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Saturday, September 13th, 2003

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Grave Mistake

Samadhi is not a tomb

We are here with Srila Gurudeva at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and Mission, in the heart of Vrindavan. That is the ostensible name of the Math: at the Deity installation in November 1999, Srila Gurudeva revealed, "This ashram's hidden name is Sri Rupa Saraswat Sridhar Seva Kunja and externally it is Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and Mission."

Guru reveals so many things. Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu's samadhi mandir and bhajan kutir is right next door to our Math, in the courtyard of the Radha-Damodar Temple. Srila Gurudeva recently explained that it is not that Srila Rupa Goswami is buried here, in samadhi, but he is living here, in a meditation mood, in samadhi.

Srila Rupa Goswami's samadhi mandir is not a shrine or the tomb of a saint; rather, Srila Rupa Goswami is dwelling within, engaged in intense bhajan, absorbed in a deep state of profound meditation. Our mundane eyes cannot see this (na drastum anenaiva sva-caksusa); only by the grace of Srila Gurudeva are we allowed to get a brief glimpse of the spiritual reality hidden beneath the material covering (divyam dadami te caksuh).

So we must try to follow the advice of Srila Gurudeva, to try to see the holy dham beneath the external cover, and be careful not to act like tourists, in an enjoying, acquiring mood, with our cameras and our dollars, snapping pictures and souvenirs of the superficial reality while frequenting the many tourist traps at the Loy Bazaar (veni, vidi, visa).

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