Light on Vraja: Sins, Seva & Mother 01
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
This new series will reveal secret facts about Sri Vrindavana Dhama to help everyone better appreciate its unique position, and the incredible fortune and value of visiting, serving or living in Vraja Dhama. The secrets in these “LOV Posts” (Light on Vraja) come from various Gaudiya Vaisnavashastra.
It is often heard that sadhana done in the Holy Dhama of Vrindavana is 1000X more effective than elsewhere. This is established in the Srimad Bhagavatam (7.14.33): “Religious acts performed in Mathura/Vrindavana give 1000x more result than at other places, madhupuridharmohyatrehitaḥpuṁsāṁ, sahasrādhiphalodayaḥ.”
Besides the 1000x effect, anyone can practically experience that the divinely charged, devotional atmosphere of Vrindavana, unlike anywhere else, is very supportive and makes it easier to chant nama-japa and perform other devotional acts. As the locals say, “In Vraja, bhakti is flowing in the air!”
Is also said that sins and offenses committed in Vrindavana bring 1000x the reaction. This statement may serve as a helpful warning or as a cautionary note to be careful. But this point is NOT FOUND in any Gaudiya Vaisnava shastras we have seen.
It is true that punishment for sins in Vrindavana may be experienced [not 1000x], but at the same time merciful Vrindavana will also destroy that sin’s reactions. Vrindavana is often compared to a mother (Sri Vrindatavi Mata) because she actually forgives the sinner just like a compassionate mother forgiving her wayward child.
Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Mathura Mahatmya (MM) proves this point in several verses:
“Sins committed knowingly or unknowingly in Mathura/Vrindavana will be destroyed in Vrindavana itself, mathurayaṁkṛtaṁpapaṁ, mathurayaṁvinaśyati, jñanatoajñanatovapi.” (Vayu &AdiVaraha P. MM 23/28)
“The sins from many, many births are destroyed at once in Mathura/Vrindavana, bahujanmanipapani, mathuraprabhavamnashyatikshanamatratah.” (Padma Purana MM 29)
Sri VarahaBhagavan said, “Sins are destroyed at once merely by SEEING THE LAND of Mathura/Vrindavana, papaninaśyanti, mathuradarśanatkṣanat.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 8)
“By bathing anywhere in Vraja Mandala, one will be liberated from all sins, mathuramandalamsnato, mucyatesarvapatakaih.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 3)
However, one visiting or living in Vraja should not take advantage of Vraja Dhama and willfully commit offenses and sins while thinking, “Oh, merciful Vrindavana will forgive me, and keep blessing me with spiritual advancement.” This thought itself is also a sin as seen in the seventh offense to the Holy Name, nāmnādbalādyasya hi pāpa-buddhir: “It is an offense if one sinfully thinks, ‘I can sin on the strength of Krishna’s Divine Name [and the Name will remove that sin].’
Nama, Dhama and Shyama are all equally transcendental and completely personal. If one displeases (apa/radh) any one of Them by committing sins and offenses then surely reaction will come. No one can fool or cheat either Nama, Dhama or Shyama.
It is privilege and rare fortune to live in Vrindavana which is the heart and eternal home of Sri SriRadha and Krishna. Only by Their divine grace can one visit or live in Their home. Radha and Krishna are completely independent to allow one in or kick one out of Their dhama! Therefore, devotees living in Vrindavana should remain ever-grateful, and always live and act purely.
Sri Rupa Gosvami explains this point: “Without the mercy of Vishnu/Krishna no one can live in Vrindavana for even a moment, vināviṣṇoḥprasādena, kṣaṇamekaṁnatiṣṭhati. Residence in Vraja can NEVER BE ATTAINED by punya, jnana, tapa, japa or yajnas. However, if one is favored by Sri Krishna one can attain residence in Vrindavana, śrī-viṣnoḥkṛpayanunaṁ, tatravasobhaviṣyati.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 82-83)
The following prayers from Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada’s Vrindavana Mahimamrita are very useful for devotees living in Vrindavana and should always be remembered:
“Again and again I have committed inexcusable offenses to you. Still, O mother Vṛndāvana, I am like your son so please do not abandon me, su-durmarṣaiḥsvasminnasakṛdaparādhairapiyutaṁ, sutaṁmātevatvaṁvisṛjabatavṛndāṭavinamām!” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.96)
“O mother Vṛndāvana, you are my life and soul! Out of affection for me, please drag me from my friends and relatives and keep me on your lap.” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.93)
“O noble mother Sri Vrindatavi, by nature You are overflowing with boundless affection, sumātaḥśrīmatvṛndāṭavitvamsahaja, niravadhisnehapūre. Please hold on your lap this very mischievous child who has been playing in the dirt. Be merciful and forgive my offenses; always feed me the breast-milk of transcendental love for your master and mistress; and give me all protection. (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 11.1)
“I have fallen into the blind well of household-life, and I am being devoured by the black snakes of lust, greed, anger, envy and so on. O mother Vrindavana! When will you lift me out of this well, and give me shelter on your lap.” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.88)
Pavana Radhe tero nama, pavanasri Vrindavana Dhama! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!
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