The great exalted spiritual personality Srila Rupa Gowami laid much stress on the under mentioned 5 out of 64 points of practicing Krishna-bhakti as mentioned in Sri Narada Purana.
1. Worshipping the Deity
2. Hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam
3. Associating with sadhus (devotees)
4. Chanting of the Holy Names
5. Living in Mathura (mathura vas)
These are the five most potent forms of devotional service. If these five can be strictly practiced then ones onward progress towards the attainment of Krishna-prema is well assured. Krishna-prema is itself the ultimate goal of this rarely achieved human birth. Among the five principles, the last important item is mathura vas i.e. residing in the Dham (which also means to live in the association of the pure devotees in whom the Lord appears as well). This is a very essential and potent form of devotional service.
It is said that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindavan (the Dham) and Vrindavan is no doubt the holy land of Vrindavan, but at the same time we must know that it is also the expansion of Srimati Radharani. With its same potency, it can appear anywhere. In reality, the great Dham of Vrindavana can manifest in different degrees, from the general to the Supreme Potential as mentioned here under.
1. Vibhu Vrindavana
2. Ksetra Vrindavana
3. Dham Vrindavana
4. Puri Vrindavana
5. Lila Vrindavana
The fifth and highest degree of manifestation, namely Lila Vrindavana, is catagorised into 2 parts.
1. Nitya Lila Vrindavana (eternal pastime)
2. Param Nitya Lila Vrindavana (supremely eternal pastime)
The Dandabhanga Lila Bhumi comes under the category of Param Nitya Lila Vrindavana, the supreme eternal pastime site as confirmed from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. This is a fact beyond doubt and the most wonderful thing is that it is now in the period of its manifestation.
Human life is an opportunity for preparing to meet the most auspicious death. In other words it is a very rare and brilliant opportunity given to a living entity, provided one makes the best of this precious human lifetime.
In reality, devotional life is a very serious and dangerous subject matter. It is said:
bhajana patha e durgama
bhaya bhajile muni jana
The path of devotion is so dangerous that even the very great sages retreated from this path and chose the most rigorous path of the eight fold yoga system and jnana-marga (the path of knowledge), knowing very well that at least in those paths the results could be seemingly perceivable. Therefore, our great founder Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in his various purports, used to always say that devotional life is meant for the serious student.
In material life, there is unlimited danger at each and every step. One must make the best use of this limited human life span in order to achieve that ultimate goal, which is Krishna-prema. And that can be made much easier if one can reside here, in this most potential Dham for this age of Kali, and practice devotional life seriously and offenselessly under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual master.
The following is a conversation that took place between H.G Sacinandan Das and a devotee, recorded on the 20th of September 2004:
Devotee: What is the benefit that one may achieve by serving the Dham at this period of manifestation?
Sacinandan Das: See. It is quite obvious. The period of manifestation carries a very special mercy. For example we see Vrindavan. You just apply your common wisdom. During the period of Mahaprabhu, when the great Vrindavan Dham was being revealed to the world, Mahaprabhu had selected associates like the Sada Gosvamis etc, who were instrumental in bringing Vrindavan Dham to the limelight. At that time, the living entities over there had the extremely rare privilege to come in touch with the potency of the Dham while it was being revealed and also had the opportunity to associate with the great Sada Gosvamis who were the eternal associates of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
Whoever, at that time, rendered their service to the Dham and practiced devotional life seriously with a faultless mood received the causeless mercy of the Dham and finally attained the highest perfection of their lives.
Vrindavan Dham was not revealed to all. Only the ones, who had the right vision and wisdom, could see it. However, over the passage of time it got itself completely revealed and established. In a similar way, we see that Dandabhanga Dham is also manifesting itself. Here, if one remains offense free, sober and truly maintains his spiritual life then he is definitely bound to get the mercy of the Dham and that too more particularly at this time of its revelation.
Devotee: I heard Babaji Maharaja once say that the advancement over here is many times far greater than any other place in the entire universe. Is that true?
Sacinandan Das: That is true! What Babaji Maharaja is saying is a fact. That is if one accepts the Holy Name and chants sincerely in the Dham and that too, during the time of its manifestation, then it becomes so potential that ones attainment of Krishna-prema will be many times quicker, than in any other place. By this, one can save so many lifetimes. I myself was there and heard from Babaji Maharaja when he was explaining to Srila Sivaram Swami. I was doing the translation. You know.
In his own language he said, “let one goes anywhere, be it Radhakunda, Giri Govardhan, Sri Jagannath Puri, Sri Alarnath Dev or even be it yoga pitha, the place where Mahaprabhu appeared. One may go anywhere, but if one remains at Dandabhanga and practices Krishna consciousness with an offence free heart, then by the special mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, his/her advancement unto the attainment of Krishna-prema will be unimaginably multiplied here than in any other place.”
This does not mean that we are trying to undermine Radhakunda and the others. If we are doing so, then we are committing the greatest offence. They are not at all ordinary places. They are all undoubtedly very significant.
Like I had discussed before that it is the time factor. I gave the example of river Yamuna before. (i.e.) Yamuna was there during the Rama Lila, it was also there during the Gaura Lila, but especially during the Krishna Lila, the glories of Yamuna had crossed all the boundaries. Moreover, Yamuna is there at Delhi and is also there at Agra, but the Yamuna at Vrindavan and Mathura is indeed the Yamuna of Vrindavana and Mathura. Here in the case of Dandabhanga, the place and time are both playing a vital role.
Devotee: Is the lila always taking place over here?
Sacinandan Das: Yes. Yes. You are not seeing it, but it is always taking place. Babaji Maharaja was able to see it. He really saw it. That is how he also got the Gauranga Sila, the most rare sila meant to give Krishna-prema.
Devotee: But if the lila is…
Sacinandan Das: Do not be curious to see the lila. Practice your Krishna consciousness in an offence free way. Then you will be able to see the lila. This has to be taken very seriously. Because, once you develop the mood to see the lila, then that curiosity will lessen the quality of your devotion. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur sings bhalo manda nahi jani seva matra kori tomara samsarare ami vishaya pahari. “I don’t know what is good and bad? I am just rendering services as the watchman of your samsara (family)”. Therefore, that must be our mood.