Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Vrindavan Magic, Part 1 of 4

The sun rose on the eastern horizon. My taxi wound onward and onward through tiny villages of thatched huts and hand-painted advertisements towards the holy land of Vrindavan.

Five years.

Five years had spun by since I had last come to Vrindavan. My heart ached with prayers to see past the pollution and noise and Westernization to experience the essence of Vrindavan. The real Vrindavan. The sacred Vrindavan.

We edged closer and closer to Vrindavan and I folded my palms to sing and to pray. Tears came to my eyes. I wanted the real Vrindavan and yet I struggled with the possibility of what I was going to see. I would be in there for only three days, conducting both business and pilgrimage. Three days to get it all done, three days to get to the essence.

My second morning, I woke up scribbling shopping lists in my mind. By the time I walked over to the temple of Krishna Balaram for morning services, my mind was SWIMMING with stuff to get done in Loi Bazaar. I was eager to sit down and do a full inventory of all cash outflows on this trip, and my mind raced with plans.

While in the temple, I thought, "I know I have only chanted two rounds of japa meditation, but let me just spend an hour or two on this accounting first. Then my mind will be more at ease and I'll be able to be more focused in japa."

When I came back to my room, I felt: No.

Krishna is first. Krishna is priority. I must put Him first.

I decided to chant a minimum of eight rounds, sitting down, in my room, before doing anything else.

I realized that of course my mind is going to wander. I came back, came back to the sound. Every time I came back, there was this feeling of "whuuuumph" like my mind had been flying around and suddenly I was pulled down to land, whuuuuumph, back on the holy name. I could hear that whuuuuumph.

Shopping lists dissolved. My burning desire for that lovely scarf faded. 

I had thought that I had had important business to accomplish and to chant japa was a secondary chore. In those moments of listening to the sound of the holy name, I realized that chanting attentive japa actually empowers me to accomplish ten times what I thought I could ever accomplish.

Thus eight rounds became ten, ten became twelve.

In this simple effort of mine to chant the holy name and SHOW my sincerity, I believe that Krishna reciprocated tenfold and He gave me darshan - or divine vision - of Sri Vrindavan Dham.

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