At the Temple of Adi Haridev
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
By the mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma we have come with the parikrama here at the temple of Sri Adi Haridev. Vajranabha, a great-grandson of Lord Krishna, installed three main Deities in Vrindavan Dham—Adi Keshav, Adi Gopal, and Adi Haridev. Adi Gopal is the Deity who was later found by Srila Madhavendra Puripad. Adi Keshav is in Mathura, inside the birthplace of Lord Krishna. And Adi Haridev is at this place in Govardhan. Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita describes why this place is special, I will read from there a little later.
When Sriman Mahaprabhu did Vrindavan parikrama, He stayed here at this nat mandir (He slept here) for three nights. Some of you may find it difficult to sit on the stone floor, but before there used to be no stone, and Mahaprabhu spent three nights here. As I have said, the Deity of Adi Haridev in this temple was installed by Krishna's great-grandson (prapautra) more than five thousand years ago.
When we go for the parikrama tomorrow, we will also come to see Govardhan-dhari Gopal (His temple is near Govinda Kunda). This Deity was also installed by Krishna's great-grandson and was later found and re-established by Srila Madhavendra Puri. The third Deity, Adi Keshav, is in Krishna's birthplace in Mathura. Many go there to see the prison house of Kamsa, people are attracted by the jail of Kamsa, but people do not go to see Adi Keshav—it is necessary to take the darshan of Adi Keshav when you go there. We find these three Deities installed by Vajranabha are mentioned and given honour to by Mahaprabhu, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, and in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita also.
When Mahaprabhu came here, He would sing a song here. What song was that? [His Divine Grace chants the following kirtan:]
As we have come here, we must also chant Mahaprabhu's kirtan here. When Mahaprabhu came here, He chanted the glories of Krishna, and when we come here, must chant the glories of Mahaprabhu. [His Divine Grace chants the following kirtan:]
Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami
Maharaj ki jay
I have already told you what place we have come to. This is the temple of Haridev. Every year when we do Govardhan parikrama we come here to offer our obeisance following the order of our Guru-varga. After that, we will continue to Chakleshwar Mahadev and Manasi Ganga—we will take some water on our heads and from tomorrow we will start the parikrama of Govardhan.
Do not be afraid. The parikrama of Govardhan is about fourteen crosh (twenty-eight miles, or forty-five kilometres). The shape of Govardhan resembles a peacock. Actually, devotees used to do the entire parikrama of Govardhan three-four times every day, but new devotees come, they cannot walk twenty-eight miles in one day, so many become afraid and decide not to come for this parikrama. Everybody must come and do this parikrama. If we started out in the morning, we could do easily do the whole of the parikrama in one day and return in the evening, but we do not want to do it one day, that is why we have divided the parikrama into two days. Those who cannot walk can also hire some van or rikshaw and go along with us. Do not worry, come for the parikrama—if you come and chant Krishna-kirtan, you can easily do it. If you keep thinking about material things, about your mother, etc., you will not be able to make even one step; but if you go chanting Krishna-kirtan, you can easily walk not only twenty-eight miles, but even one hundred miles.
Srila Sanatan Goswami used to stay at Govardhan (we will go to his bhajan kutir today) and would do the parikrama of Govardhan every day—he would circumambulate Govardhan even in his old age, when he had become very old. One day, his disciple, or you can say his younger brother, Srila Rupa Goswami said, "Prabhu, you have become very old now, how will you do this parikrama of fourteen crosh?" Saying this, Srila Rupa Goswami brought a Govardhan sila and gave it to Srila Sanatan Goswami. After that, Srila Sanatan Goswami did the parikrama of a Govardhan sila instead.
Our Gurudev is very merciful. Some devotees wanted to do this parikrama, and Gurudev installed the Deity of Giriraj Govardhan (Anu Giriraj) in the temple that you have seen today—the temple where we stayed and paid our obeisance first. This temple was established by our Gurudev. Giriraj Govardhan manifested suddenly when a tractor was ploughing the land for the cultivation of wheat. Gurudev called a Giridhari panda (priest) and asked him to have a look at the sila. The priest confirmed that it was Govardhan, and after that Gurudev made a small room and installed that Govardhan sila there. Later, he made the big temple you see now. Those who stay at our temple can easily go and do Govardhan parikrama four times a day, but it is also necessary to serve the temple—if you leave the service at the temple and go out wandering around Govardhan, this is not your duty. Gurudev has installed Govardhan sila in the temple, and you must do the parikrama there, you must serve the temple. It is not necessary to go around Govardhan every day. To go in the morning, walk all day, come back tired and go to sleep—this is not our line. Gurudev gave us the temple and we must serve the temple.
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur tell us that we have not come to this society, to Krishna consciousness, to become a Vaishnav—we do not want to become a Vaishnav or a great personality, all we want is to be a servant of a servant of a Vaishnav. This is our hope. If somebody says, "I am a Vaishnav," then they are not a Vaishnav; but if somebody says, "I am a servant, a menial servant of a Vaishnav," then they are a Vaishnav. Even Radharani and Her associates, Vraja gopis, say, "We do not have any devotion to Krishna." When Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was at Radha Kunda, he did not discuss Vraja gopis' devotion there—what did he discuss? He discussed Prahlad Maharaj's devotion. Vraja gopis have so much devotion to Krishna, but they say, "We have no devotion to Krishna. We do not have any devotion at all compared to Prahlad Maharaj." They are very humble. Those who have such humility are the highest Vaishnavs. Everybody says that gopis are the greatest devotees, but they themselves say that they do not have any devotion! You must understand these things.
'আমি ত' বৈষ্ণব', এ বুদ্ধি হইলে
"ami ta' vaisnava," e-buddhi ha-ile,
"If I think, 'I am a Vaishnav,' then I will never stop expecting honour from others (I will never become void of the desire for honour)."
(Kalyan-kalpataru, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
"I have become a Vaishnav!"—if such feeling comes to you, then you will not be able to give honour to others.
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