Vrindavan, 2017.12.15 (VT): Most Brijwasis feel extremely fortunate to call such a wonderful place home – a place that is inseparable from Lord Krishna and His lilas. Here is an account that Madan Gopal Sharma, a Brajwasi currently living abroad, gave of his understanding of the wonders of Braj:
Sometimes we hear people say that individuals perceive divinity according to their own mindset. From this, it seems that the residents of Vrindavan could choose an identity for the town by democratic election or some similar process. But, the way I see it, it is not that Brijwasis choose Vrindvan’s identity; rather Vrindavan’s identity emanates from them.
It is the easy-going attitude of Brijwasis that helps them focus on Thakurji. Even when Mathura is being ruled by the tyrant Kamsa and Sri Krishna is off being being the King of Dwarka, Brijwasis remain cool calm and collected. That is their nature.
Lord Krishna Himself came to Vrindavan to enjoy a simple life. As Vishnu, He is Lord of Vaikuntha, the place where fantasies come true. But, He preferred to enjoy the simple pleasures of life in Vrindavan.
Lord Krishna enjoyed being decorated with cowdung by the gopis in Gokul. He ran barefoot after cows, He danced on the banks of the Yamuna and lifted Goverdhan to protect the residents of Braj.
As soon as the time came to enter politics, Sri Krishna went to Mathura, but he always lamented for Vrindavan, as he told his friend Uddhava. The major fights and struggles, and the bloodshed of the Mahabharat war, all happened far away from Lord Krishna’s peaceful lilas in Vrindavan.
Beginning with Uddhava, the pride of many great scholars has vanished upon reaching Vrindavan. Even Lord Shiva becomes willing to be a gopi and takes on the form of Gopeshwar in order to gain admittance to Krishna’s Vrindavan lila.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji advised devotees to become more humble than a straw in the street, because, when we are entangled in the labyrinth of material pursuits, we miss out on the opportunity to understand and enjoy the bliss of Sri Vrindavan Dham. The bliss of Vrindavan has been experienced by Sri Haridas, Sri Hit Harivanshji, Sri Prabodhanand Saraswatiji, Sri Hridaya Bon Maharaj, Sri Bhakti Vedanta Prabhupadaji, Sri Hariram Vyasji and Sri Shyamdasji, among others.
Vrindavan’s identity is eternal. It is our obligation and joyful duty to maintain it to the best of our abilities. If we start criticizing the residents of the Dham, it is likely that we have become victims of material arrogance, which reduces our eligibility to experience bliss. If we are not getting bliss, we will lose our focus and become distracted from our spiritual duties. We will lose sight of our goal, which is to meditate on the Lord and, by doing so, inspire our fellow human beings. So, if anything I have said has offended any of the residents of Vrindavan, my sincere apologies. My intention is only to ensure a strong identity for Vrindavan – the most spiritual and blissful place on earth.
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