Sri Sri Radha Gopijanavallabha –H.H. Radhanath Swami MaharajToday is the last day of our yatra. On the request ofdevotees we have come to this place. It is a veryunknown part of Vrindavana this particular temple. Itis not to be found in any of the parikrama books. Weonly are aware of these deities Sri Sri RadhaGopijanavallabha. The mercy They have personallybestowed upon myself.Yesterday devotees had a vote, by democratic process;conclusion was we come here today.We understand Krishna by the grace of Krishna'sdevotees. We cannot approach Krishna directly. It isby His own sweet will that He has arranged. Krishnawants to give credit to His devotees, He wants tobestow His mercy through His devotees. It is onlythrough the mercy of Vaisnavas that we can understandwhat is Krishna, what is the Holy name, what isVrindavana, what is the purpose of life beyond justgreed and egoism.I would like to briefly narrate a few personalencounters in my life in relationship to Sri SriRadha-Gopijanavalla bha - with your permission.In 1971 I was a devotee of Lord Siva, I was travelingfrom the area Pashupatinatha to Amarnatha for apilgrimage in month of August. Very crowded thirdclass train, didn't sit down for about 40 hours.Finally the train stopped and I wanted to somehow orother to move, so I crawled over people's heads,somehow I pulled myself out of the window, because Ihad these attachments. The train started moving and Itried to get back in and it was so very crowded, nowindow to fit a human being inside.So the train left and I was in this unknown place. Iasked a sadhu on the railway platform - where is this.He said this is Mathura, today is Janmastami! So hetook me to Janmasthaana where I spent the whole day.It was very crowded and very joyful, although I reallydidn't know who is Krishna or what is Krishna so much.And then at midnight everyone went to Dwarkadhisha.Bathed in Visnu-ghata. So I was thinking actually thatnight I stayed, although I was in Mathura, in a templeof Lord Siva with a babaji named Sivananda. And I wasthinking I will go to Vrindvana for about 3 days. ThenI will go to Amarnatha.So I started walking down the road and a bus saw me onthe road between Vrindavana and Mathura near fieldsand it stopped and picked me up. They said I did nothave to pay anything. So I went on the bus and then Iarrived and I just asked someone is there a river here- Yamuna, because I knew there was Yamuna. So theypointed, so I was just walking toward Yamuna becausethat was my tradition - whatever holy place I wouldjust go to; whatever holy river was there and justsleep under tree and do meditation. So as I waswalking and one Vraja-vasi approached me and said tome; "oh you have come from foreign land." Becauseforeigners were very rare at that time. There was noISKCON at that time.He said you have come to Krishna's home, we areKrishna's family, you are our guest let me give yousome food. So he took me to some Vraja-vasi's houseand had prasad, nice prasad, and then he said whereare you staying, I said on the river. He took me toone ashram of one blind sadhu, then I met him and hesaid let him stay here and he said yes, but still Iwent to the Yamuna. So on the 3rd day when I was goingto leave in the morning from Mathura to the railwaystation. I woke up with typhoid fever, so I was veryvery sick. And some of Srila Prabhupada's godbrotherswere very kind to me. And after I was in thisRama-Krishna charitable hospital for about 2 weeks.Laying in a room with 40 dying people.They gave me shelter in one Gaudiya matha for sometime and I was studyingthere. The doctor told me I had to wait at least 2months before I could travel or I would die. My bodywas so weak and emaciated from the way I was living.By the end of the 2 months I came to the conclusionthat of all the theologies, philosophies, religionsand spiritual paths that I have experienced there isnothing higher, nothing as sweet, nothing morebeautiful then the religion of Vrindavana. Devotion toSri Sri Radharani and Sri Krishna. So I decided tospend the rest of the my life in Vrindavana and neverleave.So after some time I was living on the bank of Yamuna.Sometimes going to Govardhana, Nandaghama, Varsana andvarious places. I would usually sleep under trees nearChir-ghata here in Vrindavana. We would go tomangala-arati at Radharamana temple and thenRadha-vallabha temple then go to mangal arati toSeva-kunja and Banke-bihari gets up quite late.Sometimes to Radha-Damodara temple. So what happenedis some sadhu, one very nice sadhu he got to know me.I would go every night a few sadhu's and myself wewould go around Vrindavana, Vrindavana parikrama, wedid this every night. For the whole month of kartik,we would just sing bhajans on the bank of the Yamuna.One of the sadhu's was a musical godbrother of RaviShankara, he played sitar. But he considered RaviShankar to be somewhat in maya because he played ragaswithout Krishna's names. He would play ragas and onlychant Krishna's names when he played. So he was afantastic sitar player.We would sit on bank of Yamuna and just chant and hewould just play, 3/4/5 of us and then we would goaround Vrindavana every night in the moonlight. Andone of these nice sadhus told me I want you to meet avery very very simple and pure soul. When you meet himyou will understand what is bhakti. So I thought hewas going to bring me to some nice temple. He took mein the Radha-Vallabha temple area down this veryisolated little ally way where there was an open sewergutter just flowing like anything, black sewage andhad to step over the sewage gutter to get in the door.And it was someone's house. Very, very small house.And a family was living in that house. Always makingnoise and everything. Then a hallway and in one of thehallways in their house there was a closet. The familywas always passing, walking through that hallway andin that closet were the Deities of Sri SriRadha-Gopijanavalla bha. And then he introduced me tothe pujari. His name was Ghanshyam.How gracious and how kind he was! He had such purelove and devotion to the Deities. I was told that manyyears before when was young a man, he came from a verywealthy family. His Father, Mother all family memberscame on a pilgrimage to Vrindavana. They spent a fewdays and what the dhama of Vrindavana did to his heartwas something wonderful. He became so deeply attachedto Vrindavana.Just by being here he became completely detached fromeverything in life. He saw no other purpose or meaningto existence except surrendering to Sri Radha andKrishna in Vrindavana. So when it was time to go hesaid I will stay here I will not leave. So his parentsthought this is ridiculous so they said all right youcome a little later. So they went back.The parents came back again; they said now you mustcome, he said no I will not leave. So they told him wewill take away all your property, all your moneyeverything unless you come back. We will not in anyway support you being here.He considered the only real treasure and wealth inlife his residence in Vrindavana, in the service ofRadha and Krishna. So they left. From a very wealthyfamily, he was in total poverty. In the summer, whichis very hot, in the winter it is extremely cold, hewould just sleep in the dust of Vrindavana on theground in various places. He would go do madhukari andget some roti. At that time Vrindavana was a very veryquite place. He hardly new anyone. He would just beimmersed in chanting the holy name and praying. Oneday he was just sitting in the dust all day long justchanting the holy names and do you know what his Deitywas? - The name of Radharani.In the Sanskrit alphabet he just wrote “Sri Radha”. Inthe dust with his finger and he would just worshipthat. And at the end of the day he would erase it sothat nobody would step on it. So when he erased he sawsome gold. He rubbed the ground and he felt somethingthere and he started digging in a little and there wasa piece of gold. So he was thinking what is this. Duginto the ground and what he found was somethingextraordinary. It was the top of the head of SrimatiRadharani's deity. And next to Her underground was abeautiful blackish deity of Lord Krishna. And it waswritten underneath Him Radha-Gopijanavalla bha.So he had These deities, These deities you see,They're quite big deities. He had absolutely not onepaise. He only had one torn-up set of clothes, he hadno residence and here is self-manifesting deities ofRadha-gopijanavalla bha. So he felt that They havesomehow put Themselves under my care, I cannot leaveThem.So he would just sit there with Them and chant. Andsometimes people would come by and give somemadhukari. He could not go to homes because he can'tjust leave the deities in the field. He wasworshipping Them literary under a tree, even in therainy season under a tree. And people would sometimescome by and give some roti and he would offer it. Thiswent on for some time. And this particular family ofVraja-vasis they saw his genuine and sincere devotion.So they said you can put your deities in the closet ofour house near our hallway. Those deities remainedthere for about the next 50 years. And he worshippedThem there.This is where we met him. He would never leave thedeities. He would only one time of the day he would gothe Yamuna, because he had no one to help him, tocollect water. To bring back. He would bathe in Yamunaand then bring a bucket back to bathe the deities.Now when I met him he was an old man. Perhaps in his80's. And he had a certain mood about him. It was thathe was the most fallen, insignificant servant ofGopijanavallabha. Most unqualified and that anyone whocame to that temple and very few people ever came. Butanybody who would come in to that little temple hewould consider that was Gopijanavallabha' s veryspecial guest, Gopijanavallabha' s friend, personallyinvited. And he would give his life, his soul hiseverything to serve anybody who came. He was one ofthe simplest people I ever met. He was really livingin poverty. You know where he slept for that 50 or 60years? He slept in the hallway. People would just,family would just walk by. Practically stepping overhim. The deities were in a tiny little closet nearthat closet was a tiner closet. Whatever the deitiesbelongings were, were in there. And he just slept onthe hallway on the floor.So I started coming there about 9 o'clock everymorning after about 5 different mangal arati's that Iwould attend. I would go to Gopijanavallabha temple.And one day I just went there because I just wanted tobe with Ghanshyam. So one day he told me come today atnoon and I will give you prasad. So I was thinking howcan I refuse this. So I came at noon, he gave me, allhe had was 3 rotis; nothing else. 3 rotis. So he saidyou come everyday, you must come. He said you mustcome everyday. Gopijanavallabha and Radharani want youto come everyday to take prasad with Them.So after about 3 days there was this one sadhu whobrought me to his house. He told me do you know thatGhanshyam has not eaten anything for 4 days. I saidwhy. He said because you are eating all his rotis. Hesaid Ghanshyam does not go out to beg really. He can'tgo far. There's 3 little houses right in that area.Each one cooks one roti. And he goes to those 3 houseseveryday to get 1 roti from each house. And he brings,that's all he has. He offers that to Gopijanavallabha.So he said he his giving you all of his food.So I came the next day and he just put down the rotisdown in front of me. And I said Ghanshyam these areyour rotis. He said no, no, these are your rotis. Isaid I already had prasad. He said doesn't matterGopijanavallabha wants you to eat these rotis. I saidno, no I do not want these rotis. He said You MUST,YOU MUST. He spoke nice English, because he was comingfrom an educated family.I said Ghanshyam I have been told that you've noteaten for 4 days because I am eating all of yourprasad. He said no, who has told you this, it is nottrue. i am eating so much, gopijanavallabha is givingme everything I need. Now you eat these rotis, please.I said Ghanshyam I am not going to eat these rotisbecause they are your rotis. Literally he began toweep and tremble with folded palms begging me to eatthe rotis. I said Ghanshyam unless you show me thatthere is more rotis in your house I am not going tothese.He said I have so many rotis in this house. He saidGopijanavallabha is consort of Sri Radharani, She isthe supreme goddess of fortune. You don't think thereis any rotis in Her house. I said Ghanshyam show methe rotis. He said no need to show you, no need. Theyare here. You just take this parasad. He became soconcerned, I said Ghanshyam I know that there are 12places in Vrindavana that give madhukari to sadhus ata particular time of the day. In those days everysadhu knew where to go at what time to get free rotis.That was the first thing sadhu's learn when they cometo Vrindavana; Time schedule of roti distribution indifferent temples.So, I said I can go anywhere, you are here. You arestarving. He said No need, you take these rotis. Hestarted crying and pleading and praying to me. Iunderstood if I did not take his rotis I would breakhis heart. So I was praying to Gopijanavallabha whatshould I do? Break his heart or starve his body. Hewould not let me leave without eating the rotis. But Inever came back at 12 o'clock. The next day he didn'teat the rotis at 12 o'clock knowing that I would come9 o'clock the next day. We had a big fight and Irefused to eat his rotis.This was a selfless service attitude. He was so oldand so thin. One day I saw him walking with thisbucket of water to bathe Gopijanavallabha. And fromthe Yamuna he would walk about 3 steps and then wouldhave to put the bucket down and rest. Then he wouldpick it up strenuously, 3 steps then put it down torest. At the time I was only 20 years old. So I tookthe bucket from him and I said I will carry it to thetop. He would not let go, he said no need, no need, noneed. I said Ghanshyam let me carry it for you. I cancarry it in 3 mins, it takes you half hour. I amyoung. He said yes you are young so you should enjoy.But I am old man. I am just the servant. My life issacrifice, he said you are Gopijanavallabha' s friend.You should not have to work for Him, but I am just hisfallen servant. It is my duty to serve Him. He wouldnot give me that bucket. I was walking alongside himfor about 20 mins. We were having tug of wars, hewould not give me the bucket. And then finally hebegan to cry and with a choked up voice he said thisservice I have to Gopijanavallabha; is all I have inlife. Please, please do not take it away from me. Inever tried to take that bucket from him again.One day I happened to be there and it was somefestival so a Vraja-vasi brought him a cup of sweetrice to offer to Gopijanavallabha. Now please don'tgive or take the spontaneous love of the Vraja-vasi'sbut you can hear to understand its nature. He was justeating 2/3 rotis a day for how many years and here wasa small pot of sweet rice in a clay cup and it wasbrought. The way he offered it to the deities is hesat me down on the little hallway in front of thecloset. He put the spoon, 1 spoon in a cup and put itright to Gopijanavallabha' s mouth and said a littleprayer. Then he put it to Sri Radharani's mouth andsaid a little prayer, then he came to me because it’sonly a few feet from the deities and where I wassitting. He came and said open your mouth and put yourhead back. Then I opened by mouth and put my head backand he just poured the sweet rice from the spoon in mymouth. And this is how he offered the entire pot ofsweet rice. He just kept on doing it spoon by spoon,Gopijanavallabha' s mouth, Sri Radharani's mouth thenhe would just toss in my mouth. I said Ghanshyam savesome for yourself, he said no need, no need. Then withfolded palms and tears in his eyes he said you areGopijanavallabha' s friend, you Gopijanavallabha' sfriend. I am only his insignificant servant.One time in the month of January I happened to come byto visit him in the night time. So Ghanshyam and Iwere chanting together. Whenever I went, I would comeat all different times of the day sometimes just tovisit him and whenever I would come he was never idle,he was never sitting, sleeping, but always doing seva.I'd come and he would be fanning the deities he justbe standing and fanning and singing songs. Anothertime I had come he had sandalwood pulp and he wasputting chandan and grinding. But most of time, 90% ofthe times when I would come he would just be sittingalone with the harmonium and singing beautiful songsfor Gopijanavallabha. He was always busy doing someseva. Sometimes he would be doing puja, offeringarati, sometimes he be dressing Them. So this night Icame and we were singing this nice kirtan together. Inthis old broken down little house in a hallway. Sothen I said I'm going, now I must go and Ghanshyamsaid where are you going. I am going to take rest. Hesaid where do you take rest. I said I always take reston the bank of Yamuna. He said oh no, it is January,it is very cold. Then you have no home, you have noproper clothes, no blanket even. He said you stay heretonight it is too cold, I insist you must sleep heretonight. So I said Ghanshyam I sleep on Yamuna everynight. He said no no, tonight you must stay here.Gopijanavallabha, you are His guest, you must sleepnicely. So I laid down on the floor next to him and hecame out with this old blanket and put it on top ofme. So I was thinking ahhh this is very nice blanket.And then he laid next to me. All he had is just a thindhoti and little chadar. Not even a pillow. He sleptright on the bare floor, he just had a little piece ofburlap he wouldput on the floor and he would lay onhis arm. And he was trembling cold. I said Ghanshyamthis is your blanket. You sleep with your blanket. Hesaid no no, it is not my banket. It is your blanket.He said Gopijanavallabha wants you to have thisblanket. You are his friend. I am only his fallenservant. You must accept this blanket. I said no it isyour blanket. I will only stay here if you sleep withthe blanket. So then he was begging me again, weeping,begging me take the blanket, sleep nicely. He said Iam an old useless servant. What difference does itmake if I suffer. But you are dear to the Lord, youmust enjoy.This was his mood. He was worshipping the deities for50, 60 years. And I'm just a new devotee, I justarrived in Vrindavana and understood who Krishna is acouple months before. So finally, he surrendered. Iwas about to walk out. I said if you don't take thisblanket I am leaving for the Yamuna. He said allright, all right, I will sleep in the blanket. Youjust lay down. So I lay down and it was cold.Ghanshyam was under this old tattered blanket but itwas a little warm. So sometime later I woke up atnight, in the middle of the night. And mysteriously Iwas feeling a little warm. So, I looked over atGhanshyam and he's just laying there trembling,trembling like a leaf in the wind. And then I lookedat myself and I saw the blanket was on me. While I wassleeping he put the blanket on me.So very, very quietly I picked up the blanket and Iwanted to not wake him. As soon I touched his bodywith the blanket he just leaped up "NO NEED, NO NEED"I said Ghanshyam you are not even sleeping, you arefreezing. He said NO NEED, NO NEED you areGopijanavallabha' s friend, I am his servant. The dutyof the servant is to serve the friend.Gopijanavallabha will never be pleased with me unlessI sacrifice my life for the happiness of His guestsand His devotees. You must accept this blanket. Hesaid you keep this blanket, you take it with you. Irefused. So then we actually, I wasn't yelling but Isaid no I'm not going to sleep with this blanket andhe was insisting and insisting, then finally I said Iam going to the Yamuna. Then he said all right, allright I will sleep with the blanket. So I lay down, helaid down. And I woke up a few minutes later and I waswarm. And I looked over there he was suffering,miserably, freezing, trembling and again I tried toreally, really secretly put the blanket, as soon as Itouched him NO NEED, NO NEED, NO NEED. He said my lifeis to serve. He said you don't understand my happinessis to serve, my only function in life is to serve.Whether I suffer or I whether I enjoy means nothing.The only meaning is Gopijanavallabha and Radharani arehappy with me. They are happy when I give everything Ihave to devotees.He was so sincere. I would not except. At least 5/6times that night this happened of the switching ofblankets. I never came back there at night. In thewinter.Then it started getting warmer, started going theresometimes at night and he was aging. It was so nice,somehow or other he had made this little bed for thedeities, have you seen the size of these deities? Hewould, every night, whenever possible, he would putthe deities in the bed and lay Them down and massageTheir feet and put a little blanket over Them. Andthen he would sing for Them for hours while They weresleeping. But because he was getting, he did this formany many years, but in his old age he could not liftthe deities and put Them in the bed. So any time Iwould come at night the would ask me please,pleasehelp put Radharani and Gopijanavallabha in Their bed.I wasn't initiated at that time. I didn't even have aspiritual master, what to speak of being a brahmana.But he would have me lift, because the feet arelighter he would take the side of Gopijanavallabha' sfeet and I would take His shoulder's and we wouldcarry Gopijanavallabha into and lay Him into the bedand take Sri Radharani and lay Her in bed. And he wasso happy, he would just be crying in joy atGopijanavallabha and Radharani tonight get to sleep inTheir bed again. He would never ask me please comeevery night and help me. If I happened to come atnight he would very humbly appeal, will you putGopijanavallabha in Their bed. Otherwise he would putThem to rest standing up. And how much he was so happyI could see, it was like the most glorious festival,was like the most glorious feast in his heart to seethe deities nicely lying in Their bed to take rest.One day I said, I came in the morning, I said toGhanshyam I am going to Varsana. He started to cry. Hewas so dedicated to those deities. As far as I know,although he was living in Vraja-bhumi since he was19/18 years old he came, this time he was there about60 years. As far as I know he had never gone toVarsana. He had never gone to Nanda-ghama, never evenseen Govardhana hill. Because he was duty-bound to hisdeities. He would never leave Them. When I told him Igoing to Varsana he began to cry. With folded hands hesaid when you go so Sri-ji mandir please, please tellSri Radharani Ghanshyam is longing to come there tosee Her. But that I cannot come because I am only Herservant. And I cannot leave my service.Another time I was going to Govardhana hill, I said Iam going for Govardhana parikrama. Ghanshyam againbegan to cry. He said when you see Giriraja, tell Himthat Ghanshyam has been worshipping to Him and prayingto Him for many years and is longing to see Him. Hewas seeing Varsana, he was seeing Govardhana, muchclearer then so many thousands of pilgrims that walkaround on parikrama of these places.Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura taught us do not tryto see Krishna, decide to serve Krishna in such a waythat He will be pleased to see you. When I heard thisstatement of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura sometime later in remembrance of Ghanshyam came veryintimately into my heart. Truly lived by theprinciples of servant of the servant of the servant.It was actually in that little closet temple that Iwas with Ghanshyam and 2/3 other old sadhus that wouldcome to meet him in the mornings. And I had to leaveIndia because my visa had expired. So they gave me 2suggestions in the presence of Gopijanavallabha. 1suggestion is if you have to leave India; go toMithala -Janakpura. It is the Varsana of Rama's lila.It's in Nepal so it is out of India. So I went there.I was in Nepal in for about a month or something, andthen my Nepalise visa expired. And I only had a 2-weektransit visa in India. Just to go through then I hadto depart. So from Pashupatinatha I went to Ayodhyaand Prayag, and then I came to Vrindavana. There Ispent about 10 days in Vrindavana. My last day I didGovardhana parikrama and then departed. But the daybefore Govardhana parikrama I visited Ghanshyam baba.And he and a couple others were saying if you have toleave Vrindavana, because I was crying I have to leaveVrindavana. They said if you have to leave Vrindavanayou should go to New Vrindavana. I asked what is thisNew Vrindavana? They said Swami Prabhupada, when hewas here in Vrindavana, because I had already acceptedPrabhupada as my guru by that time in Vrindavana.They said your guru-maharaja Swami Prabhupada, he wastelling us that he has created a Vrindavana in Americacalled New Vrindavana. And he told us that it isnon-different then from Vrindavana. So you should gothere, that way you will never leave Vrindavana untilyou can come back. And he even told, he said youshould be pujari when you go there.So I had to leave and I went to Amsterdam. That wasthe first ISKCON temple I ever saw. I would live withPrabhupada when he came to Vrindavana. I was withPrabhupada in Bombay for sometime before. When I neversaw an ISKCON temple and the whole expect for 10 dayswhen Prabhupada was doing parikrama around Vrindavanathere was never any ISKCON devotees here.So then I went to the temple of London, Bury place ;stayed for some time. And then I visited my parentsbecause they were severely heart-broken by my spiritof attempted renunciation. So I visited them for sometime then I got the news that Prabhupada was coming toNew York. So immediately I went and hitchhiked to NewYork. And I was with Prabhupada for about a weekthere. And the day he was leaving there was anannouncement that Prabhupada is coming to NewVrindavana. And he is going to give a 7-day lectureseries on Srimad Bhagavatam and it is going to becalled the Bhagavat-dharma discourse. And he is goingto celebrate Janmastami there and Vyasa-puja and weneed people to help prepare for the festival becausedevotees from all over the country are going to becoming so whoever can come, please come and help toserve Prabhupada there and be there for his festival.So when I heard that I was thinking inGopijanavallabha temple I was told that I should go toNew Vrindavana and Prabhupada is going to be there. SoI went to New Vrindavana. And my intention was onlyone thing - just to stay there till 6 months expiredthen I can get a visa to come back to VrindavanaIndia. That was my only intention. But when Prabhupadacame and I heard him preach I realised that we reallysee Vrindavana through serving the spiritual master.Through the Supreme Lord. As long as we have anyselfishness in our heart. Narottama Dasa Thakura(says)- as long as we have any material desire in outhearts we can't really see what is Vrindavana.So by Prabhupada's mercy he inspired me that youshould just surrender to your service, where you are.You are here now to surrender to your service.Surrender to serving in helping in my mission. So Iwas in charge of milking cows and doing some othersimple work. Then the pujari, the brahmacari inasharam got married. That happens sometimes. I wassuch a simple new devotee. I was thinking how is itpossible, he's serving Radha-Vrindavananat ha. He is apersonal, he is bathing Radha-Vrindavanatha , he isdressing Them, he's feeding Them, why in the worldwould anyone who had such a wonderful service wouldwant to get married. Inconceivable! ! So I went tothat devotee I said if you want female associationcome and help me milk cows. It’s the safest way toassociate to with the opposite sex. Somehow or otherhe didn't accept my advice. So he got married.Then the temple president said you should be thepujari. I said who is going to take care of the cows?He said you, you do both. So I was pujari forRadha-Vrindavananat ha. I remember one day I wasputting the dress on Srimati Radharani somethingwonderful happened, I remembered then Ghanshyam babatold me I should be the pujari at New Vrindavana. Sofor 11 years I was not allowed to come to India.Because in those days devotees were really in a senseof surrender and they were very duty-bound in the waythey rendered their service. We would never ever, everact outside authority or blessings. So for 11 years Iremained there worshipping the deities. And after Iwas given sannayas, actually I did not want to takesannayas. But the leader of New Vrindavana KirtanandaMaharaja he would. I would just always be talkingabout Vrindavana, because in those days nobody hadever been to India but a few devotees.When I was in London in Bury place, I had this oldthin, it was one of those wolf grey chadars, wasreally an old one. Some sadhu wore it for years andgave it me. And I had it on when I was in London andthe devotees in Bury place were gathering around me,they said that's just like Prabhupada's chadar. Theyhad never seen a chadar except on Srila Prabhupada.And me, they said where did you get that, its justlike Prabhupada's chadar, we have never seen anything,its so. I said a sadhu gave it to me in Vrindavana.VRINDAVANA!, you have been to Vrindavana! People wouldbe very interested to know what is Vrindavana. Wewould read about it Krishna book, but what is it liketoday.So when I came to New Vrindavana only the leader hadbeen to Vrindavana. Nobody else had ever been. Soeveryone would want to know about Vrindavana and afterI would tell everyone, everyone wanted to go.Kirtananda Maharaja made a rule that I was not allowedto speak about Vrindavana. That rule was very verydifficult to follow. Sometimes devotees would come wayup to that old mountain farmhouse where the temple wasof Radha-Vrindavanatha and it would be just me andthem looking after the offerings and the aratis. Inbetween they would say tell me about Vrindavana. And Iwould start telling them about the places ofGovardhana and the places of Vrindavana and the placesof Nanda-ghama, Varsana. I'd start telling them aboutVraja-vasi's and start telling them about differentsadhus I would know there. Telling them about mymeetings with Prabhupada there. And then they'd starttelling everybody. And the temple president would say,because I was a brahmacari, he'd say Radhanatha is inmaya.He wakes up at 1 in the morning and chants rounds andworks all day, why is he in maya? Because he istalking about Vrindavana. Then he'd come all the wayup, I told you not to talk about Vrindavana, you areagitating the community.One day he said Prabhupada said New Vrindavana isnon-different then Vrindavana so you just talk aboutNew Vrindavana. So he was trying to convince me, hewould say I will never, ever in your life let you goback to Vrindavana because I know if you go you willnever come back. So he was trying to convince me totake sanyassa in 1982. And I was refusing refusing, hewas pushing, and pressurising, and he had the wholecommunity, he preached to whole community to not giveme any peace of mind till I took sannyasa. So everyonewould be harassing me.So finally he said to me you take sannyasa I will letyou visit Vrindavana. But I still refused. Finally, itwas too much, I had to surrender, and after Isurrendered I decided I want to be unconditional so Iknew I had to do it anyway I said but I still get togo to Vrindavana. So 11 years later 1983 I returned toVrindavana. First time. I remember I came toGaura-purnima, first time I ever went to Gaura-purnimain Mayapura 1983. Because when I was living in India,so then I took a train from Calcata to Delhi and Itook the Taj express to Mathura and I decided to goaccording to my old tradition. I went to Visvam-ghata,took bath and walked along the Yamuna from Mathura toVrindavana. But things really changed at that time,there was a lot obstructions in that water if youtried to do it today. So I came to Vrindavana. AndI'll never forget, this is 11 years later, you know atRadha-Vallabha temple there is the old temple, thereis the new temple where the deities were. Well thatold temple is very close to Ghanshyam baba's house.So I came and I happened to see Ghanshyam sitting onthe steps outside the old temple. And now he was 11years older, he was in his late 80's or 90's, I don'tknow. And he looked at me. When I lived in Vrindavana,I wore this simple white lungi, that was kind of tornup and I had a little chadar and I had long dreddedhair and I never shaved because I was young, it didn'tmake that much difference that I never shave. And nowhere I am a Sannyasi, with a danda, with shaved head.So he was looking at me and he was old, he was justlooking at me.Because one great sadhu living in Vrindavana had givenme a name when I was little, the name Ratin-Krishnadasa. I never got initiated but he gave it out ofaffection. So Ghanshyam always called me Ratin. Thatmeans Krishna the chariot driver of Arjuna.So he looked at me and he was just looking and I boweddown, and I got up, and he was just. And then he said,like a father to a long lost son - Ratiiiiin!Then he started to weep, started to cry. He embracedme. And he said Radha-Gopijanavalla bha has beenwaiting for so long to see you. And he took me by thehand and took me to that same little hallway where thecloset was. And he started; he started taking off thejewellery of the deities and giving it to me. SayingRadharani wants you to have this. He's giving merotis. And I came that night from Krishna-Balaramatemple, secretly. I left Krishna-Balarama temple thatnight to help him put Radha-Gopijanavalla bha into thebed, 11 years later. I even brought a couplegodbrothers to the temple, he was just taking off,giving them whatever he could give them, he would givethem, bow down to each Vaisnava.Then the next time I came, I came to the door and Iwalked in. I walked into that little temple there wasno Gopijanavallabha, there was no Ghanshyam. So Iasked the family members - Ghanshyam, Ghanshyam. Andthe person, with tears in their eyes, smiling saidGoloka.He was so old but he knew that if he were to die,there'd be no one to take care of the deities. Becausethat family had nothing to do with the deity worship,they were just working people and like that. So eventhough, he was really aged then in poor health, hejust lived to take care of the deities. From myunderstanding, because for many years I was askingpeople, where is Gopijanavallabha. Nobody knew, eventhat family didn't know. Then I met one very dearbrother and friend named Asika-Krishna dasa Prabhu.Who during the time I lived in Vrindavana he wouldoften, we would go to see Ghanshyam baba. And he toldme, what he told was this - that Ghanshyam baba wasjust living because there was no one else to do theseva of the deities. But then one trust built thistemple, but they had no deity, so they were lookingfor a deity to put in the temple. So someone toldthem, there is this beautiful self-manifesting deityjust in the closet. So they asked him, and he was sohappy. After 60 years in this closet Gopijanavallabha,maybe 70 years in this closet, Gopijanavallabha willfinally have a temple. So he came here when the templewas built and he was, somebody else's temple, somebodyelse's trust but he was just the pujari.And very very soon after, because the trust wouldsupply another pujari. As soon as he saw thatGopijanavallabha had a house and he trained some otherpujari, someone to take care of Them. As soon as hesaw the deity seva taken care of nicely he gave up hisbody. A young person will serve the deity better thenme.So he had no reason to remain in this world.When we read about qualities of selfless service, whenwe read about the principle of servant of the servantof the servant, when we contemplate actual humility ofthe heart, Sri Gopijanavallabha empowered him to be avery wonderful wonderful example of that. But only afew people in the whole world ever saw him or knewhim. He was just totally an unknown person. But hislife and soul is the prayer where the people wouldjust come to see the deities. Probably no more than6/7 different people a month would come to see hisdeities. But anybody who came would be the joy of hislife. To serve Gopijanavallabha' s friend, his specialinvited guest. So I think today Ghanshyam baba is veryhappy. That all of you have come to see the beautifulforms of his beloved Lord. And what a mystery life isthat at the time I was just an insignificant littlebeggar sleeping on bank of Yamuna. And I been giventhe wonderful fortune of now bringing, helping tobring a 1000 devotees for the darshan ofGopijanavallabha.Our beloved Srila Prabhupada was truly the embodimentof selfless service.Srila Prabhupada left Vrindavana, he left his belovedRadha-Damodara. He suffered heart attacks, strokes,sea-sickness, persecution to give us Krishna. SrilaPrabhupada told us that he saw us as therepresentatives of his guru-maharaja.And he how served and gave his life to give usKrishna. It is by Srila Prabhupada's selflesscompassion that my insignificant self has beenspiritually sustained and nourished to whatever extentthere is year after year. It is by his selflessservice attitude based on pure love that is sustainingall our spiritual lives. And actually it's SrilaPrabhupada, his act of such humble devotion even towretched materialistic people that has brought all ofus to Vrindavana. It is actually Srila Prabhupada whohas fulfilled the spiritual desires of millions ofpeople throughout the world. And even it is SrilaPrabhupada who has actually fulfilled Ghanshyam baba'sgreat desire. The 1000's of sincere souls will come totake the blessings of his beloved Lord.So we should know with great faith and conviction thatHis Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada isthe ultimate manifestation of the highest teachings ofVaishnava scriptures. He has given us everything, hehas given us everything. He has given us the complete,unadulterated mercy of the parampara. And what does hestress, he puts such great great emphasis on thespirit of service. Throughout his lectures, throughouthis books and manifested by his life how much emphasishe has put on developing a proper service attitude.What is a service attitude?Service doesn't simply mean doing something forsomeone else. That is a very superficialunderstanding. But real service is selfless,unconditional, uninterrupted by various obstacles thatcome in our path. Ghanshyam baba longed to visitVarsana, Govardhana, Mahavana. But there was noconsideration because his service was to his Lord.Srila Prabhupada could have been living here inVrindavana, probably would have lived to over a 100years old. But he sacrificed his health, he sacrificedthe peace of mind of the holy dhama. He sacrificedeverything. Selfless to give you the opportunity tolove Krishna.Prabhupada taught us this principle, to live by thisprinciple. It is the principle we read on every pageof Caitanya-caritarmta - unconditional selflessservice. It is the principle that is broadcastedthroughout the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam, from thefirst verse to the last - unconditional devotionalservice without ego.What is the pleasure of the Lord, what is the pleasureof His devotees? What is my duty to Him? Prabhupadanotes the will of the Lord comes through Guru, Sadhuand Sastra. His guru told him to spread the holy namesall over the world.It became his life and soul. Doesn't matter whatobstacles, what inconveniencies. Doesn't matterwhether it brings life or death. Because he had thatselfless humble attitude of service; all of us havebeen saved. The doors to the spiritual world of Golokahave been opened to billions and billions and billionsof people.trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna amaninamana-dena kirtaniya sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]Caitanya Mahaprabhu told us to string this verse ofthe thread of the holy name and to wear it always. Itis our life, we can evaluate how we are successful byhow we are pleasing Krishna. We can evaluate how weare pleasing Krishna by studying our hearts, ourintentions, our words and actions. In relationship tothis teaching.trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna amaninamana-dena kirtaniya sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]Be humble like the straw in the street, tolerant liketrees, ready to offer all respect to others and expectnone in return. If we live by this verse then we canactually follow Prabhupada's teachings. And broadcastthe glories of the holy name always.Today is the last day of our yatra. This is the lastmeeting we will all have together. The purpose of thisyatra is not sight-seeing, not just to come to a holyplace and get sick become purified from that. Thepurpose of this yatra is to inspire us to dedicate ourlives and soul with the selfless service attitude. Toserving Srila Prabhupada and his mission. Because hehas given us his life and his life's contribution tothe parampara was a society he created. If we are notgrateful to him for saving us will Krishna be pleasedwith us.However knowledgeable you may become in various hightopics. Will Krishna be pleased with if we are notgrateful to his pure servant who sacrificed his lifeto take us out of the ignorance of kali and give usthe path of perfection? So let us pray here, with verysincere hearts, that through this wonderful yatra, wehave participated in over the last 15 days will bringus a much deeper sense of dedication, humility, toreally do that we possibly can to Prabhupada and hismission of pure compassion. And follow his teachingsto humbly serve the Vaisnavas, give his compassion tothe suffering conditional souls. By reading his books,by speaking from his books, distributing his books. Byhelping in what other way and ultimately we can praythat we can sincerely, whole heartedly, understand theimportance of chanting the holy names and making itthe first priority in our lives.The more love we have the more love we can give. Thatlove comes when we gratefully serve those who hasgiven us so much. And we could really reciprocate withSrila Prabhupada by taking shelter of the holy namebecause that is the ultimate gift that he has givenus. Prabhupada wanted us to remain united, tocooperate with each other in spreading the glories ofchanting the holy names:HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HAREHARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HAREI wish to thank all of you very much for youroutstanding service to the Vaisnava community duringSrila Prabhupada's disappearance festival. It was, itwas a feast for my heart to see all of you serving sonicely. What a great benediction that was to have theopportunity to perform the sacred service of givingprasad to Srila Prabhupada's followers from all overthe world in honour of Srila Prabhupada'sdisappearance festival. I think some causeless mercyhas descended upon us. I think because all of you arevery very sincere in your efforts, Srila Prabhupadahas rewarded by giving you the chance to serve hisdevotees. We must be convinced, not only theoreticallybut practically that happiness is never an acquired,the illusory mirages of this world, real happiness canonly come through service, through giving.Thakura Bhaktivinode said - the sufferings andmiseries I endure in my service to Krishna are thesource of my greatest joy.Getting prestige, popularity, followers, gettingmoney, beautiful family, nice home, good health, thesethings give a very temporary superficial externalsense of happiness or pleasure. But in service even ifnone of those things we just stated are there, inservice we gain actual inner satisfaction.Let me ask of, were you happy in seeing how blissfulthe devotees were getting served prasad? - HARIBOLWho do you think was getting more inner joy - thosebeing served and eating or those for fasting so longrendering service - huh? Would you have been happiersitting there eating?This is Prabhupada's mercy. This is really SrilaPrabhupada and Sri Radha's mercy, that we canunderstand this principle practically. That our realhappiness is in sacrifice of service. And the morethat service is unconditional and selfless the more itis a service of love, of pure love. It is that purelove of Krishna that every soul is longing for. Andnothing can replace it. We must long for that love.But we have no qualification, we are so far away fromthe standard of unconditional love. But if we servesincerely, with humility, and we desperately,desperately, desperately trying to chant the holynames properly then Krishna will see out efforts.That little sparrow trying to dry up the ocean andKrishna sees if we are sincere and determined with theright purpose He will bestow that love upon us throughthe mercy of guru and Vaisnavas. Actually your serviceto the devotees during Prabhupada's festival willperhaps give faith and happiness to people all overthe world, even those who are thousand's of miles awaywhen they hear about it. It is preaching.If we become proud we have served nicely then thatpride neutralises the effect of the great benedictionwe received. But if we feel ourselves unqualified butgrateful, grateful for the causeless mercy that I wasallowed to serve amongst other Vaishnavas, soonKrishna will bestow the prime benediction of pure lovewithin our hearts.So I know all of you worked very hard to do this andon behalf of Srila Prabhupada, and behalf of all theleaders of the International Society for KrishnaConsciousness and all the devotees who have giventheir lives, I very gratefully thank all of you verymuch. Let this be a lesson of what is of real value tothe heart.I'd like to also thank all of you for your incredibleenthusiasm throughout this festival. Many of you havegotten sick, physically, and of course many thorns inyour feet, much dust in your lungs. But still I didn'thear anyone complaining, everyone is just trying toget purified, trying to help all the other devotees tobe happy in Vrindavana. And especially thank you fortolerating me. I honestly and sincerely do not knowhow you do it or why you do it but you do it.That is some special magic of Srila Prabhupada, thathe can somehow or other see his eternal resplendentdivine mercy through a little piece like me, that ishis inconceivable power. So I thank all of you veryvery much and pray that when you return to your homesand bring the real spirit of Vrindavana - selflessservice and the longing for complete attachment to SriSri Radha-Gopinatha. And complete determination toglorify Them by hearing and chanting Their holy names.I want to especially offer my gratitude to Malati devimataji. She's so humble, I've learnt so much, she'sone of the senior most disciples of Srila Prabhupadaon the entire planet. She's one of the few people whohad accessive personal direct service to SrilaPrabhupada and some of the most intimate surroundingsof Srila Prabhupada's mission. She's fearless, she'sabsolutely determined, despite inconceivable healthproblems, she just never gives up, never complains andnever wants any credit, just happy to be amongst thedevotees. My deep deep gratitude to Malati mataji forall she's done and all she's doing for SrilaPrabhupada and all of us. And to Rasalila mataji whohas performed very difficult service maintaining amarriage in the western world in the age of kali forso many years. This is very very outstandingpreaching. And in the process to raise a child -Gaurangakishor Prabhu. Raise a child who lovesKrishna, loves to preach about Krishna. Good fruitscome from good trees. Thank you mataji.And to Nartaki mataji, is she here? Such a humbledevotee and how much she, she really has deep deepattachment to Krishna. To hearing about Krishna, tospeaking about Krishna, to being with devotees ofKrishna. She has truly been blessed deeply in herheart by Srila Prabhupada's mercy.During this yatra we had many wonderful souls come andjoin us speak to us. Amongst them the shining jewel ofall Vraja-vasis has come to be with us today -Dinabandhu Prabhu - HARIBOL, HARIBOL, HARIBOL!What would be Vrindavana yatra without DinabandhuPrabhu! His spontaneous devotion, his enthusiasm topreach the glories of Vrindavana-dhama, with hisincredible knowledge and realisations, always aprofound inspiration for us.Same time he is very much involved performing greatsacrifices in Prabupada's service for makingVrindavana temple for what Prabhupada wants it to be.So my gratitude to you Dinabandu Prabhu. I learnt somuch from you. I hope you are all happy.Devotees: HARIBOL, HARIBOL, HARIBOL!If you are happy then my insignificant life has servedsome noble purpose. So I am grateful that you havegiven me that. Srila Prabhupada ki' jaya!
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  • gud read it n heard it quite few times also u can find it on again copy paste bt very inspiring hhradhanath maharaj ki jay jai prabhupada.
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