Parikrama Is Not Sightseeing
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
[His Divine Grace reiterates and elaborates on Sripad Tyagi Maharaj's Bengali speech:]
Did you understand what Maharaj has just said? The holy dham cannot be seen with these illusory eyes—you can only see with these illusory (mayik) eyes a great building, some water, some soil. When Maya Devi removes the material covering from our eyes, then we will be able to see pure things, we will be able to see the transcendental abode—then it will be Nabadwip Dham parikrama. "We will go and see the dham," "We will go and see Chaitanya Math," "We will go and see Yogapith, Mahaprabhu's birthplace"—if you think like this, then you will never get the darshan of Chaitanya Math, Jagannath mandir, etc. If you feel the urge deep in your heart, "I am going to serve Jagannath!" then you can have the darshan of the dham. We have come here to serve the Lord—we have not come to see the Lord or the Lord's things, we go on this parikrama to serve the Lord—when such mentality comes to you, then it will be the parikrama of the holy abode, then it will be the darshan of the holy abode.
তীর্থযাত্রা পরিশ্রম কেবল মনের ভ্রম,
tirtha-yatra parisrama kevala manera bhrama
"The trouble of visiting holy places is simply a mental delusion—all possible perfection is the feet of Govinda."
(Srila Narottam Das Thakur, "Anya-abhilasa chhadi...")
তীর্থফল সাধুসঙ্গ, সাধুসঙ্গে অন্তরঙ্গ,
tirtha-phala sadhu-sanga, sadhu-sange antaranga,
The result of visiting a place of pilgrimage is sadhu-sanga (pure devotees' association) and being drawn to the exclusive service of Sri Krishna. A place of pilgrimage is where a sadhu (pure devotee) is. Always keep the association of pure devotees and firmly fix your mind by such association.
(Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Kalyan-kalpataru)
A holy place is wherever Vaishnavs are.
Moreover, service of the Lord also cannot be seen with these mundane eyes. Today itself I went to buy something for the devotees, and a car mechanic told Kamalendu, "In Mahaprabhu's time, Mahaprabhu would always go everywhere on foot, then why do you use a car?" Kamalendu replied, "You do not understand—you look at it with material eyes. All things are ingredients for the Lord's service, everything is for the Lord's service, so we use this car for the Lord's service. If Maharaj is invited to go abroad, should he also go there on foot? Planes too must be used in the service of the Lord." Also, the day after tomorrow we are going to Mayapur—are you going to swim across the Ganges or will you take the boat? [His Divine Grace laughs.] Outside people cannot understand these things, they do not understand that everything is meant for the service to the Lord... These things cannot be seen with fleshy eyes.
If you have a strong faith that through the medium of the sadhu we can attain devotion to the Lord, we can attain the qualification to serve the Lord, and we can be able to do the parikrama of the dham, then only can we circumambulate the holy abode of the Lord.
[Following the class of Srila Ashram Maharaj, Sripad Tyagi Maharaj, and Sripad Mahayogi Maharaj:]
Do you understand what Maharajs have told? You must have service mood to do this dham parikrama otherwise only walking is not the parikrama—as much as merely looking at things and buildings with your fleshy eyes is also not the parikrama.
So, everybody should get ready—everybody should wear our Math's caps, tilaks, and Tulasi neck beads tomorrow. Every time we go with the parikrama, I see that sometimes our parikrama is far ahead and some devotees stay behind and go to shops to buy some things for their grandchildren. They worry, "Oh, what shall I get for them? What shall I bring for them? What shall I get for my grandson? What shall I get for my granddaughter?" This is not dham parikrama! If you go worrying about your family, this is not dham parikrama! You must give up all this attachment. You have heard about Sri Vrindavan dham that the dust there is not ordinary dust—it is gopi-pada-renu (the dust from the holy feet of the gopis), so the very dust of this dham parikrama is Vaishnav-pada-renu (the dust from the holy feet of Vaishnavs)—we must take this dust from the holy feet of Vaishnavs on our heads! Also, how will you do this parikrama? Not with your legs. You must do the dham parikrama with your head! Here, you must walk on your head. It means that you must always think about the dust of this dham.
Always remember all these things, and you will be able to do this parikrama.
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