“Vrindavan is the land where your pride is purified; where the ego is cleansed. The more humble you are, the more the Lord reveals Himself to you.” – Sri Swami Vishwananda
We had a lot of fun today celebrating Gaura Purnima in Vrindavan. Gaura Purnima is a festival that occurs in March celebrating the birth of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was a 16th century Hindu monk known for advocating the worship of Krishna. He popularized the “Bhakti” movement and is known for spreading the “Maha Mantra” (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,…).
The celebration was moved to the front entrance of the Jiva Institute where we celebrated Holi in true Bhakti Marga fashion. I think the pictures say it all …
After the Holi celebrations we made our way to the Yamuna River for a fun boat ride. We rented boats and floated on the river for some time performing kirtan. Krishna spent most of his youth in Vrindavan on the banks of Yamuna, playing the flute and playing with Radha and the gopis on the banks. It is believed to be one of the holiest rivers in the world.
After visiting Yamuna we went to Nidhivan. Below you can find some comments Swami made about Nidhivan.
“Nidhivan is the place where Krishna did the Ras Leela. Even today it is still happening. At night in the garden ... nobody can stay in the garden. Not even the animals can stay. Like that the leela of the Lord is present in each part of Vrindavan.”
The Rasa Lila is when the gopis of Vrindavan, upon hearing the sound of Krishna's flute, sneak away from their households to the forest to dance with Krishna throughout the night. In the Bhakti traditions, the Rasa Lila is considered to be the highest bliss one can achieve in life. Romantic love between human beings in the material world is seen as merely a diminished, illusionary reflection of the soul’s original Love for God. It is believed that Krishna does the Ras Lila every night with the gopis, even today, 5,000 years later.
The night ended with dancing and kirtan to celebrate Gaura Purnima. The ability of Swami to show us the Love we have inside for the Lord is amazing. It is by grace that we are able to hear kirtan and enjoy it. Most people hear it and even though it has an effect on them on the spiritual level, they don’t appreciate it. Only because of Swami are we able to hear the Lord’s name and enjoy it … He truly is the #KingofLove.