Welcome to the most sacred corner of the Universe, Sri Vrindavan Dham. This one of a kind place is also known as Bhauma Vrindavan, the place on Earth where Sri Krishna carried out his deepest and most intimate pastimes, whose incomparable sweetness (lila-madhurya) has the potential and intention to attract visitors to a life of divine service.
Although our material senses may be limited to perceiving the relativity of Vrindavan, the ancient Vedas reveal that every aspect of the Dham (holy place) consists of cit-sakti, or conscious transcendental substance, which can manifest before us in a seemingly crude or ordinary form (aprakrita), with the sole purpose of helping us understand the reality beyond our typical perception: a pure and divine existence, based on spontaneous love free from selfishness and excessive calculation (jnana-sunya bhakti).
At an external level, arriving to Vrindavan can implicate days of international travel, but in reality, a soul that makes it to a place like this, only does so after millions and millions of lives, a considerable journey in which the being has searched in numerous directions before arriving home. Vrindavan is an exceptional corner of the universe that the ultimate expression of the Absolute chose as His dwelling, blessing every soul that sincerely desires to follow the footsteps vrajavasis (dham residents) and embrace the unique spirit of devotional service.
These few words (along with hundreds of verses in Vedic scriptures that glorify the Dham) aim to provide us with an idea of the infinite greatness of the personal abode of Lord Krishna. A better understanding of the significance of Vrindavan will provide a more inspiring experience to anyone aspiring to visit. Our spiritual masters have left us a series of recommendations to consider before visiting Vrindavan.
First, one must understand in advance that the sole purpose of visiting a holy place is that the influence of such a place will bring us closer to purity and truth.
Therefore, when we chose to stay in such places, it’s fundamental that we make our best effort maintain a proper attitude, both internally and externally.
Externally, it is suggested to avoid anything that could alter the peaceful atmosphere of the Dham and of our own spiritual practice (pratikulyasya varjanam). For example, we should avoid the consumption of any harmful substances that may disturb our minds and senses and could lead to violence in any form in connection with the dham residents. Additionally, we should avoid nurturing desires for enjoyment without considering the consequences that they may generate on the environment. Such trends can be easily counteracted by various aspects of bhakti, all of which point to the favorable cultivation (anukula) of devotion (Krsna-anusilanam). Most notably we are encouraged to spend time with those sadhus who further beautify the already charming nature of the Dham, listen to their lectures, chanting the holy names and try to serve these elevated souls to the best of our ability.
If we are sincere in our attempt to serve in a place as powerful as Vraja, the fruits we reap there will be unimaginable and incomparably superior to any other result we obtain through other activities.
As the word implies, “Vraja” means constant motion, continuous adaptation to an environment where everything flows at a pace that our rational minds cannot understand. We may tend to experience doubts at every steps, but we are advised to allow ourselves to get carried away by the magic and power of Vrindavan. When there are unanswered questions in our hearts that hinder our proper appreciation of this sacred place (which there surely will be), we are recommended to consult an advanced practitioner as soon as possible, in order to avoid confusion and unnecessary criticism that may deviate us from the correct appreciation of our surroundings.
Under the guidance of Guru, sastra and sadhu, make your best effort to approach the Dham with the proper visión (sevya-darsana), viewing everything in terms of service. Attempt to pray for the mercy of the Lord before our inner eyes reveal the true form of the Dham, which will gradually emerge as we awaken the bhakti within us.
Swami B.V. Padmanabha