India - Vrindavan, a city of bhakti
I, Nina, have been to Vrindavan already in March for Holi. And in November, Markus followed. We both went on pilgrimages around Vrindavan with our spiritual master, Mahamandaleshwar Sri Swami Vishwananda. For both of us, the pilgrimages have been very special. An experience we hopefully will repeat one day. An experience we cannot put in words. Such a pilgrimage is not about travelling in the outside although one visits holy places. It is more a travel within, a travel towards your soul. A way from the mind towards the heart. We both have not taken any pictures of the pilgrimages. And as it was a very personal experience, we will not write a blog about it. But those of you guys who are interested can contact us via a personal message.
Nevertheless, we want to share some impressions of Vrindavan. Vrindavan is the city where Krishna spend his childhood. It is the city which is full of love - and one can feel this vibe. From the outside, it is a dirty city. There is dust everywhere. Buildings are rundown, around every corner there is rubbish, dirt. The beauty of Vrindavan lies beyond what we see. It is in the heart of the people who come here. Visiting the temples is simply amazing. There is singing, dancing and, over all, a really strong energy. Hard to describe - how can one describe feelings? People in the street greet each other with "Radhe Radhe". Vrindavan is the city of Bhakti. Bhakti is Sanskrit and means "devotion". It is the devotion to God, the devotion to Krishna which is in every corner of the city.
I, Nina, arrived at the end of Markus' pilgrimage. The reason for this was, that Sri Swami Vishwananda was giving a public darshan in Vrindavan 2 days after my arrival. So I took a flight from Switzerland to Dehli and directly went to Vrindavan. I could not have wished a better start for my 6 weeks in India than going to a Darshan of my Guruji. After my arrival in Vrindavan, I made a visit to the Iskcon Temple, This is the temple of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. But after the night flight, I was way too tired and called it an early night. Th next day I was blessed to join the morning abishekam (a ceremony in Hinduism with prayers and mantras) with the pilgrimage group and guruji. It was amazing. Later on I could join the group for a visit of the wedding place of Radha and Krishna. It was a full moon night and it was a really great atmosphere - with the full moon shining over the fields around Vrindavan.
The next day was the day of the darshan. It was simply amazing!!! We are so blessed and so lucky to again and again receive such a huge blessing from a living saint. The following day the pilgrimage of Markus ended. We took the time to visit the construction site of the ashram of Bhakti Marga (Bhakti Marga is the organisation of Sri Swami Vishwananda based in Germany). This new ashram will be opened next year in Vrindavan. Later on we walked some parts of the parikrama (the pilgrimage route around Vrindavan), visited some temples and went shopping.
We both were very sad to leave Vrindavan the next day. Our minds will never understand it, but we lost our hearts in Vrindavan.