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Monday, September 15th, 2003

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Eye Exercise

A transcendental workout

We are surrounded by so many temples and deities (Radha Damodar, Radha Madana Mohan), and samadhis (Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami) here in the heart of Vrindavan, at the Sri Rupa Saraswat Sridhar Seva Kunja — everywhere is a place of pilgrimage!

But we have not come here to see the sights (yat-tirtha-buddhih salile): the purpose of a pilgrimage is to hear from the saintly persons (janesv abhijnesu) residing at those holy places. If we visit these places on our own, what shall we see? According to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupad, that kind of "seeing" is merely an "eye exercise."

So we don't run everywhere and anywhere, exercising our eyes, our legs, and our imaginations, but we stay close to the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva. The spiritual world is dark to us (ya nisa sarva-bhutanam) but it is clearly visible to him (tasyam jagarti samyami). By submissively hearing from Srila Gurudeva, we try to get a tiny glimpse of the spiritual reality beneath the holy dham by allowing him to aurally adjust our angle of vision to his perspective.

Everything is here, but it is hidden from our view. The curtain of maya will be lifted (mayam etam taranti) only to the degree that we are surrendered to Srila Gurudeva (mam eva ye prapadyante). If the mercy of Srila Gurudeva is withdrawn, then we have no hope (mama maya duratyaya).

And we have faith in this process, because we know that it works. Once we ate anything and everything, but then Srila Gurudeva taught us prasada seva. Just as Srila Gurudeva taught us to the proper way to eat (yad asnasi) by offering our food to Him (tat kurusva mad-arpanam), so he will also teach us the proper way to see by adjusting our mundane vision to his transcendental vision.

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