Trails and Messages
I left New Vrindavan today. It is a pilgrimage place designed specifically to encourage meditation on Krishna. My visit had expired and I made sure that I had a minute or so to express to the new management under the able guidance of Jai Krishna, a devotee from Switzerland, that this meditation can be enhanced if there was the development of nature trails on the property. Pilgrims could come anticipating treks through nature's foliage.
"Let the city folks have a real retreat, see God's country, have a good workout and above all be in an atmosphere conducive to spiritual consciousness. These trails would be a great place to chant."
I suggested the same to Radhanatha Swami, an American monk who spent a good portion of life here in the seventies. He then suggested light heartedly, "I guess you'll need to spend more time here." "I don't know about that," I responded, thinking I'm spread out thinly enough with the continual travels.
I left with Akhilananda and Madhavendra Puri of Toronto for Cleveland. Once we arrived at the city's east end at the home of Krishnanandini and Tariq, we sat to discuss verse 2:45 from the gita. The divine words of Krishna amplify the intent to go beyond the numbers 2 and 3. The figure 2 refers to the dualities of life - hot and cold, good and bad, praise and defamation, etc. The figure 3 refers to the three conditions of life - goodness, passion and ignorance.
Krishna is saying to Arjun (and to us essentially) to rise above the 2 and the 3. This is where the word 'transcendence' is most applicable. The message is that we must go beyond and become truly divine. It's a message that the gathering in Cleveland so much enjoyed listening to, and it's something that always needs reminding.