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Religious, cultural significance of a lake.  

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Chandrika Das, Alex Chadwick  

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Religion discussion at Location #2.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
6 Nov 2003

    Geography
  • India
    Uttar Pradesh
    Locality
  • Unknown locality
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 27.58389   77.7019
    Geography
  • India
    Uttar Pradesh
    Locality
  • Govardhan Hill
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 27.50015   77.46656
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
  • SONY TCD-D8
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 20
    Accessories
    Equipment Note

Show: Geography of Heaven: Vrindavan, India Diwali
Log of DAT #: 10
Engineer: Flawn Williams
Date: November 2003

DAT 10:
twin 20s miking. Begin Thursday morning Nov 6 trip to Gondarvan Hill. 01 00000 Highway sounds,
03 01015 two train passes at crossing, road sounds.
04 01500 Get out at first lake palace. Bathing sounds, birds, kids in school, sweeping. Then pilgrims with portable PA arrive show up...loud music and talk for a while. They leave. We leave. Drive through pilgrims, small towns en route.
07 11610 Arrive at second lake, talk to Nandan next to the lake.
Then go to footpath, cow herd passes, begin walking the quiet pilgrim trail talking enroute with Nandan. Tape runs out along trail. 20720.

(00:06) Sound of car pulling up, door shutting, and car driving away. Low rumble of truck/car underneath dialogue¿conversation takes place while Alex and man (Nandan) are in automobile

(00:18) AC: And today we are going to¿

00:21) Nandan [Nd] replies (unintelligible)

(00:26) AC: Over there or¿? Sound of truck shifting gears and revving up hill. (00:44) Maybe it is on the other side of the mountain. (00:57) Sound of breaks screeching to slow the truck. (1:11) Loud honking, truck continues moving, honks again, bell ( like one on a bicycle chimes.

(1:41) Nd: This is such a big map¿

(1:42) AC: Yes, not much detail.

(1:43) Nd: the dimensions¿on the details¿I really have to look for it. Here one, yes.(2:00) This is the exact Puna (sp). Exact lake. And title as Pushuma.

(2:09) AC: And what is the significance of the lake?

(2:15) Nd: You know Divine couple Radha Krishna had flower past times around this lake. At one point in past, There was beautiful fragrant groves around this lake, where Divine Couple Radna Krishna used to come over here to have their sweet past times, loving past times, and Krishna used to pluck beautiful flowers from the flower grove and put it on the head of Sivita Radhika, (sp) Radha, his counterpart. In this way, they used to have a beautiful loving past times. And, then, sometimes they used to bathe in this lake called Ushuma sharuda (sp). Since then this lake was named ushuma sharuda, ushuma means flowers sharuda indicates lake. Yes, flower lake. This is all in essence. Also, it has some aesthetic, ah, significance also, that the nature of Radha and Krishna's past times a divine place is as beautiful as a fragrant flower, as colorful as the flowers, so as sacred as fragrant as the flowers. So, flowers carry some deeper meaning of the nature of sacredness, colorfulness, and fragrance.

(04:27) AC: Thank you

(04:28) Nd: welcome

(04:29) Ambi: automobile continues driving, sounds like up hill from way gears are shifting and engine is revving.

(06:39) Tape Stops, Starts. Car Door opens. Alex: How do I get out of here? Car door shuts. Sound of engine idling (moped, small car?). Horn honks. Idling sound continues.

(09:26) AC: Nothing as far as you can see in either direction. Or course you can't see very far, so, the air pollution.

(09:37) Ambi: loud sound of engines, different sizes, horns honk in distance. Footsteps. (10:22) Horn sounds very loudly. (10:28) Sound of passing train, horn sound passes with it. (duration of train passing: approx 1 min 20) Sounds of city, people talking in distance, horns honking, engines revving. Another train passes. Sounds of city life again, (13:19) door opens, bags being put in.

(13:46) FW: They just run them all through at once. Whoa. Ok, the preceding was a double train crossing, and now we are getting to go through the gates.

(14:05) Ambi: car engine, sounds of driving, honking, conversation off mic AC: Trains are very good in radio pieces¿yes, exactly¿already you understand radio. (14:57) Tape stops, starts. Sound of music, recording? radio? Sounds of thoroughfares, marketplace maybe. Music gets louder. (16:32) Gong sound. car begins moving again, away from street/ marketplace sounds. AC and Nd and FW are talking.

(17:13) Nd: So, in this relation, so, this was, the perfect example of polychrome (sp) party, the party that do circumambulation of Gondarvan, Gondarvan hill.

(17:30) AC: So these people were out, they are going to walk around the entire hill.

(17:36) Nd: Right, right, and that's how, they take out procession devotionally, with devotional songs, chanting, dancing. They are directly from the place of Radharani, (sp) Varcalla (sp) which we shall visit later. And this Paricoma (sp) party led by a guru, an Indian guru called Ravisbamra (sp).

(18:09) AC: Did you see him?

(18:11) Nd: Yes. I saw him. He was just in front of the Paricola party, and we just saw that ladies, gents all together they are chanting holy name and dancing.

(18:24) AC: what is that?

(18:26) Nd: This is Kushum Saruva.(sp) This one Kushum Saruva. We have just approached¿.there are also other Sharuvas look alike, (18:44) Car stops, doors open, sounds of people getting out. We have two¿

(18:49) AC: Very beautiful.

(18:50) Nd: Very beautiful.

(18:51) Ambi: Carolyn asks Nd to talk to driver, car drives by quickly honking, birds chirping, doors closing. People talking in distance, children too. Motored vehicle drives by. Sounds of birds are prominent, along with sounds of cars and people conversing.

(20:20) Suddenly on mic: Ranchor Prime [RP]: ¿So high it's virtually sunk in to the ground, at this point, lower down, it's higher. You'll see it.

(20:31) CJ: So can you just say where we are now?

(20:33) RP: Well, this place is Kusum Sarava (sp). Sarava means lake. (20:40) horn honks into mic. (20:33) And you know, there are stories about the history this place which I don't fully know, but what you see, the structure that you see, was built by the Maharaj of Barapur (sp) not far from here in thanks to Krishna for being able to defend the land against various attacks of you know different, the Mogul forces, they try to come here and counter the ¿ (off mic for a second) ¿in the pavilion over there, we can go over there, inside the roof are the paintings depicting the various exploits of Maharaj of Barapur, Maharaj of Barapur, but it is really built for the benefit of all of the devotees who come here. They spend hours in the hot sun walking around, and here's a place they can cool down, they can bathe and can rest. That's what it was built for. (21:50 Motor in background gets very loud.) If you like we can just walk around (Cannot hear voices because of motor very close to mic. Horn honking drowns out conversation, sounds of thoroughfares. People conversing, sounds of first man's voice talking but what he is saying cannot be understood for the most part. Conversation, children talking off mic, sounds of mopeds motoring around.

(23:24) FW: If we are going to try for any water sounds we should probably go to the far side as far away from the road as possible.

(23:28) RP: Sure. Yay, yay, let's do that. We could go up, if you want to get any information, we could go inside that pavilion.

(23:33) Ambi: more of the same. Walking away from road, can barely be heard in distance, occasionally horns sound. Footsteps walking towards sounds of birds, children, village life sounds, older man's voice constant. Birds chirp continually. Children yelp in background. Distant motors hum and vibrate, sometimes revving. Sounds of someone sweeping with broom. Children reciting something in background. A horn sounds a rather musical alert as a motor revs beneath it.
(29:00) A man sings off mic softly, more people begin to sing. Some kind of percussion sounds as if it involves water. A child sings close to mic while music, recorded it sounds like, plays in back ground. Close to water, someone is, it sounds like, cleaning something in the water, taking it in and out of the water. We hear splashing and dripping. The music is getting louder. A person shouts occasionally. Birds chirp and the music plays. Percussion with what sounds like hollow metal. Music passes close to mic, same sounds continue on top of mic. A child coughs and birds chirp.
(32:54) What sound like a musical horn is blown, metal is hit with something and it resonates, the horn is blown again, the music is continuing beneath.
(33:15) Children shout, music raises, man shouts, saying something in different language.
(33:46) Music stops and someone begins to talk over loudspeaker. Birds squeak, children and people are talk.
(34:49) Man begins to sing across loudspeaker ¿Rave Krishna Rave Krishna Krishna Krishna Rave Krishna¿Rave Sham Rave Sham Sham Sham Rave Sham¿¿ Music, rhythm, percussion comes in to accompany music. Music gets close to microphone. Music fades from mic, comes back. Children heard close to mic, people talking. Man calls out. Conversation, movement of people, bird sounds constant throughout.
(38:47) sound of water lapping, or being moved in, like an oar being pushed through water, or water poured into water. Sounds of metal being hit against metal. Music, man singing is constant.
(40:19) What sounds like feedback. The music stops. The man calls on the loudspeaker calls out. Children talk close to the mic, birds chirp, water splashes. The man talks to a crowd, who can be faintly heard, perhaps talking back to him.
(41:18) Man stops talking. Someone is splashing water near mic, perhaps washing their face.
(42:25) Man begins to speak over loudspeaker again. Sounds of life continue; people talk, water splashes.

(44:24) FW: What next?

(44:26) CJ: I think Alex wants to talk to this young man who just went in the water.

(44:29) FW: OK¿This PA system in the background in going to be a real hassle. (They talk about how to mic the next interview.)
(45:18) Man cries out and laughs. Someone splashes, jumps perhaps into water.

(45:24) Chandrika Das [CD]: No it is very deep. Yay it's very deep. It's dangerous to jump in them. Very deep is this. The person who don't know about swim they should not jump in there. And actually the (can't understand) men, the story of this (can't understand) ceremonies that Radarani (sp) decorated by Krishna. Krishna decorate to Radarani to give so many garlands to Radarani. And then the Parparmara (sp) sent other spiritual pastimes.

(45:59) AC: Tell me your name and could you spell it for me please, and where you live?

(45:04) CD: My name is Chandrika Das, from Barti (sp) belongs to another (can't understand) in India but I'm living from, last three years I'm living in (broads?) and associating with many places abroad and (can't understand).

(46:27) AC: And how do we spell your name?

(46:28) CD: My name is Chandrika Das, Chandrika Das. I belongs from (can't understand) India to explain about real Dharma, Sinotum (sp) Dharma, Vedic literature, I was (can't understand) with Dharkumar Brahma (sp) and in this time, Brahma Sampru (sp) Dharma is men. Ah, follower of Brahma Sampru, no, Acharia Sampru Dya (sp) is Lord Chetanye (sp) himself, who is Krishna, last five years ago Krishna appeared in West Bengal as the form of Chetane Mahaprumvu (sp) and they teached about the real Dharma of eskali (sp) and the true Sunkista (sp) movement, he was chanting always, the holy name of lord ah Mahamantra so called as, and this is (can't understand) they are preaching very nicely about this three, this holy name of lord as Hare Krishna Mantra that Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram¿This (?) a man, a holy name (can't understand) , meaning is, that this sixteen name if lord has power to destroy the bad effects of Kali. Ah, sixteen names as this Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram¿this sixteen name is full of power to release the bad effects of Kali. Because, this time is called Kaliwa (sp). There are Poewa (sp). And in all the Foewa (sp) this Kali is very dangerous to spoil our real consciousness due to associating with this imperfect senses, (can't understand) from time immemorial, our real consciousness are governed by the illusion so this is (can't understand) and another thing is also, you can understand as you like. (can't understand) Many that Krishna (can't understand) Saki is servant of Raderrani (sp) and this Kusum Servova(sp) is created by this echsaki(sp) and especially for the pleasure of Raderrani.

(49:22) AC: We actually have to stop recording because there is so much music in the background it is too loud for our microphones¿will they stop playing the music or will they turn off the speaker at some time, do you know?

(49:27) CD: Ah, please repeat your question.

(49:39) AC: Will they turn off that loud speaker, that speaker, the public address system?

(49:42) Yay, Yay they got a system they had already you can go there.
(49:46) Unknown Man: This is Koshum Sarova. (repeats closer to mic) This is Kashum Sarova.

(49:52) CD: There are so many places you know if you want to record music, then go there also, and they will help you more, bestly, you can record best there¿

(50:05) FW: Will these speakers be playing the whole time your group is there?

(50:08) CD: Yay, you can, it's also possible, as you like, I told you in beginning. If you have you (can't understand) to record something, then our guru malade (sp) I think, (something) hundred, double hundred percent.

(50:22) FW?: You are with Anunte Das Babagi (sp)?

(50:25) CD: No, yay, I think like that, eh, the person who lives in Bras (sp) they all (can't understand).

(50:32) FW?: Ok, but this loud system, this loudspeaker system, will they stop?

(50:39) AC: The loud speaker is too much for us, too loud.
(50:43) CD: One thing you can do (voice trails off mic.)
(50:48) Person coughing. Music continuing in background. More softly than before. Very simple and melodious, man's voice accompanied by a few instruments. Birds chirping. People talking. People drumming in background, faintly. Birds are louder. (51:32) Someone begins to play the flute into the microphone rather than sing, very sweetly and softly. Children are close to mic, talking. Man begins to sing again, water can be heard splashing. Music continues, alternating voice and flute. Birds chirp. People talk. Faint percussion sounds.
(54:54) CJ: So it's very awkward obviously with a microphone.
(54:56) Nandan?: Yay
(54:57) CJ: So, when Alex finishes talking with this guy we will start to walk again. Will you be walking around here? Or not necessarily?
(55:08) Nandan?: I was going to show, you know we were going to still show you around here but certain events have taken over what we could do is we could get in the car and we could drive a few miles later on. They will probably catch us with later. (laughs) and we can explore more, there are some very quiet little spots three or four miles on.
Tape stops and starts.
(55:35) FW: Finishing up at. Finishing up at the Kundun with the large PA system here.
(55:45) bell rings, like a bicycle bell. Music continues in background. People are talking, a horn honks, people are talking close to the mic, cars drive by pressing down on the horn. An automobile motors noisily by. Music stops. Feedback. Motors sputter past.
(57:33) a child sings softly, children shout to each other close to the mic. AC, FW and Nandan(?) talk off mic about not being able to record because of the PAs. Children continue to talk, shout. Motors sputter. Bicycle bells jingle.
(59:03) A man's voice sounds over the PA. Music begins to play. A motor putters away. Song begins. Chimes chime keeping rhythm. Horns honk loudly. People converse. People jump and splash in water.
(1:01:00) A horn honks past musically. Music begins to swarm mic.
(1:02:56) Music fades from mic. Horns honk. (1:03:12) Music stops and man begins to speak.

(1:03:34) AC: We are going to move on to escape the loudspeaker.

(1:03:38) FW: The loudspeaker is moving on.

(1:03:40) AC: We are going to jump far enough ahead so that we should have about an hour of peace.

(1:03:45) Man speaks over PA. Birds chirp loudly, and cars drive by. Man begins to speak again. Birds a chirping. Car doors slam shut. Sound from outside is dulled. Nandan (?) is speaking but cannot be understood. Alex replies to him. Conversation in car.

(1:05:19) Nd: A small, small shrine called Radnawanrihari (sp.) temple, one of the small shrines related to this lake, Koshumsharuva (sp). See, these are all old buildings, temple buildings.

(1:05:36) AC: They look very old, yay.

(1:05:40) Nd: You can know by bricks, bricks are so small at that time. Bricks are so small. They combined bricks and stones both together. (waiting in what sounds like traffic. Cars, motors are sputtering past. Horns honk. Carolyn, Alex talking.

(1:06:28) Nd: So we did not have on spot talks here, so we can cover it in the next place.

(1:06:33) AC: We, with the loudspeakers it is too much, so we can't speak with the loud speakers.

(1:06:36) Nd: That is right, I understand. So we are going to the next place and if it is quiet we can cover both places. (Ambient sound of trafficky road, people dropping past. FW asks AC to open window a crack, and when he does, the passing PA system and its music pour in to the window and into the car. The music fades as the car drives on. The outside world can be heard clearly over the motor at some points, people talking, shouting, loud honking.
(1:08:40) Continuing drive, mostly sounds are from engine and shifting of gears, occasional voice. Conversation between AC and CJ off mic about the speed of downloading computer files, cannot be understood at some points.
(1:11:54) Tape stops and restarts. Honking, motor sounds, people talking. (1:12:46) Man sings as passes mic, fades. People shout and horns honk.

(1:16:11) FW: Approaching the second stopping point at Brindarva (sp) Hill. Door opens, a bag zips up. Car stops. More doors open, slam. People are talking. ¿Great sound we're ready¿ someone says.

(1:17:32) Some kind of keeping of rhythm. Very faintly in background, music, people talking. Birds chirping. Much more calm than last place but same kinds of sounds. Water flowing?

(1:18:59) CJ: It appears as though we are going to be walking for about an hour. And then when we get to the end the cars will be there and we will come back in the cars and have lunch.

(1:19:21) FW: Do you have my water bottle on my pack there? (CJ: Yes.) I'll take a swig out of that before I get started. FW and CJ talk about future interviews, collecting sound.

(1:20:37) AC: Ah, so I guess we are going to go on a walk for a ways?

(1:20:46) Nandan [Nd]: Ah so a spiritual world have two poles of charms in this way. One in the form of quietness, one in the form of joyful sounds, of chanting and dancing, so both are the integral aspects of the world of spiritual experience. Can I just spontaneously speak something?

(1:21:16) AC: Of course you may, yes.

(1:21:17) FW: At certain times I may ask you to start a thought over again if I don't get there with the microphone in time.

(1:21:23) Nd: Ok, so are we ready? (AC: Yes.) So, we have now come to Gorbindakunt (sp). This Gorbindakunt, Gorbindakunt means a lake named after the divine lord Krishna. The, another name of Lord Krishna is Gorbindum (sp). One who uplifts our senses with the divine joy of his, of the memory of his love sports in this lake. Ah, the name Gorbindum also means one who brings some divine pleasure to our sense, ah, with his unique charm, charm of past times and all. So, this lake is connected to some love sports, bathing, sports of Gorbindum as well as Raderrhani (sp). Therefore, devotees come over here with some spontaneous loving respect, circumambulate around this lake, take holy water on head in remembrance of divine couples holy past times. Sometimes the pilgrims also bring some foods to feed some water animals here like turtles and other kinds, fishes. So, this is what in a nutshell, if you have any further questions¿

(1:23:35) AC: Did you say love love spokes? Love¿

(1:23:38) FW (off mic): Sports.

(1:23:38) Nd: Love sports. Sporting in water, loving sports.

(1:23:42) AC: Sports, sports, yes. Sports.

(1:23:53) Nd: Gorbindum is actually considered to be one of the most dear names of Krishna. It, ah, brings so much loving ecstasy, transcendental ecstasy to our senses. Thereby, mind and heart. Another meaning, one who is in love with the cows, holy cows.

(1:24:24) AC: That's Gorvinda (sp)?

(1:24:25) Nd: Yay. One who loves to entertain the calves, cows of Vrindavan. Loves to play with them.

(1:24:39) Man FW?: Maybe you can describe what love sports are, like how they play in the water just so they have some idea of what that means. It's hard for us to imagine

(1:24:59) Nd: Yes, so in this lake, mostly divine couple Radha and Krishna used to come, jump, started bathing, and then some natural loving reciprocals (?) took place between them and their associates, who'd also be there, sometimes, surrounding, so as the divine couple started love sports in water, other associates joined, mostly the lady associates, to enhance the joy of the whole love sport accompanying the divine couple. So, love sport was mostly composed of swimming, in a pool of swimming, throwing water to each other, just as water sport, sometime diving deep inside, holding each other, holding each other (?) being a bit naughty sometimes, also swimming in different styles, with different artfulness of swimming, not just only plain swimming type, because whole thing is spontaneous sportive activity, water sport. So, Rahda Krishna used to have love sports between them, and distribute that ecstasy, that joy, among other associates. In this way, some ecstatic reciprocation used to take place in this lake in the ancient time, in the time of Krishna. And, another aspect of Krishna sport with the cows, I hope you have seen how the baby cows or even bigger cows sometimes just spontaneously play, they become spontaneously playful. They run here and there, putting the tail, end of tail high in the air when they are so joyful.

(1:27:31) AC: I've seen cows do that.

(1:27:32) Nd: Yay, so Krishna used to play with the cows because basically cows are very sportive animals. It also senses affection a lot. So, when Krishna used to call the cows through flute sound, the sweet flute sound, cows would come around him, not only around Krishna they would surround both Krishna and Rahdna, ah, used to start smelling their bodily fragrance, simply began smelling their bodily fragrance, nazing, you understand nuzing?

(1:28:11) AC: Nazing? N- nuzzling. Yay, nuzzling.

(1:28:16) Nd: Yay, yay, to express their affections to Radha and Krishna, and they way they would like those cows to play sometimes like pet animals, they used to, they would play like that. And those cows would be specifically attracted to Krishna's sweet flute, flute sound because cows have some specific sense of appreciation for sweet sound. And this way, and sometimes Krishna would love to run after the young cubs of the cows.

(1:29:01) AC: The young calves, yes.

(1:29:03) Nd: The young calves, right young calves who are naturally so playful, all different ways, jumping up and down, with the, holding tail ends high in the air, and sometimes they would run over Krishna, Radha Krishna sometimes, Radha Krishna both would sometimes embrace them in affection, they would enjoy that affectionate embrace of Radha Krishna, sometimes they would simply carry them in lap, hold them in lap, and the small calves also would enjoy that a lot, thus, loving past times of Radha and Krishna would take place at the ancient time, here.

(1:29:56) Boy shouts out loudly.

(1:29:57) AC: Right here in this lake.

(1:29:59) Nd: In this lake, around this lake¿In the ancient time, or in the time of Krishna, this lake was also surrounded by different bushes, groves, flower and, groves made of, how do you say, just ah, yay, made of flowers and fruit trees, and you see Gorvidunum hill, right nearby. At that time, hill Gorvidunum was much greener. Now in course of time, the green atmosphere has gone less and less.

(1:30:49) AC: Alright, well perhaps we'll follow the inner path and go along the hill.

(1:30: 54) Truck drives past with loud motor, blocks out conversation. They are speaking off mic. Nd thanks FW. FW replies. Conversation off mic.

(1:31:28) CJ: So now our little pilgrimage begins. Footsteps, subtle conversation sounds. Nd: Asks ¿what's our plan now.¿ Man replies: ¿We're going to walk.¿ Conversation follows about what is going to happen next, where the drivers are going to stay, what they are going to do, where.
(1:32:40) Ambi footsteps, broom sweeping sound, people walking, birds are chirping and people are talking, children are shouting in distance. Bell, chiming, keeping rhythm in distance.

(1:34:06) AC: So we are setting off here, it will be about an hours walk to go along the inner path to this, right along the hillside. Are you set, do you want water? All set?

(1:34:28) FW: I just want to get out ahead of that band that is coming.

(1:34:31) AC: Right.

(1:34:32) Footsteps, bird chirping, people talking and laughing.
(1:37:28) Music in background gets louder. More musical elements are added. Can hear faint singing. (1:38:09) Music fades, footsteps and children crying can be heard. Footsteps. Birds caw. Faint conversation off mic.

(1:39:11) CJ: This is the dust¿This is the dust that you have to experience by taking off your shoes.

(1:39:20) AC: Ok¿(1:39:29) This is ah, dust, the sacred dust I guess of the hillside or the walk, yay?

(1:39:41) CJ: Can you explain it?

(1:39:47) Ranchor Prime [RP]: The pathway around the sacred hill of Govardhanedum (sp) is covered in deep, soft dust, and this, in order to experience this dust, pilgrims take their shoes off and walk through the dust. Lovely soft, cool feeling, if you are in the shade of the trees, otherwise very hot. And this dust is treasured because this is the dust in which Krishna also walked. And Krishna's feet being what everyone wants to have on their head, they, by taking the dust and placing that dust on your head it's like having Krishna's feet on your head. (Sound of footsteps as people continue to walk, birds continue to chirp.) (1:41:35) ¿Boys and the cows, that becomes the eternal reality. And the more you live in the sacred places associated with Krishna, the more you enter that sense of existing in the eternal presence of Krishna, so then life and death no longer means anything because when the time of death comes, if the consciousness is absorbed with Krishna, the devotee simply enters the eternal world of Krishna and there is no difference between that world and this world. When this outer reality and this inner reality merge into one, for the devotee that's perfection.

(1:42:34) AC: Ok, I have to talk to Nandan who is going to explain something about the hill. (Footsteps up what sounds like rocks, pebbles. Distant jingling of bell gets closer, sharper, sweeter. A man hoots. An animal ribbbits.)

(1:44:27) AC: So, is this auspicious to encounter a heard of cows going by, Nandan.

(1:44:32) Nd: Also, yes. In Braj, specifically in the land of Braj (sp), but also all over India, cows are considered to be an auspicious animal. Because they contribute so much in the human life, by giving milk, fresh milk. But also the ox, we call the male cows, help a lot, by plowing the fields, preparing the field for cultivation. In other words it helps a lot in the field of agriculture of the local residence. Therefore, the general Indians, specifically the local residents of Braj hold cows dear to heart out of gratitude and love.

(1:45:35) AC: But now this man who went by with the cows, he was not a cow herd boy like Krishna played with. Cow herd boys and girls they are younger, sort of¿

(1:45:48) Nd: Right the man you saw just a professional one, just one of the local residents. So, but when Krishna used to play, Krishna and cow herd boy used to play with the cows, or how do you call in English, pasturing?

(1:46:14) AC: Pasturing?

(1:46:16) Nd: Pasturing them, it was a different situation. So what you saw right now, it's a different thing, just a common thing, a resident of this locality, those who live with the cows, those who bring up the cows, take care of them due to their professional reason or for earning livelihood.

(1:46:50) AC: Now, what about, is it Goverden hill, Govardan Hill, am I saying that right?

(1:46:54) Nd: This is called Govardhan, Govardhan hill.

(1:46:59) AC: Gobertun Hill.

(1:47:01) Nd: Yes, I spell: G-O-V-A-R-D-H-A-N. Govardhan Hill.

(1:47:12) AC: (softly) Govardhan hill. And what is the importance of the hill? You wanted to tell me a story about this hill.

(1:47:18) Yes, hmm. Let me first give you a little introduction. So now we have come to the foot of hill Govardhan. This is about 52 Kilometers long, and the highest peak of this hill is about 23 meters. In past, this hill was much higher, now in course of time, it is getting smaller and smaller. This hill is also full of memory of the loving past times of divine couple Radha and Krishna. The used to often come here, around this Govardhan hill also climb up on the hill and surrounded by cows, birds, they would start their love sport, and at that time there were many caves in this hill, so some of their conjugal love past times took place in some of the caves of this hill. When I mean conjugal past times, we must understand in a transcendental sense.

(1:48:55) AC: Not in a physical sense.

(1:48:57) Nd: Ahh, not really. But it is, Even if it is a physical sense, but also in transcendence. We cannot really try to conceive their nature of conjugal past times in usual way. So, because the very nature of their past times very transcendental, full of divinity, always much higher than what we experience, usually experience.

(1:49:36) AC: But still, people are drawn to Krishna and Radha because of their joyfulness, and maybe some of that is because of their physical joyfulness.

(1:49:52) Nd: Well, the realized sense (?) say, the realized devotees they say that whatever physical joyfulness in conjugal, realized sense (?) on this plane also originally coming from the transcendental plane of divine couple. You know, but here it is very limited. It becomes very limited, more material type. But on the plane of transcendence it has no limit. It is in its full swing form of ecstasy, the experience of which is much more than the same form here. Ok, So, back to your point, that as originally as coming from the divine couple, all conjugal ecstasy, ecstatic relationship coming from the plane of the divine couple, so therefore some relationship is there. Yet, lots of distinction. Because here it is more materially oriented. On that plane, transcendental, transcendental nature. Mhmm, yes.

(1:51:18) AC: Let's walk on, and then you can tell me a little more about the hill alright?

(1:51:34) AC: Ok, ok, let's walk on.

(1:51:39) Continuing to walk. Ambient sounds of birds, conversation.

(1:52:18) Nd: As I walk on, can I spontaneously speak out?

(1:52:21) AC: Yes, yes.

(1:52:22) Nd: Ok, You know this hill provides some big pastoral area for the local residents.

(1:52:32) AC: I'm just going to interrupt you for a second, I'm just going to move around to the other side of Flawn so he can. You walk between us Flawn. I'm sorry, you were saying, this hill provides¿

(1:52:45) Nd: ¿provides some big pastoral area, pastoral space for the cows and other household animals. So the local residents of Braj also feels gratitude to this hill because it remarkably contributes to their daily life in the field of earning livelihood, and all, because there is so much related to the cow raising profession. They sell out milk, and it is their income for livelihood. But specifically, the local residents of Braj are all Krishna devotees, are so regardful, respectful, and loving towards this hill, because it kindles in them the loving memories of transcendental pastimes of divine couple, in the ancient time, as they hold divine couple Radha Krishna as very dear to their heart. So, in relation to them, this hill is also considered very dear in their heart.

FW interrupts interview to fix cord. They talk about how to make walking and interviewing more comfortable.

(1:55:28) So the name of this hill is Govardhan. The meaning of the name is one that which uplifts our senses with the loving memory of transcendental pastimes of Radha and Krishna. ¿Go¿ means our senses, ¿vardhana¿ means that which enhances, uplifts, so like I said it simply uplifts our highest sensibility with the taste of loving memory of the divine couple's pastimes here all through the mountain. At that time, I mean in the past, the whole hill was full of green.

(1:56:27) Man interjects in foreign language (Hindi?), interrupting Nd. Nd Stops talking and man's voice gets closer to mic. Nd replies to man, they converse.

(1:56:47) AC: I have it.

(1:56:48) Nd and man continue to speak. Man walks away.

(1:57:07) Nd: ¿Anyway.

(1:57:13) AC: He was just explaining that the name of the hill is the uplifting of the senses.

(1:57:17) Nd: Right. So, so in relation to the loving memory of Radha Krishna's past times, the local residents pay so much respect and love to every stone of this hill¿Sometimes they take this stone, what you can see around.

(1:57:41) AC: Yes, it's littered with, yes¿

(1:57:42) Nd: The stones you can see spread around, they just take a piece of stone, install in their house, and offer loving worship, respectful worship as the representation of Radha and Krishna because they deeply believe that each stone of this hill Goverdhan is imbued with Radha Krishna's love sports, and that cultivates spiritual love in their heart, and there is a nice story behind this Goverdhavan hill. Once upon a time, a king from heaven wanted to punish some of the local residents of Braj because they did not worship him. And then, (?) ordered the clouds just to pour heavy rain along with thunder on this locality.

(1:58:56) AC: In-, Indra ordered this, another one of the Gods.

(1:58:58) Nd: Indra the god of heaven, king of heaven. And then, the whole area had to face with tremendous natural calamity, they simply went to Krishna, and prayed to protect their lives, then Lord Krishna simply came to Gorverdhan hill, and easily lifted it off with his hand, held like umbrella, held high like and umbrella and he provided shelters of all the Braj residents underneath. So, this is a story behind the lifting up of Gorvadhan hill by Lord Krishna. Now, certain spiritual truth actually symbolizes this story. The lifting up of Goverdhan hill by Krishna actually symbolizes that the supreme power can do or undo anything, everything. In other words, ah, anything is possible for the superpower in the form of personality. In other words, when Supreme power, the personality of supreme power can do or undo anything everything. So, as Krishna was the manifestation of super power, of supreme power, what ever you want to call it. So, he just lifted up Goverdhan hill and gave shelter. It also speaks of¿

(2:01:00) AC: (Sound interrupts) Wait wait wait wait¿(They are trying to untangle or fix something)¿

(2:01:27) Nd: So, this pastimes or Goverdhan story also tells us that during the adversity, the adverse moments devotees respectfully whole heartedly pray to the superpower, he appears and he simply protects them and uplifts them from all danger¿So, Goverdhan hill also considered to be another representation of Lord Krishna and Rhadhani themselves. (AC: hmmm) By lifting up Goverdhan hill, Lord Krishna also pointed out one truth, that when you pray to me with full of devotion with full surrender, then I come and give you full protection from everything with the strength with the wet strength and integrity like Goverdhan like hill. So that is symbolical expression that hill as hill contains his majestic beauty, strength, and integrity. So, supreme lord also protects his devotees with the hill like strength and integrity, where all the blows from outside, I mean, what I mean is that the blows we receive in our life in the struggle of existence, all the time, all just done away with by the lord. So this strong spiritual belief is related with this hill. Mmm. Do you have any other specific questions around?

(2:04:23) AC: Not about the hill

(2:04:24) Nd: OK.

(2:04:27) AC: Other questions yes but we will wait and well stop we'll get somewhere and we'll stop for a while. (sounds of them walking down the road, breathing and footsteps and shouting)¿(2:04:52) So I am surprised to see so many people out walking on these pilgrimages.

(2:05:00) Nd: Ah it is a common event here, not surprising to us, because here, common people are spiritual minded.

(2:05:10) AC: In my country they would people would say well, gosh don't they have jobs to go to what are they doing.

(2:05:16) Nd: (laughs) Here these (?) people consider this is to be one of the most specific important jobs in life.

(2:05:29) AC: This is.

(2:05:29) Nd: This simply, yay.

(2:05:30) AC: To go on a pilgrimage.

(2:05:39) Nd: Because they consider dedicating for spiritual cause in life is one of the foremost duties, foremost engagements in life.

(2:05:53) AC: We saw on the road coming over here, the road seemed to me to be crowded with people on this pilgrimage, and you said the road was practically empty, that often there are many more people.

(2:06:07) Nd: Sorry, say again please.

(2:06:09) AC: On the, on the way coming over here in the car, it seemed to me there were a lot of people on the road and you said they were all on pilgrimage, all walking around the hill here which is 30 miles long so it is a big hill to be walking around, and it seemed to me that there were a lot of people but you said there were not so many people, that often there are many more people. (2:06:31) Man calls out: Hare Krishna. So everybody here must go on these pilgramiges. Everyone must feel this deep spiritual life here.

(2:06:43) Nd: Almost everone, yay. True. Because such pilgramige is just integral part of their life.

(2:06:53) AC: But do they leave their jobs and their homes and their families for a month and come everybody and comes and walks around the hill?

(2:07:00) Nd: Ah some of them, some of them do that. Leave the home, jobs and all and just out in pilgramige tour, but some manage both aspects side by side.

(2:07:13) AC: So they come and they walk for a few hours in the day and they go back home¿?

(2:07:17) Nd: That's right.

TAPE ENDS (2:07:21)

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