Our first pilgrimage to Vrindavan was in the winter of 1986; we numbered 22, all novices, and Radhanath Swami was our transcendental tour guide. It was a three day tour. We visited temples on the first day, circumambulated Govardhan Hill on the second, and visited Barsana and Nandagaon on the third.
20 December 2010 to 1 January 2011. Radhanath Swami and some of his followers were on a pilgrimage to South India.
The management committee of the pilgrimage stood on ever-shifting sands. The decisions they took were in a constant state of flux, for the logistics of the tour were mind boggling.
Our little group made a curious sight for the local villagers: though clad in traditional Vedic attire—dhoti and kurta—we had red sports-cap on. We security volunteers wore them to distinguish ourselves from the other pilgrims during this pilgrimage to Vrindavan.
Rice paddies stretched out on all sides. We scurried—one behind the other—along the narrow bank that enclosed the swampy paddy fields, heading towards Malhar Kund way ahead of Radhanath Swami and the other thousand-odd pilgrims. Before they arrived there we had to search out a suitable location for Radhanath Swami to sit and discourse,
In 1993, a nine year old reached a safe haven—the Lady Nothcote Hindu Orphanage. He was rescued from the perils of child labour by a compassionate monk, Bhagavan Das. The boy had lost his father, while his mother struggled to make ends meet in a remote Maharashtrian village….. I was that boy.
We kids were like small seeds buried in the dry sands of a cruel world. That orphanage groomed us into what we are now—beautiful blossoms that beautify that same world. And our chief gardener was Radhanath Swami.
I and my wife were at Vrindavan, the holiest of holy places, but our minds remained distracted, dwelling on the misbehaviors of a co-pilgrim, an acquaintance. He, like us, had joined Radhanath Swami’s entourage of students and friends on this pilgrimage. But some of his rude activities and behaviors made him an odd man out.
One day at Vrindavan we met Radhanath Swami in his room