Tune In, Go Deep

Tune In, Go Deep

By Ananta Gopal Das | Head Pujari (Priest) at Bhaktivedanta Manor

Bhaktivedanta Manor temple is a famous holy place where saintly devotees gather to glorify and serve Radha Gokulananda.

I’m taking great pleasure in walking around the temple grounds and meditating on my good fortune to be able to live here.

People living in the temple are true dhamvasis (residents of the holy place).

Animals residing here are also not ordinary souls but most probably great yogis from previous lives.

As we enter through the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple main gate, we notice the footpath on the right side of the road. For an advanced devotee, this is a parikrama road (sacred walk) on which many sages, invisible to our eyes, are daily performing dandavat parikrama (a sacred journey, offering prostrations on the ground with respects to the sacred place).

From Srimad Bhagavatam, we understand that wherever the deity of Krishna is worshipped with proper procedures, that place is considered a holy Tirtha (a sacred place of pilgrimage). Sadhus (holy people) and celestial beings (demigods) are always present in those places.

Going a little further, on the left side of the road, we will notice fields full of cows – but not ordinary cows. Those cows are Kamadhenu cows (divine cows) – their horns inlaid with gold, their bodies decorated with natural paints and their necks beautified with large bells and colourful cloth. Those cows can fulfil any desire and bestow great blessings.

As we drive closer to the temple, we will notice red chimneys from the temple building appearing above the trees. Devotees whose hearts are decorated with devotion to the Lord will instead see the golden temple domes, with Chakra on the top, rising high into the sky as if wanting to touch the sun.

Then, as we park the car and come out, we will hear loud temple bells ringing, announcing the arati ceremony, accompanied by kirtan and chanting of sacred mantras.

Everywhere around the temple, many sadhus are doing bhajans, performing parikrama around the Deities, and praising the glories of the Lord.

As we enter the temple room, we will notice sadhus from various spiritual groups worshipping Radha Gokulananda with great devotion.

Some of them sit in the lotus posture in front of the shrine and chant sacred mantras, whilst others are chanting the maha mantra, accompanied by expert mridanga players.

There are also those sadhus who sit at the back of the temple room, next to Srila Prabhupada, offering prayers to the spiritual master with great feeling.

Some sadhus are dancing, others are sitting, some are crying tears of joy, whilst others are smiling in bliss. Some sadhus prefer to offer silent prayers, whilst others enjoy singing devotional songs for the pleasure of the Lord.

Temple priests attentively worship the Lord with fragrant incense, ghee lamps, holy water, silk cloth and fans, all while chanting sacred mantras with deep absorption.

Bhaktivedanta Manor Dham is truly a sacred place, non-different from Vrindavan. Everything we require to make spiritual perfection is there.

If we tune in deeply into spiritual practice, we will experience much more than the eye can perceive.

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.29 – “Auspicious indeed are the places where there is a temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, in which He is duly worshiped, and also the places where there flow the celebrated sacred rivers mentioned in the Puranas, the supplementary Vedic literatures. Anything spiritual done there is certainly very effective.”