I usually carry the “seeds” of these articles for a couple of days, slowly growing their bones and meat. Today, however, I had nothing when I woke up. Then something came up and I thought I was all set.
The seed of today’s post came to me again when I was chanting and, as I suppose I should, I chased the thought away, arguing that this is not the right time to contemplate content of today’s article. I contemplated something else instead, sadly.
So, today’s post felt offended and ran away and I cannot for the life of me remember what it was and I haven’t got any other ideas mature enough to replace it.
This happened many times before, I mean chasing the thoughts away during japa, but they always came back or somehow were substituted with something else. Today I had nothing, at least I had nothing as I sat down to type.
I waited and waited but the thought didn’t return and no new ideas entered my head, but, as I was typing this introduction, something indeed reminded me of itself.
I’m not nearly ready to turn this idea into anything cohesive, I see it can grow in many directions but I’m not sure where to take it exactly, so here it goes, in a nutshell.
Our Earthly Vrindavana is non-different from Vrindavana in the spiritual world. This means two things – the dogs, monkeys, and endless condominiums we see here are just a material covering of truly spiritual, eternally blissful Vrindavana, and at the same time they are non-different and truly spiritual, eternally blissful already, we just don’t feel it yet.
The first solution is very easy to accept but it also makes the Earthly manifestation less worshipable – yes, it’s connected to the spiritual world, but it’s not quite “it”. We would always be offering obeisances to the dust and dirt of present Vrindavana with the idea that it’s not the real thing still lurking in the back of our minds.
It’s like “Oh yeah, you river of stool, I offer my obeisances to you but I hope that my vision of you goes away and I see something really cool instead.”
The second solution, that our Vrindavana is as good as it gets but we just don’t feel it that way, is a lot more difficult to accept – I mean are they really kalpa vriksha trees? They don’t act like that in our world. And what about everything else?
Are we really supposed to worship this Indian town with all its stink and economic activity as Lord’s highest abode? We could just as easily pick any rock on the street and worship it instead. Oh wait, that’s what we do with Silagrama shilas! Yet we don’t accept that Krishna is nothing more than a stone, we know that in reality He has a body, a flute, and everything else.
With Vrindavan it’s different – everything is already present there – the Govardhan, the Radha Kunda, all the places are there, unlike hands and feet of Silagrama.
Are we really expected to look at dusty roads with stool flowing through open sewers and feel it as a path by which Krishna sneaks out to meet with the gopis, covered with soft grass and decorated with flowers? Is it supposed to be like our wives – not the most beautiful women in the world but because we love them we see past their external appearances and cherish them as most precious anyway? Is it supposed to be like our children – not the smartest, cutest babies in the world but because they are ours our hearts melt all the same?
This would make sense and it would do wonders for our false egos where we would completely detach ourselves from our shells, forget our backgrounds and upbringing, and worship sewers as the most beautiful thing in the world. I mean surely there are places here which are far dirtier and stinkier and if we grew up there we would see Vrindavan as a nice upgrade. Are we not seeing wonders of Vrindavana because we were shown something much cleaner already? Would we see it as perfect if we were not contaminated with our previous experiences?
Then there’s a question with all the mayavadis, prakrita sahajiyas and all types of materialistic persons living there. They are certainly external to Krishna’s land Srila Prabhupada said so many times. How are we supposed to see them? It’s one thing if they moved in from elsewhere but what if they were born in Vrindavana in the families of offenders that have lived their for generations?
I can’t wrap my mind around this. Yes, everybody who lives in Vrindavana deserves respect yet many also deserve condemnation. How to navigate it safely? I don’t think I can handle it without committing serious offenses.
There’s a way out, however, Svarupa Damodara or Haridasa Thakura, or even Srivasa and Gadadhara Pandita never went to Vrindavana, as well as great many devotees of Lord Chaitanya, and in their day Vrindavana looked much much nicer, without all these Kali Yuga bells and whistles or mayavadis making their living there.
Vrindavana that is present in the Holy Name is non-different from Vrindavana of the spiritual world and thus it’s always closer to our hearts than that piece of land in Uttar Pradesh. In fact it’s non-different from the Earthly Vrindavana, too, minus all the disturbing contradictions.
Hmm, yet another point for the chanting of the Holy Name as the best means of progress in our times.
Well, the original thought might have gone away but the substitute actually looks quite good, maybe even better, maybe that was the plan from the start, I really have no idea how these things come into my head and where they go. I’m not saying Krishna places them there but He also said that from Him comes forgetfulness and remembrance.
Whoever does this – thank you very much, I’m eternally grateful for managing it for me.