Sunday, September 07, 2008

Day before Radhastami

Weird. I just checked my own calendar and it says that Radhastami was yesterday. But Madhuban and the Vrindavan Ashram here in Rishikesh are both celebrating today. Can't understand how that happened.

Anyway, yesterday was pretty nice. Saturday also there was a bigger crowd than usual because of Kirtanananda Swami's birthday. Yesterday I just read the Gita, but there were verses in the purport from the Rasa-lila, you know the famous "Don't even imitate in your dreams" verses. Anyhow, I got from there very easily into glorifying Radha. I am getting expert, I guess, into making the segue from Gita to Gandharvika.

One funny coincidence. During my talk, I quoted the verse from the Gita-govinda--

kamsarir api samsara-vasana-baddha-srinkhalam
radham adhaya hridaye tatyaja vraja-sundarih

"Kamsari Krishna took Radha, who is the link that makes all his hopes for happiness possible, into his heart and left the other gopis."

After the class, a devotee named Vaikuntha Das came up to me and started talking. He asked me a few questions and it ended up that he was in Gauhati in 1979 when I went on a preaching trip there with Santosh and Bhavabhuti and others. This devotee, Vaikuntha Das, is a disciple of Kirtanananda from Andhra Pradesh who is now a householder making a living by speaking on the Bhagavatam.

Anyway, the reason it is funny is because when I went to Gauhati, I was not yet initiated by Lalita Prasad Thakur but thinking about it. So when I spoke I tended to be talking about gopi-bhava, etc. There was an old Bengali man I met, probably in Shillong, with whom I had a conversation and I remember how sweetly he explained that verse. Before leaving Iskcon, I kept meeting these obscure rasikas who inspired me greatly.

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