June at the Coventry Hare Krishna Temple. It was a beautiful sunny day. I knew it was
going to be a special day. A group of devotees from the Leicester Temple went in convoy
and arrived at the temple, which was richly decorated in all the colours of the rainbow.
The deities were dressed so splendidly and they were playing kartals. There were flowers
and leaves beautifully arranged around the shrine.
there just in time to greet and do kirtan for His Holiness Sivarama Swami. We threw flower
petals at his feet and chanted. He was a tall man in saffron robes with a closely shaven
head and glasses carefully placed on his nose. He walked with grace and great gentleness
in his gestured manner. We sang a song and all sat around eagerly to listen to the
Venu-gita, which is all about Sri Krishnas pastimes in Vrndavan as in Srimad
Bhagavatam, 10th Canto, chapter 21.
The teaching was complete nectar. It was the story of Sri Krishna
who was asked to kill the demon Kamsa, who plagued His parents Vasudeva and Devaki.
Therefore He stayed with them for a while at Mathura. But Sri Krishna missed his other
parents and Radha and the cowherd boys and the gopis. It brought Him to tears.
Uddhava, a dear friend and
cousin of Krishna, asked what the matter was. Krishna had to stay because He had not seen
His parents, Vasudeva and Devaki, for a long time. So He sent Uddhava to Vrndavan with
letters to give to His parents, the cowherd boys and the gopis.
In Vrndavan everybody was sad because Krishna was not there. Even the cows
were sad. Uddhava went and took these letters to everyone. The cowherd boys read their
letters and then they started to cry and cry, which made the cows cry too. To console them
Uddhava told them he would beg Krishna to come back. This cheered them up a lot. He then
took letters to Krishnas other parents, Nandha and Yashoda. Nandha was very calm,
but Uddhava could see he was disturbed by the letter. Yashoda ranted and raved like a
woman possessed and to console them he made the same promise, namely to bring Krishna back
Uddhava took the last letters to Radha and the gopis. Radha did
not even open her letter. She wept tears of sadness until she fainted. The gopis cried
too. They fanned Radha who came round and started crying again. So Uddhava by this time
was crying too but through his tears he gave the same promise that he would beg Krishna to
Off he went in a big
chariot. When he got to Mathura he could see that Krishna was still sad. He threw himself
at Krishnas lotus feet and begged Him to go back to Vrndaban. In a few days Krishna
did go back to Vrndaban. There were lots of celebrations, singing and dancing.
All this was told with such joy and explained in such detail. To know more
about Krishnas pastimes, the forest of Vraja and other stories you had better get
the book. His Holiness Sivarama Swami led the arati with such vigour; it was very
energetic and full of joy for Sri Krishna.
The beautiful prasadam was served outside in a small marquee. The
evening was warm and the air was full of joyful talking and the sweet smell of prasadam.
The whole evening was a real gem. I am so glad that I am able to pass some part of this
day on to you.