(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 22 November 2013, Mayapur, India, Gurukula Lecture)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur explains that the holy name naturally comes together with Sri Dham. Sri Nam and Sri Dham are together. It is said that without Sri Dham, the full import of the holy name is not revealed because the holy name is non-different from Krsna – abhinatva nama naminoh.
Therefore, wherever Krsna goes, Vrindavan is always there, Sridham Mayapur – the same. When Krsna travels, he is not limited with a suitcase of twenty kilos. He is not thinking, “Gees, what am I gonna take? Some cintamani stones… and some prasadam.”
It is also not that when Krsna comes to the material world that he has to leave the spiritual world and he puts a note on the fridge saying, “Gone to the material world, will be right back!” not like that. Krsna just brings the entire spiritual world with him when he comes to the material world.
Srila Prabhupada explains that in Kuruksetra, we have Partha-sarati Krsna who is the chariot driver of Arjuna. Then Srila Prabhupada called the deities in Delhi Radha Partha-sarathi. So in 1975, some devotees asked him that how was it possible to call these deities Radha Partha-sarathi, when this name implies Kuruksetra – Arjuna, arrows, battlefield, horses, armies and chariots – and not Vrindavan, so why Radha Partha-sarathi? Prabhupad replied, “Wherever there is Krsna, Radharani is always there!” because the entire spiritual world comes with Krsna when he comes to this world.
Therefore, the combination of dham and nam is especially potent. Of course, chanting of the holy name, wherever in the world one is, one can chant Hare Krsna – whether we sit with the Eskimos in the North Pole, sort of waiting for the sun to rise after six months of night, finally it gets light and it is brahma muhurta – it is a long brahma muhurta also! But when one chants deeply, wherever in the world one may be, then one is also in Vrindavan or in Mayapur, that is the truth! But it is said that when we are conditioned and we cannot appreciate it fully.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wrote in a letter that the kirtan in the house of Srivas Thakur, in the Srivas Angan, is going on every night but only few devotees can hear it. Some devotees hear it directly in the night, they don’t hear the jackals howling – as some of us do – no, they hear the kirtan actually. Others hear through the scriptures, it is the same! So for most of us, we are hearing about Krsna’s eternal pastimes, about the dham and about the kirtans at night, through the scriptures and not directly. That is also good.
So we come to the dham but how deeply can we appreciate that the dham is the spiritual world? “Oh, Mayapur, nice place, nice jackals…” At night, when I hear jackals, I think they are in ecstasy and they’re just ululating. I think elephants were pujaris in their last life who used to blow the conchshell, therefore as elephants they are making that loud noise, like a trumpet sound! Everything in the dham is very transcendental but who has the eyes to see?
In the previous year, when we were going to Mamgachi, we were going through a channel with the boats and there were these crows sitting in a tree. We were chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Rama and this crow was also chanting like, “Raam! Raam!” We are in the dham – these are not ordinary living beings, these are devotees. But how much can we see, when we are conditioned devotees?
Still, staying in the dham even for the conditioned devotee is very valuable because the dham can give chaya bhava – it lends ecstasy. Just by being in the dham, it lends us some ecstasy. And it is said, if it is lending for a long time, then eventually the dham will just let you keep it. We are borrowing from the dham some ecstasy and not giving it back; we hold it carefully and then we hope that the dham forgets that we got some and that we can just keep it!