In 2018, His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami took us to Manasi-Ganga, where Krsna performed his famous boat pastime with Srimati Radharani. It is also here that Caitanya Mahaprabhu took a bath and then visited the Harideva Mandir, before starting His Govardhana Parikrama. Check out a transcription of Maharaja’s lecture below, along with a few photos, at Harideva Mandir and Manasi-Ganga during Parikrama 2018.
Lord Caitanya danced before this Deity in the greatest ecstasy and everyone was amazed. Of course, this place looks very different now. Back then, it was an ancient temple with the Deity of Harideva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Caitanya came to Vrndavana and His experience was different from our experience. He was coming home. When Lord Caitanya was in the material world, He naturally and internally resided in Vrndavana, but when He came to the holy dhama, His ecstasies increased many-fold. It was sometimes beyond control. When Lord Caitanya came to Vrndavana, He embraced every tree like an old friend. When He saw the Yamuna, He just jumped in and He did not see any reason to get out. Why would you? It was the perfection of life. He just stayed underwater, and His servant had to pull Him out.
When they crossed the Yamuna, the boat rocked dangerously because Lord Caitanya was dancing on that boat. At that time, the Yamuna was much bigger than today because there was no dam. In those days, all the water flowed freely, so the Yamuna was a big river and ships would sail by. Crossing the river was a substantial trip and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu just could not contain His ecstasy. For that reason, His servants eventually decided, “Okay, let us take Him out of Vrndavana because His ecstasy is beyond control and something is going to get out of hand. Something will go wrong!”
In Harideva Mandir, the local people had just never seen anything like Him. They’d never seen anyone displaying such ecstasy of love of God. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu roamed around the holy dhama of Vrndavana and we are following in His footsteps. We do not experience the same ecstasy, but we follow in His footsteps and we remember His attitude towards Vrndavana. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw Govardhana, He embraced a large rock and cried tears of ecstasy. He went into the fields and found two ponds near Arista-grama, which He identified as Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. So let us go in this temple right now and take whatever dust Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has left. Let us get the mercy of the Lord by collecting lots of dust. That dust is important. We might also get a little more taste in our devotional service. Collect that dust and put in on our head and we can also offer something as our seva.
This lake is Manasi-Ganga and everyone knows that Manasi-Ganga is about the boat pastime of Krsna. We all know that Krsna acted as the boatman and hid His flute while He carried gopis across it. On the way, the weather turned bad. He is the Supreme Lord and could easily change the weather. A storm came and the boat became really unstable. The gopis were afraid and Krsna said, “Oh, I am hungry now. I cannot go any further. I am weak and I must eat something.” Krsna got many many milk sweets but having eaten too much, He could not row now. Ultimately, He brought Srimati Radharani to a point of despair where She took shelter of Him personally. We have seen many paintings of this particular pastime.
It is said that one should begin the Govardhana parikrama from this temple because that is what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did. Nowadays, some start from Radha-kunda, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started here. In addition to the Deity, this place is very important because it is connected to Mahaprabhu. That is why I said, “Collect the dust, collect the dust, collect the dust!”