Though this is not a translation of any Gaudiya Grantha, I feel it has a place here. In the future, if anyone has similar contributions, feel free to post them here (opening a new topic, of course).
You can also download a pdf-version of the same here.
SUMMARY DIARY OF
OUR STAY AT RADHAKUND
17 February : Today is Sunday and it is Vashanta-Panchami (Beginning day of Spring in India). Govindadas and Vasu together with 2 Vrajavasis came to pick us up at the Airport. It’s around 5 A.M and after a pleasant car drive we arrived at Radhakund. After taking some rest and later doing our Puja we went to meet the Radhakund Mahanta, Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji who warmly received us.
19 February : Today is Tuesday and it is Saptami, the avirbhava (anniversary apprearance day) of Shri Advaita Prabhu. After doing abhisheka to our Thakurjis we took some prasad without grains and pulses. Shivadas came in the afternoon to our place. He related to us how his mother passed away at Radhakunda last month during Karttika. Last year we were gladly surprised to find out from her that she was initiated by a Guru-brother of our Shri Gurudev. Although she had a malignant tumour of the pancreas she didn’t suffer a lot and passed away in a nice way during the congregational chanting of Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s holy names. As she did not want to leave her body without paying back her debts, fearing to take birth again to do so, she entrusted this task to Shivadas. In the evening, on our way back from Radhakund parikrama with Vasu we dropped by at a Vrajavasi’s place asking him if he could take us to Mathura the next day. Lars, one German boy was sitting at that Vrajvasi’s house and told us that Dinosharandas from Slovenia who is a disciple of one Babaji, knows us very well and is now at Radhakund. Karunamayidasi thought that he is our Guru-brother as we have one who has the same name and is from the same country. Finally we found out that he is another boy who surprisingly is a disciple of Shri MadanMohandas Babaji, a Guru-brother of our own Shri Gurudev. He knows about us very well as he has heard about us from our Gurubrother, the other Dinosharandas.
20 February : We left in the morning by car for Mathura. Krishnadas, who is also going there to purchase some books for his bookshop accompanied us. We arrived back in the evening and reached Uddhava-kund road where we stopped to greet Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji who was on his quotidian walk. Suddenly a lunatic arrived and started to harass Babaji. Babaji had to run off with us by car in order to avoid the lunatic. In the evening we met with Lars and DinoSharandas and noted with great pleasure that DinoSharandas is learning how to practice Shri Shri Gaur-Govinda – lila-smaranam with all seriousness.
22 February : After so many years we finally got the opportunity to do Govardhana Parikrama. We started at around 10 A.M, first doing Parikrama of Shri Shri Radhakunda and Shyamakunda. While passing by the Jagannatha temple I picked up a map of the Govardhana-parikrama from Svarupadas Babaji. At Govardhana town we stopped to have some refreshments. Just before arriving at Govindakund I consulted the Govardhana-Parikrama map and put it back in my shoulder bag’s front pocket. A little further we came across a bunch of monkeys. One of them quickly approached me and after slipping off the map from the pocket, ran away with it. Later Govindadas strangely found on the ground the
30 roopies of donation given to Svarupadas Babaji upon receiving the map from him. Somehow we managed to finish the parikrama, and were feeling very glad about it.
24 February : Today is Sunday and it is Sri Nityananda Trayodashi, Sri Nityananda’s avirbhava. Lars received Harinam from Sri Anantadas Bababji. When he came back to visit us in the afternoon he happily told us to our great satisfaction that he received the spiritual name Lokanathadas. Today is the opening of the new temple of Shri Shri RadhaVinod and Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji will lecture on this occasion.
25 February : In the morning I biked up to Radhakund to meet Mathura Brahmin, our Panda. On my way back I dropped by at the place of Shri Krishnadas Babaji (a disciple of Tinkadi Goswami Shri Kishori-Kishoranandadasa)). A Bhagavat-saptaha (7 days reading of Shrimad Bhagavatam) was taking place on behalf of the defunct husband of Shashimukhidasi , one of Shri Krishnadasa Babaji’s French disciples. From 5 to 6 P.M I assisted on the last lecture of Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji. All the 3 lectures were focused on Lord Shri Nityananda Prabhu. In the afternoon Lokanathadas came to visit us together with Ekanti Krishnadas, an Italian disciple of Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji, who arrived just recently from Shri Gaura Mandala Bhumi. We heard previously about him from Jahnavidasi but never met him. It was a pleasure to talk with him and we also found out that he does not live far away from Turin. This gives us a future opportunity to also have some sat-sanga when we are in Italy. Today we also got some documentation about urinotherapy, namely the ‘Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi’ (the method of drinking urine to rejuvenate) which is the 7th chapter of the Damar Tantra, a 5000 year old Vedic text.
27 February : Govindadasa came back from the Gauradham hospital were he does service, and related how one Vrajavasi after completing his Govardhan-parikrama today, entered in his house and lay down on his bed. Sometime later his relatives called for him, but after repeated attempts he did not wake up and so they brought him to the hospital. At first sight and without even touching him, Govindadas immediately realised that the man had passed away. He was surprised that his relatives couldn’t figure it out at all.
1st March : Today is a national mourning day. Yesterday 50 Hindus were killed by Mohammedans. All shops including those at Radhakund were closed. In the morning we went to have darshan of Pandit Shri Anantadasa Babaji. Today we plan to travel to Vrindavana but he recommends us to do it tomorrow. I asked him about the nature of the line of Gurus called the Brahma-Madhva-Sampradaya to which Shriman Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Advaita Prabhu connected Themselves through Ishvara Puri and Madhavendra Puri. He answers that it’s an authentic lineage of initiating Gurus, but Shriman Mahaprabhu is Krishna the original supreme personality of godhead, and Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Advaita Prabhu are also supreme personalities of godhead. They actually didn’t need to affiliate themselves with such a lineage starting from Krishna Himself in order to receive the charisma of bhakti (pure devotion to God) channelled through such a Guru-disciple uninterrupted transmission of the Krishna diksha-mantra. Belonging to an absolute status and in this way repositories of absolute bhakti They could have Themselves started new diksha-mantra paramparas, but they didn’t do it, preferring to relish and exemplify to the aspirant bhakti-yogis, the way of receiving bhakti through such a process. Shri Shri Radha-Krishna’s upasana (mode of worship) which was brought and also followed by Shriman Mahaprabhu is unique as it was not at all pursued by anyone before Him. We can see that there is no continuity of shiksha (instruction in a particular mode of worshipping God) from Brahma to Madhavendra Puri (passing through Madhvacharya), as none of these Gurus worshiped Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in the position of a manjar
i (maidservant) of Shrimati Radharani (for exemple Madhvacharya’s upasana of Krishna was conducted through the process of vaidhi-bhakti and Madhavendra Puri was worshipping Shri Shri Radha-Krishna by the way of raganuga-bhakti as a sakhi (girlfriend) of Shrimati Radharani). The meaningful, tangible, spiritually significant thing in the genuine Gaudiya Vaishnava line of Gurus is the uninterrupted mouth to ear transmission of the Krishna-diksha-mantra from Lord Brahma onwards, and the additional siddha pranali together with this new mode of worshipping Shri Shri Radha-Krishna as a manjari from the time of Shriman Mahaprabhu onwards. To tell you frankly, as we can talk of parampara (continuity of transmission of a same thing) in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya only in terms of diksha-mantra, and not of siksha,it is in a strict sense a diksha-mantra-parampara sampradaya (spiritual tradition having an uninterrupted transmission of a specific diksha-mantra) and not a shiksha-parampara sampradaya (spiritual tradition having an uninterrupted transmission of a definite mode of worshipping God).
2nd March : We leave in the morning for Vrindavana. Shashimukhidasi told us that Phalahari Baba knows Krishna Gopal Devacharya, a good Ayur Vedic physician, and so he also comes to take us to him. After having established a proper cure for Karunamayidasi he tells us to pick up the medicines after one week. Unfortunately it is now too late to visit Shri Shri Radharaman and Pishima’s Gaur-Nitai at Vrindavana as we planned, and so we left for Mathura where we purchased some window glasses.
4 March : It’s very late in the evening when Lokanathadas leaves after taking prashad. He came back half an hour later terribly shook up. He said that the doors of the Manipuri temple where he is staying were closed and as no one responded to him, he tried to pass over the front gate. Not seeing the wires due to darkness he touched it with his neck and got such an electric discharge that he lost consciousness falling backwards flat on the ground. We examined him from head to toe. Apart from having stiffness in the neck and feeling strange sensations in his head, he seemed alright. After massaging his neck with a relaxing oil we systematized the necessary so he may take good rest in the kitchen.
8 March : In the morning I approached Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji to discuss about Ananga Manjari dasi to whom our Shri diksha-Gurudeva gave some specific details of her siddha-deha in Shri Shri Radha-Krishna lilas, but not the Krishna diksha-mantra. When at that time Nila Kamalinidasi repeatedly requested Baba to also give the Krishna diksha-mantra, he refused saying that (now) it is not needed and that for her everything, including the Krishna diksha-mantra, is in the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji says that our Gaudiya Vaishnava scriptures uncompromisingly instructs that initiation into the worship of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna is accomplished by receiving from mouth to ear the Krishna diksha-mantra from a bonafide sampradayika-guru. When I asked him what will be the position of our diksha-Guru after she takes the Krishna-diksha-mantra from another Sampradayika-Guru, he replied that because our Gurudeva gave some characteristics of her siddha-deha with some instructions of how to do bhajan, he will be her shiksha-Guru. Although the Guru who will give her the Krishna diksha-mantra will be her diksha-guru, she will still keep the information of her siddha-deha given by our Gurudeva to be used in her bhajan.
9th of March : Early in the morning we left for Vrindavana where we picked up Karunamayidasi’s medicines from Krishna Gopal Devacharya. We then went on and had darshan of Pishima’s Gaur-Nitai. After having parked near the temple, unexpectedly a monkey rushed into the van, jumped on Lokanathadas’s shoulders, then on the floor and ran away with the bag full of bananas. All this happened so quickly that we are unable to understand what was going on. Everything became
clearer to us when we saw the monkey sitting on a shop’s roof, partaking of the bananas with his fellow creatures. At the scene everyone laughed to their brim. Then we continued to the Shri RadhaRaman temple where we are lucky enough to have darshan of Shri RadhaRaman. In celebration of Spring, the inside walls of the temple and its roof were wonderfully hanged with yellow drapes and a yellow canopy respectively. A band of musicians were playing harmonium, tablas and karatalas and singing ecstatically the transcendental Spring-pastimes of sumptuously dressed and ornamented Shri RadhaRaman. Lokanathadasa, who had not even seen a picture of Shri RadhaRaman, enjoyed the darshan. I told him a few days ago the story of Shri RadhaRaman,of the fondness that my Shri Gurudeva expressed for having His darshan, and that night he dreamed of Shri RadhaRaman. He said that although I didn’t specify that the complexion of Shri RadhaRaman is blackish still he saw Him in his dream exactly as He is. Coming out of the temple he stopped at the photo-shop to eagerly purchase a collection of pictures of Shri RadhaRaman. As it was early in the afternoon that we arrived back at Radhakund, we had time to attend from 5 to 6 the last of a series of seven lectures given by Pandit Shri Anantadasa Babaji on behalf of a defunct disciple. As with the previous pathas this one was also preceded from 4 to 5 by a patha by his disciple Vaishnava Pada dasa Babaji.
11 March : On the occasion of our Shri Gurudeva’ Tirobhava (disappearance day anniversary) patha (lecture) will start today at our place. As we couldn’t make it on the 23rd of January for the Tirobhava, this delayed celebration was arranged. Govindadasa and Vasu purchased flowers at Govardhana town from which flower garlands were made. After preparing a very long garland I climb on the samadhi-mandir to have its top decorated with it. Shushil also put on it some kind of Christmas tree garlands of small winking lamps of different colours. As it was just freshly polished, it looked now resplendently white and magic. Many vaishnavas gathered at 5 P.M on the roof terrace of the house, in front of our Shri Gurudeva’s memorial room. As there was no more vacant place, others sat on the stairs, on the different balconies and on the ground floor’s courtyard around the house. A new sound system had been arranged so that even people in the distant could hear the patha. Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji sat on a chair as the pain in his knee does not permit him to sit on the traditional asana in the usual lotus position. After the mangalacharana (reciting of prayers to bring auspiciousness) and doing different rituals he unwrapped the book, Shri Vilapa Kusumanjali from its cloth, opened it at verse 16 and started reading. When I was previously asked by Him on which shlokas I wanted him to lecture on I chose this one and he said that it was a very good one, and that he will also lecture on the two following ones. After the lecture, balya-bhoga was distributed to everyone.
12 March : Today is Tuesday and it is Chaturdashi and Shiva-Ratri. In the morning I went to have Pandit Shri Anantadasa Babaji’s darshan and to check if the arrangements made yesterday for his patha were satisfactory. As he said that there was too much echo in the sound system , I promised him that it would be properly adjusted today. There are some polemics going on, about if Lord Shiva should be worshipped separately, or with Lord Krishna’s prashadi items. When I asked Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji he told me that He should be worshipped with Krishna’s prashadi items. I remembered that my Guru, Shri Krishnadasa Madrasi Baba, was saying that Lord Shiva is much more pleased to receive Lord Krishna’s prashadi items than by being worshipped with ordinary items. At 11 A.M I went to Advaitadasa’s place where he was giving a spoken English translation of one of Pandit Shri Anantadas Babaji’s lectures. In the afternoon we took a walk with Vasu to the nearest Shiva temple to do our Shiva puja. Today the patha started
at 4h 30 P.M, as it was thought more convenient for the vaishnavas living at Radhakunda to not be back too late at their residences. Due to the importance he attached to verse 16, on which he lectured yesterday, Pandit Shri Anantadasa Babaji lectured again on it today. This time the sound system was adjusted properly. After the patha, fruits-balya-bhoga was distributed and then kirtaniyas (singers) assembled in front of the samadhi to perform ‘adhivas-kirtan’. Shivadasa came in the evening to visit us on his way back from Vrindavana, where he is teaching Hindi and English. He is following nirjala vrata (complete fasting including from water). It’s difficult for him to fast in such a way but as his name is Shivadasa and today is a special day for celebrating Shivaratri, he is observing it for Lord Shiva’s pleasure.
13th March : The kirtaniyas came at 6 A.M and started the 24 hour Harinama kirtan session. After a few hours they were replaced by an other group and thus it continued. Around 11 A.M we went to hear Advaita Dasa’s English translation of yesterday’s lecture by Pandit Shri Ananta Dasa Babaji. Today the patha was on verse 17 . Afterwards the cooking preparations for tomorrow’s banquet began. Ladies gathered on the terrace and began cutting vegetables till late into the night.
14th March : The 24-hour Harinam kirtan finished at 6 A.M and a small group, led by someone who held our Shri Gurudeva’s picture, started a Radhakund sankirtana parikrama, which finished with a parikrama of his samadhi. Meanwhile on the terrace of the house cooking was going on. The offering of the bhoga was finished at 11.30 A.M, and then Pandit Shri Anantadasa Babaji, as well as many Babajis, Vrajavasis and others,totalling up to nearly a thousand, took prashad. At 5 P.M, the cleaning of the terrace, the ground floor’s courtyard and all the rooms of the house where prashad had been served, was completed. The place that is now vacant and resounding with peace, seems to be echoing the previous joyful tumult of the Vaishnavas.
15th March : Unfortunately today we had to leave for Italy In the morning. We went to take leave from Pandit Shri Anantadasa Babaji and then proceeded to Advaitadas to hear him translating the lecture of two days ago. At night we found ourselves at the Delhi Airport,our painful hearts yearning for our home, Radhakunda. Our sojourn there seemed to us like an enchanting dream of a transcendental paradise that we had, and it bedazzled us in such a way that we were now sweetly heartbroken. The only thing left is hope that in a very near future we may fall asleep once more and by Shrimati Radharani’s kindness reach Her divine pond in Her dream-like transcendental abode of Vraja-bhumi.
(proofreadings : Ilesh Giridharlal, Advaitadas)