Each year on our wedding anniversary, our family used to plan celebrations either by taking a holiday or gifting lavish items. But after joining ISKCON, I wanted to celebrate my eleventh wedding anniversary falling on 29 March 2009, with Lord Krishna. I soon learned that the Delhi devotees had organized a trip to Vrindavana on March 28 29. We decided to join them.
We started early morning from Delhi on 28 March. There was a different feeling within my heart. Repeatedly I could visualize a welcome smile on the lips of Lord Krishna and Radharani, as if They were eagerly waiting for all of us to come and join Them in Vrindavana.
On reaching ISKCON Vrindavana, we paid our homage to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and proceeded towards Sri Sri Krishna Balarama for Their mercy. I could see how happy Lord Krishna and Radharani were on seeing us at Vrindavana. They wore the same smile that I had been visualizing throughout the journey.
After breakfast, Vicitra Krishna Prabhu and Shyama Krpa Mataji led us to different temples and samadhis in Vrindavana. We got the association of His Holiness Bhakti Dhira Damodara Swami and His Holiness Bhakti Vasudeva Swami, who showered us with the nectar of Krishna katha. In their association, I got the motivation to observe Ekadasi fast more strictly and read Srimad Bhagavatam regularly. I could also make out the difference between hearing about Lord Krishna from the lips of bona fide speaker and that of a Mayavadi.
Vicitra Krishna Prabhu explained in his talk the importance of chanting and the need to take shelter of Lord. He said we should think we are trapped in a ship that is about to capsize. In such a desperate situation, we can intensely chant the maha mantra. As I chanted, I saw bright sunrays behind the clouds. When I closed my eyes, I felt the Lord saying, “Release your hands from the ship as I have come to save you.” Immediately I opened my eyes and realized that Lord Krishna is instructing us to break the shackles of this material world and come back to Him.
Bathing in the Yamuna River was also a part of the parikrama, but as I had already bathed, I thought I would avoid bathing in the River. My young daughter, however, insisted to bathe in Yamuna, so I had to accompany her till the ghata with her clothes. When we boarded the boat, the sky suddenly was overcast with thick clouds and there was a heavy downpour. We were completely drenched by the time we crossed the River. I realized it was Lord Krishna’s arrangement for me to take bath.
This tour was highly encouraging and was a step forward in my spiritual life. After returning to Delhi, I felt my heart was still there, lost in Vrindavana.