Krishna-Balarama Temple, Raman Reti, Vrindavan

The mood here at Krishna-Balarama Temple is ecstatic. It felt like Kartik even before Kartik actually began. Krishna-Balarama draws a very nice crowd – from various parts of India and abroad. It has a really open feel about it – sarva-dharman-parityajya. I like it.

The atmosphere is thick with bhakti – ubiquitous as the Vrindavan dust. We go on with our daily activities: the morning programme, honouring prashadam, going on parikrama (circumambulating the holy places of Vraja), preaching, chanting in Aindra prabhu’s kirtan, taking darshan,re-filling our water bottles with purified water, offering lamps to the Deities and Lord Damodar. Behind these activities, however, is a warm wave of love that seems to draw you closer to Krishna.

Vrindavan

Krishna Balarama Mandir

There was an Ethiopian girl called Ruth who was asking me lots of questions. It is her second visit to Mathura. This time she took the plunge and is staying in Vrindavan for ten days. I asked her if she had tried the chanting. Her response was, ‘I really like it. It just has this really amazing effect.’ I recommended she read Perfect Questions Perfect Answers as a basic introduction to the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. When I saw her again she was really appreciative for the advice I had given her. It was encouraging to see a fellow African becoming inspired by the process. She said, ‘I feel like I am in Heaven.’ I said, ‘This place is even better than heaven. Vrindavan on earth is a more exalted place than the Vaikuntha, the Kingdom of God, in the spiritual sky.’ That information really appealed to her.

I haven’t been to Vrindavan in Kartik for ten years. I don’t think anything in this earthly realm could compare to the experience. Although I am leaving for Mayapur soon, I don’t feel like leaving Vrindavan. I am quite content to stay on Krishna-Balarama campus and absorb myself in devotional activities.

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