Every Purnima Barṣāṇā’s Little Flowers circumambulate Giri Govardhana, an energetic plan to get the Mercy of the Husband of Yamunaji, to rienforce the aradhanas sevas, to awaken that eternal love, offer protection to Braja and be an example that can affect the world. Most importantly their 'little steps' in seva are a reciprocation to the large strides that Śrī Ramesh Bābājī Mahārāj has taken for them in their lives, no one can love him as much as they do.
Śrī Ramesh Bābājī Mahārāj has now instructed that the young gopis perform a Girirāja parikrama on every purnima. In one sense, there is no question of truly serving the wife, the Yamuna, without the blessings of her Husband, Giri Govardhan. Below is an account of one of their trips.
After finishing a 2-4am kirtan shift on the top of Rasa Kuñja building the Barṣāṇā’s little flower gopis, at 8am, freshly bathed and groomed, huddled into the battle weary replacement jeep, the large van being out of commission. Mādhurī, their vigilant mother/sister began a kirtan of the Rādhā Kṛṣṇa nama, covering a wide range of Baba Śrī melodies. For the next hour, a collection of Brajabāsī songs emanated with the chirping high-pitched response from the ‘little ones’.
The Spartan road to Govardhan, under construction, jostled the jeep to and fro during what appeared to be 2-hour ride. Some of the gopis, due to the late night sevas or prasadam, fell asleep amidst the rhythmic rocking. As soon as the vehicle reached Govardhan the gopi troupe went directly to Dan Ghāti, where the daily tax of milk products and sweets, was made by the gopas for the gopis crossings; our angels paid respects, daṇḍavats, and began the parikrama starting towards Āniyora.
Mādhurī led the pace and a pecking order followed, the intimates by her side, others in the middle, and the slower followers in the rear. Within this group of Rādhārāṇī svarūpas, there were clusters of 2’s and 3’s, different bonded relations in eternal service.
What a spiritual drama, watching these little ones reenact the lilas as we passed the various pastime lilastans. After Dāna Nivartana kuṇḍa, where Śrī Kṛṣṇa tried to extract a body beauty tax, the small army traversed the inside path before Annakuta-kṣetra, where Girirāja devoured the bhoga offering presented by the Brajabāsīs. Scenic red flowered trees adorn the path providing shade, and the gopis began to perform the ‘viraha lilas’, a separation of love, with fingers on cheeks and lying on the ground meditating in their loss of Kṛṣṇa. Through different poses, they would enact the scenes of picking flowers for that ‘invisible’ Friend, a hope and invite for Him to appear once again. Some were sad with downcast eyes, others had smiling faces in appreciation of the camera before them.
Then on the path before the village of Āniyora, Mādhurī would call out the names of the Aṣṭa-sakhīs with the unified response, “Jaya ho Lalita!…Jaya ho! Jaya ho Viśākhā!…Jaya Ho! Jaya Ho Campakalata!…Jaya Ho!” etc. They were all playing an active role in glorification; with true heart felt emotions circumambulating Girirāja.
After observing a red flowered bush raised over the path like a reptile looking like the mouth of a giant python, they all began to run as fast as they could and tiny Lādalī, leading the pack blurted out, “Aghāsura!, Aghāsura!,” and feisty Viśākhā declared, “Śeṣa Nāga!, Śeṣa Nāga!,” and the whole group rallied in front, again a photo session beneath.
Next came the road and village of Āniyora where every prayer made in passing will become true in blessing. The energetic crew silently sauntered through asking for private benedictions. A sudden right was made off the main route, cutting through the cobble stone back streets and rustic neighborhood of Āniyora, goats, pigs, and cows, a picturesque safari towards Govinda-kuṇḍa, with an elevated Girirāja as a back drop and a commanding white Gopāla Mandir above.
Photos were then taken in front of Govinda-kuṇḍa and a toppled six-foot wide ancient dhāmavāsī tree. Here is where embarrassed Lord Indra came in humility to offer prayers before the Lord with Airāvata and Surabhi, and performed an abhiseka, a bathing ceremony of milk and water of the Lord.
A consistent pace was resumed on the inside path, below the giant rainbow boulders of Giri Govardhan, surrounded by the bent mystical dancing gopi trees on the hillside. Here the silas are golden colored, all non different to our Śrī Radha. There is the pastime of when Śrī Ji was walking along and when She would see a Shyāma colored sila, She would note that Her beloved must have just passed this way. When She would see any crystal silas(Balarāma), then She would quickly turn and walk in the opposite direction.
Bringing one back to the present plain, were the audio sounds of short breaths, pitter patter of steps, and giggles made by the parikrama gopis who had to catch up with the Olympic pace of the main pack.
Then came Dauji, where Balarāma crouched to watch Kṛṣṇa’s rasa dance, a paṇḍa was ignored in his solicitations, then finally to the back end of Girirāja. Here to the left stands a commanding ancient temple, Nṛsiṁha mandir, overlooking Apsarā-kuṇḍa and Naval-kuṇḍa, having a most unique panoramic view of the disappearing tail of Giri-govardhan, Apsarā-vana, and Punchari. Here is a 1000-year-old deity of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva that keeps an eye on this area.
Rounding the sharp corner we came to Sutala vana, where one of the rasa lila pastimes took place, and many pairs of kadamba(representing Radha and the gopis) and tamala(Krsna) trees once stood.
To the left the more quieted gopi gang filed along the now narrow path, maneuvering up down and around a widening Girirāja with intermittent pilgrams on the path, the little gopis passed a crew from Rajastan, with bright colored saris and large golden nose rings, the two groups conversed lightly in passing. Soon, a cluster of Russian devotees, were brushed aside as the gopi ‘queen bees’ buzzed through.
Then we came to the opposite side of the Dauji temple, here is a shrine called Indra-pūjā. At this place Indra fell to the ground in tears, watching the Supreme view the water damages due to His short-tempered so called servitor. Another milk abhisek and also a cappan bhoga was offered to the Lord by the king. To the right one can find the footprint of Airāvata having paid obeisances to the Lord.
A break followed as thirsty mouths took advantage of a caged water distribution point to the left, taking turns according to seniority. Nonetheless, the pace continued. Surabhi-kuṇḍa came up on the left, here a demoralized Indra was advised by Lord Brahmā to bring Surabhi before the Lord Kṛṣṇa, and who duly asked the Lord to forgive Indra for his offense.
After some flat ground, sprinkled with intermittent trees and cows, we reached Jetipura, the town where Madhavendra Puri lived and was ‘corrupted’ in love of God. Here there is Mukhāravinda-sila, a mouth of Govardhana, where many milk offerings are made, the gopis stopped and paid their obeisances. To the right up the slope the silas are dark, an opposite to the Gauri silas on the other side.
Then passing Daṇḍavats sila, that seven times around and then daṇḍavats, frees one from any aparādhes committed on the parikrama, the group went strait ahead on the quick side path along Girirāja with rural homes and four legged residents traversing the path, then to the road and right to the soft sand inside track that parallels the Supreme and the main throughway.
Here the smallest two, Joyti and Lādalī would energetically run at high speeds in front of the unit, collapsing down a field, waiting for all to catch up, and then spring off again.
Girirāja has now grown to His present full height. Below the crew traversed the silky soil path to the busy Govardhan town, maneuvering amongst traffic and pilgrims, passing the back side of Mānasī-gaṅgā, Girirāja has now shrunk under the town construction and will soon disappear.
At this point in time permission was granted for a sugar cane juice break, funny to watch the plastic cup beaked team drinking their well earned allotment of sugar cane nectar. The Barṣāṇā vasis Kishori and Lādalī served all out before they honored themselves.
Onward to Uddhava-kuṇḍa, dedicated to Uddhava who came to Vrindavan and was blessed to see the gopis and their love for the Lord. Vrajanābha, Krsna’s great-grandson, installed beautiful deities here; the little Barṣāṇā flowers paused innocently before Their Lordships.
Finally, came the zenith of darshans, as they arrived at Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the personal bathing place of Srimati Rādhārāṇī, the holiest place in the universe and is therefore non different from Her. Here after Krsna’s killing of Ariṣṭāsura bull, the two lovers, with leg and hand, dug these kuṇḍas for purification. Radha’s declaration was, “For any one who takes bath in Shyama kuṇḍa will become very dear to Me,” and Krsna responded the same goes for anyone who bathes in Her sacred kuṇḍa. To have darshan of Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the same as having darsana of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī Herself, and what to speak of the added blessings, being amongst Her little puppets in this most holy place.
On the parikrama marg once again, soon we come to Kusuma-sarovara, where Rādhārāṇī and Her gopis would pick flowers for Her beloved. Krsna would frequent this place to see Her beauty and quarrel with Her in regard to her unsavory practice of stealing flowers.
After a short distance, with Giriraja just 12 feet above ground, we came to the samadhi of Śrī Ramesh Babaji’s guru maharaj, Śrī Priya Sharan Das Bābājī. The gopis all huddled around in silent reverence as his special glass photo was placed at the head of the samadhi. Contemplations and more camera poses followed. Head cloths were dipped in the ashram well by some of the cool headed girls before continuing.
With the evening ārādhana in Barsana in mind, the pace resumed to Mānasī-gaṅgā. Here the most famous boating pastime took place, where a disguised Krsna became a boatman to take Rādhā and the gopis across this lake. His demands began with prasadam, rest, and amidst a sudden storm, requested the gopis to throw their goods, jewels, and finally clothes over board to save the sinking boat, culminating in a desperate embrace from Śrī Rādhā and She realized now ‘Who’ this boatman was, finding the hidden flute on His person.
Then the party came full circle to the noisy streets of Govardhan to Dana Ghāti, the seva now complete. This was a whirlwind tour, visiting the glorious pastime arenas around Giri Govardhan, along with the ‘little flowers of Barsana’, pure souls in seva, who would naturally bring the past and present lilas to life. In parting petite waving hands could be seen in the back jeep window, they would soon return.