In 2017 and 2018, His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami took us to Surabhi-kunda, where Indra met Krsna after the Govardhana lila to ask for forgiveness for acting out of anger. Check out Maharaja’s full kirtans and lectures below, along with a few photos, at Surabhi-kunda during Parikrama 2017 and Parikrama 2018.
Indra allowed himself to fall prey to anger by being proud. When one is proud, one gives undue importance to oneself and everything that one experiences is extremely important. When we are humble, then whatever happens to us is secondary. As soon as we are proud, then everything in relation ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘mine’ is very important. ‘All my attributes are sacred’, we think. So due to his pride, Indra was in an attached position. Indra forgot that he was a representative of Krsna; this was his first and foremost offence. He forgot because he was carried away by his own position.
We will find something to take pride in when we take proprietorship, but when we give everything to Krsna, we realise that whatever recognition we receive is simply Krsna’s mercy. It is only because we did something for Him. Service is a gift. Service is given by the Vaisnavas, not taken. So when we remember that service is given by Vaisnavas, then we can avoid pride.
Indra knew that he needed forgiveness, so he ordered his elephant, Airavata, to also offer abhiseka to Krsna at the same time. Airavata had water from the heavenly Ganga, Akasa-ganga, kept in his trunk. In this way, Krsna got a full abhiseka with milk and Ganga jala and was crowned as the original Indra. Meanwhile, Indra had to stand there quietly and Krsna forgave him. So the significance of this place is forgiveness – forgiveness for all our mistakes. In Deity worship, we use this mantra: hinam kriya-hinam bhakti-hinam janardhana: Please forgive me for anything offered without mantra, anything offered without a proper arrangement and without any devotion. We can apply this to our daily lives also, regarding everything that we do without the mantra and without proper devotion. This mindset creeps into our daily activities so we need a lot of mercy. We make many mistakes and we ask for forgiveness for our mistakes, but then we should not commit them again. Prabhupada also said, “Oh, you commit a mistake? First time – yes, I will forgive you. Second time – yes, I will forgive you. Third time – get out of here, you rascal!” So we cannot forever keep making the same mistakes!