord Jagannatha.

Always keep in mind that the act of ‘seeing’ Jagannatha with mundane eyes is not how a servant sees Him. The servant’s disposition is to show Him the nature (svarupa) of his service attitude – in other words, to become the seen. It means to come within His sight in such a way that delights the worshipful Bhagavan. The servant’s attitude is not to derive personal pleasure by seeing Bhagavan. Rather, brilliantly situated within the servant’s heart is the attitude, “Bhagavan will be delighted by seeing me.”

Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika, Year 7, Issue 9

Sri Vrindavan Dham, description and history of Vrindavan, Vrindavan gallery

VrindavanOn this earth, the place known as Vrndavan in the district of Mathura, ninety miles southeast of Delhi, is a replica of that supreme Goloka Vrndavana in the spiritual sky. In all of India, that eighty-four-square-mile tract of land is considered to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage because Krishna sported in it, and many devotees still linger there in ecstasy in search of Krishna and His childhood associates. Srila Prabhupada has explained that "It is not that such devotees meet Krishna face to face in that tract of land, but a devotee's eagerly searching after Krishna is as good as his seeing Him personally. How this is so cannot be explained, but it is factually realized by those who are pure devotees of the Lord." Because Krishna, His name, form, pastimes and remembrance are all on the absolute plane, to search for Him at Vrindavan in pure God consciousness gives more pleasure to the devotee than seeing Him face to face." The Brahma-samhita (5.38) confirms that those devotees whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love always see the eternal form of Shyamasundar within their hearts.

In Vrndavana the effulgent ground is fashioned with many very wonderful colourful cintamani jewels, the trees and vines are full of blissful spiritual fruits and flowers, the birds make a great tumult by reciting the hymns of the Sama Veda, and the lakes and streams are filled with transcendental nectar. May my heart meditate on Vrndavana in this way. VrindavanIn Vrindavan

Vrndavana is illuminated by numberless moons of spiritual bliss. It is cooled by the sweet nectar of spiritual love and it is filled with desire trees and many hosts of madly cooing birds. Whose heart will not run to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, who enjoy eternal transcendental pastimes in that Vrindavan.

(Prabodhananda Sarasvati - Sri Vrndavana-mahimamrta) Beautiful Vrindavan

Beautiful Vrindavan is filled with cintamani gems and many jewel palaces and temples. Many regal swans play in the waters of the Yamuna, and in those waters a splendid golden lotus flower grows.

In Vrndavan the kadamba trees offer obeisances, their flowering branches reverently touching the ground. Bumble bees enjoy pastimes in Vrndavan, which is filled with a very sweet fragrance.

Radha and Krsna stay in the place where They enjoy pastimes. How beautiful They are. Their bodies are decorated with jewel ornaments, and They are wealthy with many gem mines of intelligence and wit.

Vrindavan - YamunaWhen will I renounce the circle of material family life, and, drowning in transcendental bliss, go to Vrajabhumi? O Lord Hari, Lord Hari, when will this be?

When will I see Govardhana Hill, my eyes filling with tears? When will I reside at Radha-kunda? When, as a result of constantly wandering in Vrndavan, will this body fall down?

When will I become pure at heart by bathing in the waters of the Yamuna?

When will I circumambulate the land of Vraja, wandering from forest to forest? When, becoming fatigued, will I stop to rest on the shore of the Yamuna?

When will I be able to see the gardens of Vrndavan where the great devotees worshipped the Lord?

When will I find relief from the heat of midday by resting in the cooling shade of Vamsivata? When will I associate with the Vaisnavas in the groves of Vrndavana?

(Narottama dasa Thakur - Prarthana) VrindavanAbout Vrindavan

Wherever he may be, one must always think about life in Vraja-dhama and about following in the footsteps of a particular devotee in the service of the Lord. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 16,)

Vrndavana, any person may go there, and even if he is sinful he will at once contact an atmosphere of spiritual life, and automatically chant the names of Krsna and Radha. (Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.20.4 purport)

Anyone who can stay permanently is welcome. I want that as many devotees stay permanentlyand become Brijabasis. That will be very inspiring. (Srila Prabhupada Letter, 9 November 1975)

Lord Varaha tells the men of earth, “Any person who becomes attracted to places other than Mathura will certainly be captivated by the illusory energy.” (Nectar of Devotion Ch.12)

If one somehow or other gets the opportunity to live in Vrndavana, and if one is not a pretender but simply lives in Vrndavana and concentrates his mind upon Krsna, one is liberated from material bondage. (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.19.19 purport)

In the Brahmanda Purana it is said that all the results of traveling on all the pilgrimages within the three worlds can be achieved simply by touching the holy land of Mathura. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 12)

If we live in Vrndavana, we are living with Krsna, because Vrndavana is nondifferent from Krsna (Vrindavan Days, page 51)

How wonderful it is that simply by residing in Mathura even for one day, one can achieve a transcendental loving attitude toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead! (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 12)

Actually, if someone goes to Vrndavana, he will immediately feel separation from Krsna, who performed such nice activities when He was present there. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 18)

In our Krsna consciousness movement we invite all the elderly persons of the world to come to Vrndavana and stay there in retired life, making advancement in spiritual consciousness (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.5 purport)

In a holy place like Vrndavana…. If one gets the chance to hear from pure devotees …then the cultivation of Krsna consciousness becomes very easy. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.39-40 purport)

"Yes, that effect [of living in Vrndavana and being so close to Krsna] cannot be overestimated. At every turn, you are reminded of Krishna here, and your spiritual strenght increases due to that contact.” (Vrindaban Days, page 47)

Cultivating Krsna consciousness in Vrndavana is the best means of being liberated from material bondage, for in Vrndavana one can automatically meditate upon Krsna. (Srimad Bhagavatam upon Krsna. 9.19.19 purport)

To live in Vrndavana is the highest perfection and to grow up in Vrndavana the greatest fortune… Even to live in Mathura-mandala for a fortnight guarantees one liberation. (Srila Prabhupada letter, 20 January 1976)

Wherever he may be, one must always think about life in Vraja-dhama and about following in the footsteps of a particular devotee in the service of the Lord. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 16,)

Vrndavana, any person may go there, and even if he is sinful he will at once contact an atmosphere of spiritual life, and automatically chant the names of Krsna and Radha. (Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.20.4 purport)

Anyone who can stay permanently is welcome. I want that as many devotees stay permanently and become Brijabasis. That will be very inspiring. (Srila Prabhupada Letter, 9 November 1975)

Lord Varaha tells the men of earth, “Any person who becomes attracted to places other than Mathura will certainly be captivated by the illusory energy.” (Nectar of Devotion Ch.12)

If one somehow or other gets the opportunity to live in Vrndavana, and if one is not a pretender but simply lives in Vrndavana and concentrates his mind upon Krsna, one is liberated from material bondage. (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.19.19 purport)

In the Brahmanda Purana it is said that all the results of traveling on all the pilgrimages within the three worlds can be achieved simply by touching the holy land of Mathura. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 12)

If we live in Vrndavana, we are living with Krsna, because Vrndavana is nondifferent from Krsna (Vrindavan Days, page 51)

How wonderful it is that simply by residing in Mathura even for one day, one can achieve a transcendental loving attitude toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead! (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 12)

Actually, if someone goes to Vrndavana, he will immediately feel separation from Krsna, who performed such nice activities when He was present there. (Nectar of Devotion Ch. 18)

In our Krsna consciousness movement we invite all the elderly persons of the world to come to Vrndavana and stay there in retired life, making advancement in spiritual consciousness (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.5 purport)

In a holy place like Vrndavana…. If one gets the chance to hear from pure devotees …then the cultivation of Krsna consciousness becomes very easy. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.39-40 purport)

"Yes, that effect [of living in Vrndavana and being so close to Krsna] cannot be overestimated. At every turn, you are reminded of Krishna here, and your spiritual strenght increases due to that contact.” (Vrindaban Days, page 47)

Cultivating Krsna consciousness in Vrndavana is the best means of being liberated from material bondage, for in Vrndavana one can automatically meditate upon Krsna. (Srimad Bhagavatam upon Krsna. 9.19.19 purport)

To live in Vrndavana is the highest perfection and to grow up in Vrndavana the greatest fortune… Even to live in Mathura-mandala for a fortnight guarantees one liberation. (Srila Prabhupada letter, 20 January 1976)

The conclusion is that to live on the banks of the Radha-kunda and to bathe there daily constitute the highest perfection of devotional service. (Nectar of Instruction Ch. 11 purport)

When Krsna descends to the material world, this same Vrndavana descends just as an entourage accompanies an important personage. Therefore devotees take shelter of the Vrndavana in India, for it is considered to be a replica of the original Vrndavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi, Introduction)

Krsna appears in this material world at the end of the Dvapara age of the twenty-eighth catur-yuga of Vaivasvata Manu and brings with Him His Vrajadhama, which is the eternal abode of His highest pastimes. (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 4.50, purport)

We must understand the transcendental importance of Mathura-Vrndavana and Navadvipa-dhama. Anyone who executes devotional service in these places certainly goes back home, back to Godhead, after giving up his body. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.28 purport)

"Here I am now sitting in New York, the world's greatest city, but my heart is always hankering after that Vrndavana” (Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, Vol 5, page 249)

Sri Krsna advents once every four billion years at this very place, Sri Vrndavana dhama, just to teach us this [bhagavata-dharma]. Therefore Vrndavana is so valuable. (A Transcendental Diary, Vol. 1, page 32)

This Vrndavana is Krishna's house. Therefore It's as good as Goloka Vrndavana. (Vrindaban Days, page 53)

I want that those who come here (Vrndavana), whether grhasthas or sannyasis, behave on the level of real gosvamis. Gosvami means controlling the senses and always glorifying Krsna by varieties of engagement in devotional service. (Srila Prabhupada Letter, 23 March 1974)

I lived very simply (in Vrndavana), content to be in Rupa Gosvami’s presence…Now I have hundreds of temples to go to, but I still like it here best of all. (Vrindavan Days, page 47)

They who as a joke serve Lord Hari during Karttika in Mathura will attain pure devotional service, what to speak of they who serve the Lord with faith and devotion. (Rupa Gosvami, Mathura-mahatmya, text 180)

This Vrndavana is so important, valuable. Why? Because anywhere you go in Vrndavana, there is the opportunity of hearing Krsna-katha. (Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, 1.2.32, 11 November 1972, Vrndavana)

When he (the aspiring sadhaka) develops his love for Nityananda Prabhu, he is freed from all attachment to the material world, and at that time he becomes eligible to understand the Lord's pastimes in Vrndavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 7.17 purport)

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