accompanying the entourage of
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
18 February 2008 evening
Dandabat pranams from Vrindavan!
This morning Srila Govinda Maharaj gave a beautiful talk to all the devotees after Mangal Aratik. He told us about his initial desire to make a Math here, but more toward the perimeter of Vrindavan, as we from the mleccha desh might disturb the Holy Dhama if we were to stay deep inside of Vrindavan. So Srila Gurudev purchased such a piece of land, a large piece, and constructed a thatched building there. But a storm came and the building was destroyed. Srila Gurudev said that he wondered why this happened, and waited, as Srila Gurudev always said, "Wait and see." He waited one year, two years, three years and then suddenly this piece of property, just in Srila Rupa Goswamipad's quarter, right next to the Mandir of Sri Sri Radha Damodar, came into his divine hands. He was surprised. Srila Gurudev said that the Six Goswamis are inconceivably merciful to us.
Srila Govinda Maharaj then built a three storey building and later the beautiful Mandir of Their Lordships Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Rasabiharijiu. This area is Rasa-sthali, where the Rasa Dance takes place, and yet we are here, under the protection of our divine Gurudev. We sing the praises of the Six Goswamis daily and beg to serve their lotus feet life after life, but only our divine Guru-varga know our full good fortune.
Srila Govinda Maharaj explained that his dead phone spoke to him about this land of the divine ashram of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. Many wealthy sampradayas were trying to get it, but it came, by divine arrangement, to Srila Gurudev. He told that he had no money, and "the phone said he will give the money." Srila Gurudev exclaimed over and over again what miracles there are in his life.
Srila Kaviraj Goswami's Deities of Sri Sri Radha Vrindavan Chandra are now in the Sri Sri Radha Damodar Mandir, as the original ashram was falling down. But now it is built into a beautiful memorial of His Divine Grace, our most merciful preceptor, Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. Srila Govinda Maharaj described that Srila Guru Maharaj declared that if all the sastras in the world were to disappear, and we had only Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, then we would still have everything.
Now the walls of the hall of this holy memorial where Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami lived and worked, are covered with his original verses, carved into the marble. These verses were his own heart expressions: the first verses of each chapter of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. Each verse is carved in Devanagari, Hindi and Bengali. Srila Govinda Maharaj said, "But I wonder who will read these?"
Srila Gurudev told that Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur said that he is not Vyas, but that Vyas would appear later. However, later Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami said that he is only taking the remnants of Vrindavan Das Thakur and giving them as Chaitanya Charitamrita; and that Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur is the real Vyas. In this way each is telling that the other is Vyas.
Tomorrow, Nityananda Prabhu's holy Appearance Day, there will be a grand festival in Ekachakra, His holy Appearance Place. Sripad Acharyya Maharaj has put up a grand pandal there and is expecting many thousands of participants. He said that seeing our activities, others may now wish to do that. But Gurudev sweetly expressed that he does not compete with anyone. He is the exclusive follower of Srila Guru Maharaj, and he does that with no reference to anyone else's behaviour or anything else. And in this, he is so fortunate and his life is filled with miracles.
Srila Gurudev said that Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, is directly Nityananda Prabhu, non-different from Him. Our siddhanta, so perfectly realised, protected and delivered by Srila Guru Maharaj, is not ideas; it is filled with merciful dispensation. Surcharged with loving sentiment, it is the sound of supreme Truth.
Srila Gurudev said that, as today is Varaha Dvadasi, we will wait until the morning worship is complete, and then take our paran.
Well, far from fasting, the morning prasadam was so opulent and so great in quantity that I simply had to tell you about it! We tasted the remnants of paramanna (sweet rice) offered to Lord Varahadev.
This morning we also took beautiful crisp puris that never stopped coming until we simply couldn't eat any more; subji of potatoes tomatoes and peas; and gigantic rasagullas!! Our senses don't know much, but one day, by the mercy of Srila Gurudev, may we taste the inner sweetness the Lord's holy prasadam!
I have tried to remember what Srila Gurudev said this morning. What is Srila Gurudev saying and what are we hearing? I hope that you can forgive any mistakes, and I hope they are small!
I was just about to run to the internet cafe, when the call came that Srila Govinda Maharaj was coming downstairs. In a flash the devotees were running from every direction to hear from the lotus mouth of His Divine Grace. Srila Gurudev sat in the beautiful hall in front of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. He said how fortunate we are to have this ashram. He said that Srila Kaviraj Goswami did not want an ashram, actually, but to worship his Deities, Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra, he established this Temple. He said that day and night, in extreme cold and extreme heat, the servitors of the Deities stayed there and did their seva.
Purnananda Prabhu showed Srila Gurudev pictures of the property before our restoration; it is a wonder to see what was then and what is now. The pictures showed the wondrous charm of the old ruins, now restored to such a glorious state by the loving service of Srila Gurudev via the dedicated seva assistance of Purnananda Prabhu.
Srila Gurudev said that a girl who was young at that time, Sita Devi Dasi from Germany, had just learning to draw, and she made this painting of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. He said that he wondered at the time what it will be for in the future, and kept it in his room. Now it is here, beautifully seated within the shrine.
Srila Govinda Maharaj then inspected our very nice book display and allowed us to accompany him upstairs. When the bell began to ring for the evening aratik, Srila Gurudev sent us running along to worship Their Lordships! What a life we lead!
My dandabat pranams to all the soft hearted, kind devotees of our Gurudev. Tomorrow I hope to send more news, this time of the festival to be held here for Nityananda Prabhu's Appearance.~Srilekha Devi Dasi