My family and I recently went to India for vacation, visiting family, and most importantly to visit the Holy Dham. We flew from Dallas International, through London and Dubai and finally arrived in New Delhi.
Vrndavan was absolutely wonderful. The weather was incredible. Cool at night and through the morning and warming up to around 70 degrees by mid day. Unfortunately, my wife (Gopi Gita dasi) and the kids got pretty sick the first week in Vrndavan. I decided to take advantage and spend as much time at the Krishna Balaram Mandir. Every morning there is an ecstatic morning program followed by Bhajans in the temple room.
One day I took my older son (Vraja Kishor) to the Yamuna. Along the Parikrama Margh road, there is a Tamal Krishna Maharaj Memorial Park. We also passed Kaliya Ghat and other famous places in Vrndavan. Once at the Yamuna we took a boat ride to the other side and took bath in the Yamuna.
Temple along the Yamunua and the Yamuna at sunset.
Another day, we went to Govardhan. Of course we passed Kusum Sarovara and at another spot we fed a huge gathering of monkeys. The kids definitely had fun doing that. Since most of us were sick, we did Govardhan Parikrama via car. It felt odd doing so, but it was really the only way we were going to be able to do it.
After nearly a week in Vrndavan (not nearly enough time!) we then took a flight down to Kolkatta followed by a drive to Mayapur. Unfortunately, Mayapur was my time to get sick. So, I spent my week in Mayapur between my room and the temple. I was not up for going our to any of the many wonderful sites like the Yoga Pita. I did spend quite a bit of time in the temple itself and was able to record a number of Bhajans and of course the morning lectures.
Each night there were amazing bhajans in the Panchattatva Temple. One night I felt well enough to go down and record. That night, Aindra Prabhu sang for over an hour followed by Naru Gopal Prabhu singing for nearly two hours. During Naru Gopal Prabhu's bhajan, Bhakti Marg Swami engaged many of the devotees some amazing "fancy dance" moves. I got a few of them on my video of that bhajan. Both of these bhajans were incredible. Hundreds of devotees attended. 4+ Mrdangas, tons of Kartals, Wompers, etc. Everyone was singing at the top of their lungs. Absolutely amazing!
Naru Gopal Prabhu
Bhakti Margh Swami
You can watch the Bhajans and Lectures I recorded while in India from my blog. That link takes you to just the recordings I did in India. Definitely take a look at the lecture by Sivaram Swami on Tamal Krishna Goswami's Dissapearance day and the Bhajans by Naru Gopal Prabhu, Aindra Prabhu, and the other Mayapur devotees. They were absolutely amazing!
After a week in Mayapur it was time for me to return back to the material world and get back to work. It always seems like one can never get enough time to spend in the Holy Dham.
- Rupa Madhurya Das