Sri Vrindavana Dhama As It Is
This verse is a description of Vrindavana with Radha and Krishna situated there. Vrndavana is the name given to the Forrest where Srimati Vrndadevi (Tulasidevi) grows profusely.
The word vana means 'forest.' Actually it is not a forest as we ordinary consider a forest because it is very thick with green vegetation. There are twelve such vanas in Vrindavana. Some of them are located on the Western side of the Yamuna and others on the eastern side. The forests situated in the eastern side of the Yamuna are Bhadravan, Bilvavana, Lauhavan, Bhandiravana and Mahavana. On the western side are Madhuvana, Talavana, Kumudavana, Bahulavana, Kamyavana, Khadiravana and Vrindavana. These are the twelve forests of the Vrindavana area.
Within these forests there are tulsi plants and other trees also, but all the trees are living desire trees, spiritual. They can serve Krishna in any way desired. They have become trees by their voluntary desire. They are all spiritual beings, there is no force. Everyone has a particular tendency to serve Krishna in a different way. The trees and plants in Vrindavana are also living beings, but they are not ordinary living beings. They have decided to serve Krishna by supplying fruits and flowers. They want that service.
Everyone has got a particular propensity to serve Krishna in Vrindavana. Someone is serving as the land there. Someone is serving as the throne. Someone is serving as the supplying agent of fruits and flowers. Someone is engaged in His service as the gopis, confidential servitors. The cows, calves, everything--they are all different living entities. They are not made of these material elements with material body.
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of Her confidantes [sakhis], embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form, permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa."
The residents of Vrindavana are all expansions of Krishna's pleasure potency. In one sense they are also Krishna. They are not different from Krishna. Sakti-saktimato abheda: "The power and the powerful, they are not different, identical." Just like the sun and the sunshine, there is heat and light. So far heat and light is concerned, they are one. Similarly Krishna and Krishna's pleasure potency, ananda-cinmaya, is known as hladini. Radha-Krishna=pranaya-vikrtir hladini-saktir asmat. Whatever description is there of Vrindavana, that is an expression of Krishna's pleasure potency. They are not different. Therefore in the beginning it is said, divyad, "shining," or "divine," "transcendental."
We should not consider Vrindavan as an ordinary forest. Here we have got Vrindavan on this planet. That is not an ordinary forest. It is exactly the same Vrindavan as Goloka Vrindavan. There is no difference. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura says, "When the mind is completely purified, being freed from material anxieties and desires, then I shall be able to understand Vrindavan and the conjugal love of Radha-Krishna, and then my spiritual life will be successful."
Visaya chariya. Our present position is that we are materially diseased. We have to become free from the material disease. Material disease means sense gratification, and the most formidable desire is sex. This is called material disease. We have to become free from the contamination of visaya, material enjoyment. That is the statement of Narottama Dasa Thakura. "When my mind will be cleansed of all material desires, then I shall be able to see what is Vrindavana." It is very difficult to see Vrindavana with material desires. Bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, means the first qualification is to become free from all material desires. Then we will be able to see Vrindavana.
His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Mayapur, April 9, 1975