Seeing The Real Vrndavana




Seeing The Real Vrndavana
by Hayagriva Dasa
excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine
Oct 1, 2006 Volume-03 Number-31 (Indian)

Learning from Srila Prabhupada how to see beyond the material coverings to perceive the real dhama

I bend down to get through the door and enter a small, sparsely furnished room. Suddenly, I’m face to face with Srila Prabhupada. He’s sitting on the floor behind a low desk piled with books and papers.

“Jai!” he says. “Our Hayagriva has arrived.”

I pay dandabat obeisances by prostrating myself and touching his feet with my right hand. Then I place my hand to my forehead. To remember the spiritual master’s lotus feet is to remember Krsna. The effect is as cooling as sandalwood.

“nama om visnu-padaya krsna presthilya bhu-tale srimate bhaktivedanta- svamin iti namine,” I say, offering respects. Then I sit before him, and he smiles.

Although seventy-six, Prabhupada seems as ageless as ever. His head is freshly shaved, and the aroma of mustard- seed oil tells me that he has just received a massage. His complexion is radiant, his eyes clear, his face full and healthy. This is the face that attracted me that day when I was walking down New York’s Houston Street and first met him, the face that brought so many young seekers to that little storefront temple on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. For us, his face embodies all the attractive qualities of devotion, for it’s a pure, truthful, and compassionate face. It is both happy and grave. It is magnanimous, gentle, and forgiving. It is also determined and self-controlled, and, above all, most learned and intelligent. It’s a face not afraid to love and give all in love for Krsna.

Indeed, Prabhupada’s face conjures all those virtues that lead to love of Krsna. It’s not an ordinary man’s face. It transports an entire spiritual fact, the Vedic culture, an atmosphere of bhakti . I first began realizing his potency just by Jlooking at his face. Whenever I’m Kr,na conscious, it makes me joyful. Whenever I’m not, I’m afraid to look at it; it accuses me, makes me ashamed without uttering a word. What power there is in the spiritual master’s face! What magne tism! What volumes of wisdom! ‘

“I’m glad you invited me here, Srila Prabhupada,” I say.


Simple Living and High Thinking


My friend Padmapani Prabhu has been coming out with so many beautiful posts of late on his page The Prabhupada Connection, the following is one example.

Simple Living and High Thinking
by Padmapani Dasa


Srila Prabhupada stayed in these rooms for six years (1959-1965) while he was preparing for his trip to America. The rooms were simple and austere.


“Yes, we are trying to set a perfect example according to the Bhagavad-gita as it is, how to execute simple living and high thinking. We are not interested in any material comforts of life which are limited and temporary. We are interested in solving the real problems of life, birth, death, old-age, and disease. These problems must be solved, and Krishna gives the formula in the Bhagavad-gita.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, June 10, 1975)


Unalloyed Affection in the Land of Vṛndāvana

Krsna splashing the gopis by Shyamarani devi

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport SB 3.2.14)


Krsna’s Abode, Vrndavana

Sri Krsna in Vrndavana

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…The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vṛndāvana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was in Vṛndāvana, His activities with His cowherd boy friends, with His damsel friends, with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vṛndāvana knew nothing but Kṛṣṇa. But Lord Kṛṣṇa even discouraged His father Nanda Mahārāja from worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)


Krishna & Balarama

Krishna & Balarama 5

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Here in the West we are celebrating the Appearance Day of Lord Balarama. What better way to honor the occasion than with some images of Krishna and Balarama from the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Vrindavan. The folowing are from the last few days of the Darshan Gallery

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarāma is His second body.

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the absolute Personality of Godhead, is the primeval Lord, the original form of Godhead, and His first expansion is Śrī Balarāma. The Personality of Godhead can expand Himself in innumerable forms. ( Verse and purport Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 5.4)

Krishna & Balarama4


The Perfection of Self-realization

Krishna and the gopis

…Kṛṣṇa’s only business is satisfying the devotees, and their only business is satisfying Kṛṣṇa. This is the reciprocation of love… The Supreme Personality of Godhead, wanders on the banks of the Yamunā to please the gopīs, the cowherd boys, the birds, the bees, and the cows and calves. These are not ordinary birds, bees, cows, calves, or men; they have all reached the summit of self-realization and thus, after many, many lives, have attained a position whereby they can play with Kṛṣṇa. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can enable everyone to go to Kṛṣṇaloka and become Kṛṣṇa’s associate as a friend, servant, father, or mother. Kṛṣṇa is agreeable to take any of these positions in relation to His devotee.


Vrndavana—Land of No Return Part 2

Vrndavana—Land of No Return
By His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
Originally Published in Back to Godhead 1975 Vol. 10, No. 11

Part 2

I once visited Vrndavana, India with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. As I accompanied him on his daily walk one morning we suddenly came upon a particularly beautiful spot. The cool sands were thick with foliage; the tall trees full of singing birds. As the sun brightened the clear morning sky, peacocks filled the air with their peculiar call.

Srila Prabhupada looked over his shoulder and said to me, “So, Brahmananda, this is Vrndavana. How do you like it?”
“It’s wonderful, Srila Prabhupada,” was all I could reply. I felt that he was actually revealing the glories of Vrndavana to me even though I had no particular spiritual qualification.

Vrndavana is the place where the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna appeared five thousand years ago. Lord Krsna descended there from His own spiritual planet, Goloka Vrndavana to attract us by displaying His supernatural pastimes. Srila Prabhupada has explained that when Krsna descends to the material world, this same Vrndavana descends with Him just as an entourage accompanies an important personage. Because when Krsna comes His land also comes, Vrndavana is not considered to exist in the material world. Therefore devotees take shelter of the Vrndavana in India, for it is considered to be a replica of the original Goloka Vrndavana.


Vrndavana—Land of No Return (Part 1)

Because Vrndavana is the eternal and entirely spiritual abode of the Lord, it is nondifferent from Him. At Vrndavana, one will find unlimited wealth, strength, fame, wisdom, beauty and renunciation—all the six opulences possessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan Sri Krsna. Indeed Vrndavana is Krsna, and, to go there is to perceive God Himself.

Vrndavana—Land of No Return (Part 1)
By His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Volume 10 Number 9

From the beginning of time, man has yearned for the perfect home—a paradise, a Shangri-la, a Walden—where he could live eternally in peace and happiness. Such a place cannot be found anywhere in the material world, however, for the material world is by its very nature temporary and frustrating. To end our weary searching, we must go beyond this world of duality, beyond the boundaries of space and time, into the spiritual realm.

Vrndavana, India, is that sought-after eternal resting place because it is at Vrndavana that Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, descended to this planet five thousand years ago. The Lord’s appearance and activities are not mundane; they are completely transcendental. Just as a king may travel with all his retinue, set up camp, and conduct his affairs of state in the same style as if he were in his palace, Lord Krsna brought with Him all His transcendental associates and paraphernalia and created on earth an exact replica of the spiritual world, known as Goloka Vrndavana.


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