This month, in November, I’m attending two retreats right at the foot of the sacred Govardhan Hill in Sri Vrindavan Dham. There is a very rare and elusive animal that lives only in this area called a nilgai, or a blue cow. It has the legs of a deer and the body of a cow. It’s kind of blueish gray colored. Kind of an Indian version of a unicorn. It’s considered a great fortune to see one. Once many years ago before Vrindavan was so built up I saw one running across the road. We were watching a whole herd of them walking on top of the Govardhan Hill while we were having our sanga. So rare and beautiful!
Once Radha asked Krsna to create a place for their personal pastimes. With a love-laden glance from Krsna’s heart, He created a seed that manifested His love and created the Govardhan Hill where there are many caves that are like palaces inside where Radha and Krishna have their own private pastimes. For people in the Bhakti tradition, it’s considered to be the most sacred place in the universe. Coming here is like an investment in eternity. Coming to such a holy place brings one’s past belief or knowledge to a place of experience that empowers us and sustains us in times of difficulty. My intention has been to try to awaken to the reality of the pure Holy Name and Holy Dham. The material mind is a gift of the material energy to make me think that I am the center of existence. If I can hear one Hare Krishna mantra beginning with the word Hare, I am so fortunate. Be determined to confront the mind, this is the easiest way to learn humility: I need help! Humility means taking shelter of Krishna. Krishna is there when we are in that mood. Let every distraction in chanting help us to beg for help! Krishna is not different from his name, but His name is more merciful than Krishna Himself.
Radha and Krishna on Govardhan Hill painting by Vrindavan Das