Navadwip, West Bengal, India — Sunday, September 4th

Good fortune

It's so good to be back in the holy association of Srila Gurudeva here at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math on the banks of the Ganges River, in Navadwip. A week ago I was in Eastern Europe, at the Vaishnava Festival in Saint Petersburg and at the Janmastami day inauguration of our newest temple in Kiev...

Now I awake early (before the sun rises over the Ganges), walk over to Srila Gurudeva's veranda to offer my dandavat pranam, spend the whole day by His Divine Grace's side, eating breakfast, lunch, and supper prasadam with him (without offering it!) before retiring at 9:00 p.m. How fortunate I am!

How did I come to this holy Navadwip dham? We are told that Navadwip is more than a geographical location that can be reached by conventional means of transportation: it is an area of consciousness.

And it is not so easy to come here. As Srila Gurudeva informed me in a letter in 1983, we first need the good fortune, the grace of Sri Nityananda Prabhu (the Lord of the Dham) before we can gain entrance into this holy place.

Yet, somehow or the other, I have acquired the good fortune to come here:

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

According to my karma I have been transmigrating through hundreds of thousands of different life forms within these countless material universes (brahmanda bhramite), yet somehow, by the grace of Guru and Krishna (guru-krsna-prasade), I have had the incredibly good fortune (bhagyavan) to accumulate enough spiritual merit (sukriti) to get the seed of good faith (sraddha), and in the association and care of the Vaishnavas (sadhu-sangha), that tiny seed (bija) has germinated in the hard soil of my heart, and the tender, delicate creeper of devotional service (bhakti-lata) has wriggled its way tentatively to the surface.

That's how I came to Navadwip: not by my own endeavor, but by good fortune — by the grace of Sri Guru and Krishna.

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Layout by iMonk — September 4th, 2005.