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Mahanidhi Swami

 

The magnetic enchantment of Sri Vraja Dhama first captivated my heart in 1977, when good fortune brought Her most rare and auspicious darshana.

 

After lacs and lacs of miserable births my undeserving eyes were blessed with the vision of the mind-stealing Thakuraji’s of Vrindavana i.e. Radha-ramanji, Bihariji, Damodarji, Govindaji, Shyamasundaraji, and the enchanting vanas, kunjas and lila-sthalis of Yugala Kishora.

 

My useless hands attained worth by touching the astonishing, ecstasy-twisted trees of Vrindavana. My feet found fulfillment in parikrama of Vrindavana and Giriraja Govardhana. Hearing the joyous parrots and midnight cries of the peacocks attracted my ears. Smelling Vraja’s exotic fragrant flowers of juhi, mogra, kadamba, kunda, parijata and rose gave purpose to my nose. The exotically fragrant, and divinely delicious remnants of the Goswami’s Thakurajis, and the cool Shyama-blue water of Yamunaji fully satiated and satisfied my sense of taste.

 

During that visit in 1977, I visited Radha Kunda and had a mystical experience. While gazing at the peaceful, prema-filled waters and feeling the intense spiritual ambience of the place, a prayer spontaneously arose from my heart: “O Sri Radha! I don’t when or how it will be ever be possible, but please Radharani let me live on Your banks and attain the eternal service of Your lotus feet.”

 

The magic, the sweet attraction, and the indescribable enchantment of Vrindavana had somehow captured my heart. The next ten years I spent traveling back and forth between America and Vrindavana, where I would pass the month of Karttika feeling, “Yes, Vrindavana is my home, now and forever!”

 

Finally in 1987—my feelings, my attraction, my attachment and my enchantment with Vrindavana fused into one sankalpa. I vowed before the Lord in my heart: “O Krishna, I want to go to Vrindavana and never, ever return to America again!” With this sankalpa as my only possession and a one way ticket, I came to Vrindavana.

 

Somehow by the causeless mercy of Srimati Radhika, Sri Krishna, the Thakurajis of Vraja, Giridhari Shyama, Vrnda-devi, Yogamaya, Yamunaji, Gopishvara Mahadeva, Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas, the Vrajavasis, and the sacred dust of Vrindavana I was able to settle in Sridhama Vrindavana. By their mercy I received Indian citizenship in 1998, and have lived continuously in Vrindavana for the last thirty years.

 

From 1987 until 2012, I lived in various places in Vrindavana. As per my guru’s order to his sannyasis, I lived three years (1989-1992) in Srila Prabhupada’s bhajana kutira at the Radha Damodara Mandir in Seva Kunja. Inspired by Srila Prabhupada and the divine presence of Srila Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Jiva Goswamipada, I started writing spiritual books. To date we have published twenty-six books glorifying Radha-Krishna; the most famous being Appreciating Sri Vrindavana Dhama, Art of Chanting Hare Krishna and Gaudiya Vaisnava Samadhis. All books are available as E-books on Amazon.

 

In 2002, Srimati Radhika kindly and compassionately answered my prayer of 1977 while sitting on the banks of Radha Kunda. By Srimati Radharani’s mercy, I moved from Vrindavana to Radha Kunda and remain here engaged in bhajana and writing. Our latest publication is titled Radha-Krishna Pastimes at Radha Kunda.

Mohini Vrndatavi ki jai! Karunamayi Srimati Radhika ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

In pursuance of the conceptions described in part one, we humbly offer the following prayer. With a handful of words, we will attempt to express our gratitude to worshipable Sri Vrindavana, and all the amazing objects and entities therein who have so kindly allowed me to live amongst them for the last 29 years.

In so many ways, both directly and indirectly, they have all taught me about humility, and how to love, how to serve and how to respect each and every entity and everything in Sri Vrindavana Dhama. To all of them and my beloved Vrajabhumi, I humbly bow.

O hills, mountains, valleys and dust of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O trees, forests and kunjas of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O plants, shrubs, vines, herbs, flowers and seeds of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O rivers, lakes, pools, kundas and sarovaras of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O sky, clouds, stars, moon and sun of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O spring, summer, rainy, autumn, cold and bitter cold seasons of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O heat, cold, hot winds, rain, hail and storms of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Magha, Vaishakha and Karttika months of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O insects, ants, mosquitoes, scorpions, crickets, lizards, mice, rats and snakes of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O jackals, wolves, and bear of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O squirrels, mongoose, rabbits, deer and neel gaya of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Gomata, buffalo, donkeys, camels, mules, horses, goats, sheep and chickens of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O cats, dogs, pigs and monkeys of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O hawks, owls, bats and crows of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O doves, pigeons, sparrows, mynas, parrots and peacocks of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O wasps, moths, butterflies and bees of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O fish, frogs, turtles, ducks and cranes of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O yatris, deshis, videshis and Vrajavasis of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O bhangis, baniyas, bankers, brokers, brahmanas, police and politicians of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O farmers, milkmen, mallis, sabji and fruits walls of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O laborers, students, husbands, wives, widows and retirees of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O boatmen, bus drivers, rickshaw, scooter and taxi wallas of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O poets, artists, artisans, sculptors, musicians, singers, magicians and mukuta wallas of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O brahmacaris, grhasthas, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O devoted ladies, doing puja here and there, of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O sadhus, vairagis, swamis and babajis of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O mahantas, sevaits, pujaris and Goswamis of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O pandas, purohitas, vipras and vaidyas of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O acharyas, panditas and gurus of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O thakurjis, devatas, devis, lingas and shilas of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Govardhana, Varsana, Nandagrama, Yavata and Surya-kunda of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Radha Kunda, Shyama Kunda, Kusuma Sarovara, Manasi Ganga and Govinda-kunda of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Yamuna, Keshi-ghata, Vamshi-vata, Nidhi-vana, and Seva-kunja of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Dvadasha Vana, Upavanas, Nibhrta-nikunjas and Dana, Prema, and Mana gullies of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Srimati Radharani in all Your astoundingly beautiful, sweet and compassionate forms of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Sri Krishna in all Your incomparably enchanting, playful and mischievous forms of Vrindavana, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

O Sri Vrindavana Dhama! Today, tomorrow and forever into eternity, I bow down to you, and beg for your mercy.

pavana radhe tero nama, pavana sri vrindavana dhama.

jaya jaya shyamaaa, jaya jaya shyama, jaya jaya sri vrindavana dhama!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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!