My left eye had been twitching for more than a week. I remember reading somewhere that it either means “Good omen” or “Bad omen” depending on which eye was twitching. I shrugged off the thought that it could mean “Bad Omen” and decided to simply depend on Krishna for whatever that comes my way.
“Your pulse rhythms are different now, it’s not the rhythm for Rhematoid Arthritis anymore. You are now anemic”, my Ayurvedic doctor told me when I visited him. My body had felt exhausted the last few days and I was simply sleeping most of the times. The Ayurvedic medicine seemed to help a great deal, so I was happy to be able to make it to the Kajang farm for the Govardhan festival.
I had started reciting the “Nrsimha Kavacha” prayers for HH Jayapataka Swami daily and did that before going to Kajang. The farm is about 40 mins drive from Kuala Lumpur. It is surrounded with equatorial rainforest trees, thick green shrubs, and there’s a little waterfall just as you enter the farm area. Not much development in this place except for the simple house and a small vegetable plot erected by the devotees here, and a shed for the cows. Very quiet, serene and peaceful. An ideal place to chant and getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. One can lead a very sattvic life here.
The air is fresh and there’s a lingering smell of fresh cow dung in the atmosphere. I remember coming here a couple of years back with my children who were having running nose at that time. However, the running nose miraculously disappeared after a couple of hours in the farm.
“Now, practically, in India they accept it, and it has been found by chemical examination that the cow dung contains all antiseptic properties. That is a fact. One Dr. Goshal, he analyzed in his laboratory, “Why this Vedic injunction is the stool of cow or cow dung is pure?” So he analyzed, and he found it that the stool of cow, cow dung, is full of antiseptic properties.”-Lectures Srimad-Bhägavatam 7.9.10 July 9, 1968 Montreal
The festival started off with Go-Puja, prayers to the beloved cows of Sri Krishna. The cows were decorated with kum-kum palm-prints and garlands. They were fed with local fruits like bananas. mangoes and papayas. They seemed to enjoy the papayas so much that some cows refused the bananas that was offered to them, insisting on the papayas. The children had a field day feeding the cows. You rarely see cows in the city these days.
Under a canopy nearby, little Krishna stood majestically holding a little hill made of halava and sweetmeats, with his left hand. He was made from cow-dung and the hill had a face drawn on it with a crown. On top of that was Sri Giriraj, a Govardhana sila which is a rock from the Govardhan hill in Vrindavana.
He said , “In Govinda-lilamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami states that Govardhana Hill is shaped like a peacock and that Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda are its eyes. Dan Ghati and Manasi Ganga are its long neck. Mukharavinda is the mouth, Kusuma Sarovara its face, and Punchari is its back and tail feathers. A peacock often curves its neck and puts his head under its stomach. Govardhana Hill is thus shaped in this pose of a peacock.”
Followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu worship Krishna in a small stone form (Govardhana sila) representing Mount Govardhan, with a gunja mala (garland) around it representing Radharani. It is said that the child Krishna was inseparable from his favourite gunja maala which was said to represent Radha.” This mythology has made the Gunjā (Abrus precatorius) seeds – the bright red seed of a fig tree – also a favourite for native jewellery.
The sweet singing of Sri Govardhanastaka and Damodarastaka followed after the lecture. Then it was time for offering of ghee lamps to Lord Damodara.
Eight Prayers Glorifying Govardhana Hill
- May Govardhana Hill, which by Krsna’s mercy became the king of all mountains and received the respectful tribute of its arch-enemy Indra, fulfil my desire.
- As it was held above the earth it became so filled with happiness by experiencing the softness of its beloved Krsna’s lotus hand it did not even know it was being struck by Indra’s thunderbolt. May Govardhana Hill fulfil my desire.
- Trying to collect a toll, Krsna quarrelled there with King Vrsabhanu’s daughter. The personified Vedas yearn to listen to that quarrel. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.
- Bathing in a nearby lake, the elephant of a pleasant breeze, covered with pollen of kadamba and other flowers, gracefully plays there. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.
- How is it that sweet fragrance of the musk deer and the various natural scents there make the Lord so calm and relaxed? May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.
- Searching there for Lord Hari on the path of His flute music, the astonished deer do not find Him. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.
- As the divine couple travelled on the Ganges there the boat began to sink in the middle. Krsna was splendidly handsome as Radha clung to his neck. May Govardhana Hill fulfil my desire.
- Without taking shelter of the feet of the hill that is the best of Lord Hari’s servants and full of love for the divine king and queen, how is it possible to attain pure devotional service? May Govardhana Hill fulfil my desire.
- May the reader of these eight verses glorifying Lord Hari’s greatest servant, his heart melting with pure love, quickly attain direct service to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava.
The sun was really hot by now and many elderly ladies stood in the long queue waiting for their turn to show the lamp. I decided to help by lighting the ghee lamps for them. The glories of lighting another’s lamp flashed in my mind.
“O tiger of kings, a person who in Lord Krishna’s temple lights the lamps that others will offer during the month of Karttika becomes free from the tortures of Yamaraja.” – Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa
As I was handing out the lighted lamps to devotees, HG Ekadeva prabhu shouted out, “Mataji, fire!” His eyes looked frightened and anxious. I looked at where he was staring and realized that my shawl which I wore over my blue Churida had caught fire. I quickly took it off my shoulder and gave it a swift beat in the air before putting it on again and continued lighting the lamps for the devotees. I had not seen a little clay pot lamp lighted just where I was standing at the table, along with all the other unlit clay lamps. My shawl must have caught fire when I leaned over to light the lamps.
Later HG Udar Krishna prabhu remarked, “You were quite cool there, simply whisking off the fire and then continuing what you were doing, weren’t you? We were all quite fazed by what we saw.”
I looked at my shawl and then realized that there were three big holes in it, but my Churidar suit had just a little stain. The flames did not even touch me. I could have been burnt with third degree burns by the quick flames on my shawl. I shuddered at the thought.
It must be the Nrsimha Kavaca prayers I did for HH Jayapataka Swami that saved me. I only started saying this prayers for him daily since he was hospitalized. Somehow that prayer had saved me.
Two years back he visited our house just before attending a Ratha Yatra in Klang. I was lucky to serve him and pour the water to wash his feet. I showed him some photo clips of the Day-Camp program I did with the children in my neighborhood in our house. He seemed pleased and said I should take it on a National level and work with the Hindu Society here. It was too much for me to chew. My bad health will never allow me to do that.
I handed him a letter which he must have read in the car while traveling to Klang. In the letter, I wrote…..
“You are such a kind hearted and gentle person that I have seen. Your compassion knows no bounds and your energy level always seem to rise to serve the Lord. I have always felt that the only reason you came back to this world, is to deliver as many souls as you can. You remind me of a young gopa always engaged in the service of Krishna.
Recently when I read the e-mail about your health, I felt a dent in my heart never experienced before. I didn’t even cook that day. A day later, I had a dream. In that dream, my children and I were walking and suddenly we saw you sitting on a vyasana with surrounded by a couple of brahmacaris. We quickly paid our obeisances thinking of our good fortune that we actually managed to see you now that you were ill and the devotees don’t get a chance to see you so often as before.
As we got up, I saw that you had lost weight and you told us how happy you were to see the performances of the children when you were here during the KL Sammelan.
I walked up and handed out my hand and said,” Please take care of yourself” as streams of tears rolled out my eyes. You took me with one of your hand and hugged me. Tears flowed down my cheeks like torrents of rain and I said, “It dented my heart when I heard about your health.” You looked at me and said “You have such a caring heart.” That was the end of the dream.
It was my first dream of you and I felt a link to you I never felt before. Even though I am not your disciple, our common birthdate 9th April, is another thing that makes me feel I have an eternal link to you.”
During the Klang Yatra, he came over to where I was standing and said, “You know, the link we have is in our names”. “Jaya” means victory. Prayers to HH Jayapataka Swami saved me from the flames.
“O Nrsimhadeva, whose form is terrible, by sharp and long teeth, very fearful to see with strong large nails, garlanded by flames – destroy, destroy my obstacles, and kick out, kick out my fear. Scatter, scatter my enemies, destroy, destroy my karma. Flash, flash, Kill, kill! Cut Cut! Ever fulfill, ever fulfill all my desires to serve you. Safeguard and safeguard me and all around me!”
The twitching of my left eyes must have meant only one thing – auspiciousness. Read this interesting extract of a pastime between Sri Radhika and Krishna
Following the order of his mother, Abhimanyu then carries the box towards Sri Radhika’s bedroom.
Seeing the large box upon Abhimanyu’s head as he carries it in, Lalita and all the other sakhis and dasis perk up and feel supreme bliss. Sri Radhika’s left eyelid, arm, breast and thigh began to vibrate and twitch. Because of that, Sri Radha gleefully addresses Lalita,
“Hey Sakhi! This abode of My mother-in-law is completely pervaded only with the most depressing, miserable suffering—so how is it that My left eyelid, arm, breast and thigh are suddenly dancing without any reason? It seems as if there is no possibility whatsoever of observing such an auspicious sign here, what to speak of obtaining the benediction of such a sign come true as long as I am trapped here in this horrible place.”
Lalita replies, “Sri Radhe! I can only guess that within this box is a most fascinating Manohara-ornament (1. ornaments made of the best of fascinating jewels, or 2. Manohara, the mind-enchanting Sri Krishna). Your limbs twitched as an auspicious indication of obtaining such a rare gift. Hey Sakhi! This type of twitching is only indicative of obtaining the absolute zenith of good fortune!”
Note: Photos taken under the red and white canopy where the Govardhan-puja took place had a hue of red on it. For better clarity I converted them to black and white photos.