GAUR-PURNIMA Seeking the Joy of New Vrindaban dhama

As Taken From the April, 1977 Issue of Brijabasi Spirit

Mother Sukulina, one of the New Mathura-Vrindaban Traveling Sankirtana Party devotees, expresses her deep pleasure in making pil­grimage to the New Vrindaban farm on Gaur-purnima. From hellish Pittsburgh airport, to the transcen­dental calm of the farm in one day is certainly cause for rejoicing, especially on Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s most auspicious appearance day !
“All people thus chanted the Hare Krsna maha-mantra during the lunar eclipse, and their minds were struck with wonder. When the whole world was thus chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna in the form of Gaur Hari advented Himself on the earth. The whole world was pleased. While the Hindus chanted the holy name of the Lord, the non-Hindus, especially the Mohammedans, joking­ly imitated the words.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-llla, 13.93-95) |
Similarly, Pittsburg airport was full of non-devotees jokingly imi­tating the chanting of the Lord’s holy name. “Hey Hare! How’s Harry Krsna? Hare Krsna Hare Mama.” And the loudspeaker was blaring, “The persons in the main lobby, distri­buting flowers and soliciting con­tributions, are members of the Hair Krsna; they are ripping you off. I repeat, ripping you off.”
Struggling to keep my head above all the gross insults; hurdling ten feet to avoid being squished by the mudha skycaps pulling carts loaded to the ceiling with heavy baggage that doesn’t even belong to them; ducking from old ladies’ purses who scream, “Why don’t you go home to your mother? You’re in Dutch, girl­ie;” and not to mention fighting the six pushings of my materially-contaminated senses. Somehow or an­other I managed to distribute a few books, liberate Laksmi devi from the hands of the materialists, and managed to meet a few spiritually sincere souls. All this is more of an austerity than taking a dip in New Vrindaban’s Radha-kunda in the beginning of March, which I would much rather do, as this book dist­ribution, where I endlessly have to meet materialistic persons, goes completely against my grain. ! 5:30 p.m. sharp: exit stage left, as Mother Rasa-lila’s limosine service pulls up in our ele­gant ‘Bhakti Scamp’. All are ecsta­tic as we pull away from the sacri­ficial arena. Svaha !

Hurriedly getting ready to go to New Vrindaban, I take a peak at Srimati Tulasi devi to make sure she is all right. But looking in I find that She is listless and forlorn. She also wished to see Radha Vrndavana Candra’s lotus feet. Sympathizing with her desire, I promi­sed her that she can come too.
Leaving New Mathura (our Pitts­burgh temple) around 9:00 p.m., giving Srimati Tulasi devl the seat of honor next to the heater, we proceeded to the Holy Dhama–New Vrindaban!
There was twenty-four hour kirtana going on. Mangala aratrika was ecstatic, the dancing was wild; who knew what they would do next? Whirling, twirling, ducking, jumping–next they’ll be doing cart­wheels and handstands! All glories to the fancy footwork of Madhava Ghosa dasa (who Tamala Krsna Gosvami said was the best dancer he ever saw), and Taru dasa. All glor­ies to the expert mrdanga players, Garga Rsi and Daivata prabhus. All glories to all the karatala players and all the ecstatic devotees.
But marigala aratrika was just the beginning taste of nectar. The whole weekend was a whirl of jump­ing kirtanas, classes and unlimited devotional service, not to mention the most incredible ‘pits’ cooking which never ceases to amaze me. Singing, dancing and feasting–this process is simply joyful–kevala ananda kanda.
Saturday afternoon the Deities got their new outfits. Radha-VrindavanaCandra were dressed in an out­fit made of golden tissue silk folded into tiny pleates. All the devotees were more and more enliv­ened every time they saw Their Lordships. The twenty-four hour kirtana barreled on, both to honor Lord Caitanya’s appearance day, and to offer ourselves to Srila Prabhupada, hoping for his quick recovery from an illness.
After Sunday feast, with tears in our eyes, we packed up the band­ wagon and headed back to the Pitt. I am simply hoping that someday I can realize that Vrndavana is actu­ally in the heart, and that wherev­er the devotees are, that is Vrndavana.

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