In 2018, His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami took us to Adi-Badarinatha, where Krsna once brought the residents of Vrndavana instead of going to the Badarinatha in the Himalayas. Present here at this temple also are the sages Nara Narayana. Check out Maharaja’s full kirtan and lecture below, along with a few photos, at Adi-Badarinatha during Parikrama 2018.
One day, all the residents of Vrndavana wanted to go to Badarinatha. They were getting ready to go on the long journey to the Himalayas and it is not so easy to get there. However, Krsna said, “Actually we do not need to go to the Himalayas to see Badarinatha since Badarinatha is here in Vrndavana.” So, here we have the Deities of Badarinarayana and Radha-Krsna. Krsna told Uddhava that Badarinatha was very important to Him because many devotees resided there. Badarinarayana is a Deity of Visnu. Krsna arranged that all the holy places are here in Vrndavana. We should understand that this Badarinatha here in Vrndavana, is not the replica of the original one that is in the Himalayas. No, this is the original one. This is Adi-Badarinatha and the Badarinatha in the Himalayas is the reflection because Vrndavana is the origin of everything. This place is better than the Himalayas because here there is greater benefit. It is said that one gets a thousand times more benefit in this place than in Badarinatha in the Himalayas. So, this is the best Badarinatha.
Another interesting element is that the sages Nara Narayana are also present here in the temple. Nara Narayana represent Krsna
and Arjuna. It is said that Nara is an expansion of Arjuna and Narayana of Krsna. Krsna and Arjuna brought the Bhagavad-gita to the world. The most important point is not that Arjuna was the most powerful warrior who won the battle of Kuruksetra, but that between the two armies the Bhagavad-gita was spoken. That was really the essence. We see that Nara Narayana performed great austerities. Badarikasrama is a place of austerity. It is a place where one realises that it is not so cheap to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have travelled all over the dhama in the last so many days. We visited many places, but the question can be asked, “Did we really enter Vrndavana?” Srila Prabhupada would say that you cannot enter by plane, car, bus, or train. To really enter Vrndavana, to go deeper beyond that layer of yoga-maya that covers Vrndavana, one has to make a special effort. Today our meditation is on the special effort we must make to enter. We must have absolute determination that no matter what obstacle comes on the path we will persevere.
Somehow or the other, we made it here by mercy. That is our great fortune. When Indra saw the tapasya of Nara Narayana, he was concerned. He knows that the person performing the greatest austerity and making the greatest sacrifice, accrues a lot of punya and will get his position, therefore Indra is always worried. When Indra sees some yogi or other personalities performing great austerities, he arranges for heavenly dancing girls. They come over and their ankle bells tinkle and distract the minds of the sages but in the case of Nara Narayana, that had absolutely no effect. Instead, what happened was that illusory forms of beautiful females started to emanate from their bodies and Indra, actually, became bewildered. In this place, we are simply praying to become transcendental to the influence of maya. We will leave this transcendental abode where Krsna consciousness is natural here in Vrndavana. In the holy dhama, Krsna consciousness is everywhere. Wherever you go, there is someone worshipping Krsna. The residents greet us with ‘Radhe!’ There are little temples everywhere. There are so many holy places related to Krsna, where He is being worshipped and remembered. In this dhama, Krsna consciousness is very natural but when we go back to the West, Krsna consciousness is very localised – in a temple with an ocean of maya around us. It is appropriate, now at the end of our journey, to pray to Narayana to be protected from maya because it is very strong. It is difficult because not only is maya outside of us but inside also. We are weak. Inside our heart, maya is there already. When externally we are confronted by maya also, it becomes difficult and we may fall prey. Nara Narayana were both transcendental personalities, so maya had no influence on them whatsoever. We pray that we may be transcendental to the influence of maya; that is a suitable meditation here.