23 Mar 2014

Another day in Vrindavan, part 5

Another day with Sri Swami Vishwananda in Vrindavan:

Today we started off with the whole group moving towards Maharaj Balaramji's Ashram not far from where we are staying. It is very amazing to see that each day a ‘new’ person comes to see Swami and then all of a sudden they are taking us along to new Saints and temples to see. This morning was no exception as a new person came and he took us to see a Saint that was still alive and is 120 years old (ok, not in good condition) but still alive. We took his Darshan after one of the devotees in the Ashram picked him up and placed him in a seated position.

We then moved along to see another Saint who is 95 years, he is going along well and was really joyful and happy. Swami sat next to him for a bit and he allowed us to take pictures smiling with Swami. We sang a short Bhajo Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam kirtan as his Guru was a Disciple of Radharaman Charan Das, who brought the Bhajo Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam mantra into the world.

It is interesting to note that some of the people wont let us take pictures and they are usually closed off and don't allow you in, mentally and with the heart, and some, like this Saint, are so open and welcoming that you can not help but have an open heart. It is times like this that you really understand deep within how lucky we are to have Swami. Yes, sometimes we don't see him, but he is always accessible and always loving us.

So far Vrindavan and all the experiences have been amazing. We went up the stairs and sat down in front of Maharaj Balaramji, who was radiating love and happiness. He spoke a little bit and played with Swami, He was always smiling and welcomed the whole group into his small little sitting room. 

Then he gave us Prasad as he said his Guru gave him the instruction to always welcome guests and give them Prasad - "this is because Maha Prasad goes straight to heart after being digested" and then he showed with his hands exploding outwards from his heart, we all laughed. So as we were going to take leave of Maharaj Balaramji, he said, first please we do short Kirtan - so, the Kirtan lasted close to hour with dancing and such beautiful Harinaam. Everyone was in Divine Bliss seeing Swami and Balaramji (who is not that young) dancing. 

You can see the Krishna Murti in the back (Bhanke Bihari Temple)
After lunch we ended up at the Radha Ramana Temple. Swami knows the priests and we got such beautiful Darshan of Krishna. We sang bhajans and when Swami started to sing Radha Krishna -  imagine the tune… people started to gather around and watch him.

Then to end off the day - well, almost - we went to the Garden were the Maha Rasa took place.

It was so beautiful and Swami showed us the trees in the garden that have two parts and he said one part is Krishna and one part is a Gopi. 

Each night, he said, the trees come alive and they do the Maha Rasa Dance. I did say "lets try and get locked in", to which he replied, no, you will die from pure ecstasy. (I can think of worse ways to die ;) ). 

We walked around the garden and got to small Temple dedicated to Haridas Thakur and the place he found the Bhanke Bihari Murthi.

Moving along we came to another temple that has a Deity of Radha Krishna and people leave bangles, bracelets, saris, etc, and after they close the temple the Gopis come and use all the items each night for the Maha Rasa Dance. When they open the doors in the morning all the items are used and all over the place. Swami was in a different place when he told us this, like he was with them.

(Thank You Anantananda for your update!)