A Beggar in Vrindavana part one

Mahanidhi Swami

In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.88-89), Srila Rupa Goswamipada describes the devotional practice (bhakti-anga) of serving and worshiping persons and things (tadiyanam ca sevanam) that are related and very dear to Bhagavan Sri Krishna i.e. the Tulasi plant, Srimad Bhagavatam, Mathura/Vrindavana and the Vaisnavas, tadiyas tulasi-shastra-mathura vaisnava adayah.

All Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas write and preach about worshiping Vrindavana because it is Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s sweet home, and the beautiful place of His most satisfying and blissful pastimes with His dearest sweetheart Srimati Radharani and all other elegant damsels of Vraja.

Here is a small sample of acharyas’ praising Sri Dhama Vrindavana.

Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati:

“You should worship Vrindavana forest as if it were your very life and soul, because Vraja is filled with the essence of the greatest prema rasa known as madanakhya mahabhava. (5.45) With the nectar of ecstatic love, please worship Vrindavana, the most amazing of all Krishna’s abodes. (7.49) Please just worship Vrindavana, where Radhika eternally wanders from bower to bower. (13.25)

“Vrajabhumi is so special, unique and magnificently attractive that Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna also worship Vrindavana. One day Shyama said, ‘O Priyaji! Let Us expand into millions of forms, and with each of those forms We will offer arati to Sri Vrindavana Dhama!’” (14.53) (Vrindavana Mahimamrita)

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura:

Thakura Narottama presents the essence of Krishna consciousness as, anande bolo hari, bhaja vrindavana, “Chant “Hari! Hari!” in bliss and worship Vrindavana!” (Nama Sankirtana)

Srila Prabhupada comments: “If you want a transcendental, blissful life, then chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, and come worship the holy place of Vrindavana!” (SB 4.23.7)

The entire Vraja Mandala is the tadiya vastu of Sri Krishna, and it is eternally and intimately connected with Krishna. Not only Vraja Bhumi but all the objects, places, things and Vrajavasi residents are also tadiya and worshipable. In his bhajana “Vrindavana Mahimamrita, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura sings, “jaya radhe, jaya krishna, jaya vrindavana, shyama-kunda, radha kunda, giri-govardhana….and…”All glories to Yamuna, Mahavana, Keshi-ghata, Vamshi-vata, Dvadasha Vana, Rama-ghata and also all glories, all glories to the wonderful Vrajavasis, jaya jaya vrindavana basi jata jana.”

While teaching the science of bhakti-yoga to His devotee, Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “O my dear Uddhava! Without being embarrassed or caring about the laughter of friends, one should transcend his bodily consciousness and offer dandavat pranams to all—even the cows, outcastes, dogs and asses, visrjya smayamanan svan, drsham vridam ca daihikim, pranamed danda-vad bhumav, a shva, chandala go kharam.” (SB 11.29.16)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada comments, “Here Bhagavan Sri Krishna is saying, ‘O Uddhava! This verse describes the practice of one who naturally sees Me everywhere. One should disregard the ridicule of friends who are saying, “Look! This great person is offering respects to a low creature.” ‘Uddhava, one should give up the bodily conception of thinking, “I am so elevated and he is so fallen. So how can I offer respects to him?” Just give up that embarrassment, see Krishna everywhere and offer respects even to the dogs and chandalas.’”

500 years ago, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spoke similar instructions: “Considering one’s self to be lower than a blade of grass, one should always show respect to others, trnad api sunichena, mana dena.” Gauranga also said, “A devotee should be prideless and show respect to all living entities, knowing them to be the resting place of Krishna, habe nirabhimana jive sammana, dibe jani krishna adhisthana.” (Cc. 3.20.21, 25)

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Vrindavana Dhama ki jai ho!

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