We are celebrating Jhulana-yatra, which is steeped in the moods of Vrindavan. When I first began reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, I was struck by the following description in the introduction to Teachings of Lord Chaitanya: “Actually, the Vrindaban on earth is as good as the spiritual Vrindaban, and therefore Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami says that underneath one of the desire trees of Vrindaban there is a nice throne decorated with valuable jewels on which Radharani and Krishna are seated. And His dear friends the gopis are serving Them: somebody is singing, somebody is dancing, somebody is offering betel nuts and refreshment, somebody is decorating with flowers. . . .
“In India it is still a fashion of recreation to sit on a swing, and, if it is moving, it is very refreshing. In every home they have a hanging throne, and when a man comes home, if practical,it is moved from time to time, and he becomes refreshed. So, similarly, the same system prevails, especially in the month of Sravana, July-August, when there is the function called Jhulana. During Jhulana, in all the houses—not only in Vrindaban but all over India—the people hang thrones. In every house and village they place Radha and Krishna and decorate Them with flowers and move the throne and offer dancing and kirtan. . . . The temples are decorated, and thousands of people come as spectators. Generally, people go to Vrindaban at that time. Krishna and Radha are seated on the throne, surrounded by His friends.”
And leading into these two paragraphs: “There is an acharya who describes Vrindaban: ‘When my mind becomes cleansed of all dirty hankering for material enjoyment, then I shall be able to see Vrindaban.’ So Vrindaban is actually experienced by persons who have finished with material enjoyment. Everything is spiritual. This becomes revealed. . . . As you become more Krishna conscious, as you become more advanced, everything is revealed to you.”
Although I am still waiting for that qualification and that revelation, even in my present state I can, by divine mercy, relish some of the flavors of Vrindavan during Jhulana-yatra in Carpinteria.