(Some moments from a katha by Guruji Sri Pran Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj as he addresses an old gentleman visiting Radha kund with his family- recorded by Sri Srutidhar Das on 22-Mar-2019. Please note, comments or sentence connectors / completions within brackets are by the translator).
Everybody is doing bhajan here unhindered. Unless the time comes, it won't be possible for you to do that. (Specifically to the old gentleman in the family): How much time do you have left (in your life)? Why don't you do bhajan in Vrajadham? It doesn't cost any money. You can have prasadam without any worry. There is no worry regarding money or food. By Radharani's great mercy, it is possible for fortunate people to live here in this manner. There are so many devotees staying here who don't do any work. What material job can they do here? Everybody here does not even chant Hari Naam. Despite that, they all are having prasadam joyfully. At least, they are staying in Vrajadham. It is not sufficient to say that it is possible (for you) to also stay here. Simply saying or thinking like that won't make it happen. Even if I say I will take all your worries, it won't be possible for you to give up everything and stay here, will it?
(The old gentleman says): My mind does not agree (to give up material attachments and come here). My mind is not purified.
(Guruji laughs): Neither will it be. If it has still not been purified, when will it be? There is no more time left (in your life). Will your mind be purified by staying in your current house? To purify the mind, a person must stay in a pure environment. As I said, the mind cannot be rectified simply by wishing.
(Old gentleman): I feel held back at home due to which I am struggling with push and pull between my household life and my willingness to live in Vrajadham.
(Guruji): Nobody pulls you except your own mind (attachment). For example, if I hold your hand and pull you, urging you to stay in Vrajdham, will you? (Points to the old gentleman's other family members): Can't these people manage without you if you don't return home?
(Old gentleman): Oh, they can. They will have to manage if I die.
(Guruji): Then what is your worry? For whom do you wish to go back home?
(A family member, possibly the old gentleman's son, suggests): Babaji, as long as we are in Radha kund on this visit, we can let him stay with you?
(Guruji's expression shows that this (staying a few days in Vrajdham) is not what the discussion was about).
(Old gentleman): We did obtain the kripa (mercy) of a Sadhu like you on this trip. Let us see how things turn out after this.
(Guruji): There is no scarcity of kripa here. You can get drowned in kripa. Sadhu, Guru, and Vaishnavas fold their hands, fall at your feet, and say that you stay here. Whether you want to do bhajan or not- stay here.
(Guruji continues): Radharani is Mahalaxmi. See the devotees here. There are many more outside. Many of them have their relations and houses but still prefer to stay with me here. Some of them visit their houses once in a while, but some others don't go at all. Staying here, they do bhajan, kirtan, have prasadam, and do Hari Naam and parikrama. They wear Tilak on their foreheads and bodies, and kanthi malas around their necks. For example, this person (points to somebody standing close by) belongs to Delhi but he lives here. He has a family, house, everything in Delhi- but he resides in Radha kund. Why can't you also reside in Radha kund?
(Old man's son defends): Babaji, try to look at it this way. You have no family linkages (so it is easy for you to talk like this). Think about it.
(Guruji): There is nothing to think. Mama Maya Duratyaya (Sri Krishna says this to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita, ‘My illusory energy is invincible’).
(Son argues): Simply saying to give up everything and then to come and settle down in Radha kund is not practical. It will take us time to adjust to the idea. We need to make more trips to this place over a period of time.
(Guruji’s disciple requests him to sit on the Vyasasana since Guruji is standing and the discussion might take long)
(After sitting down, Guruji addresses the old man again): To be able to reside in Radha kund, a person needs sukriti (good deeds or pious karma) from his past lives. Unless a person has sukriti from his previous life, his mind will not be purified and he will not be able to believe in the words of Sadhu, Guru, and Vaishnavas. Even getting the shelter of a guru is a matter of fortune. If a person has the sukriti of many lives, only then he is able to get the shelter of a sadguru (a bonafide spiritual master). Otherwise, gurus are everywhere. The world is full of them. Any person can claim ‘I am a guru’. But is he really a genuine Guru? That is only possible if you have sukriti from your past lives. If one can believe in the words of a Sadhu, if one is able to trust his Guru- then his life is successful.
Coming back to the discussion, as I said, if there is no need for you (to go back home), no reason, no compulsion- then why do you want to go back home? You are at an advanced age. At this age, will you really be able to go back home, resolve your problems, and then come back to Vrajdham and reside here? Is it practically possible? No. Yet you will not agree to stay back here, your mind will not listen. The mind is so powerful. Even though you don't need to really go back home, yet it will drag you home. Why will you return? You yourself don't know. Because of grown-up son, daughter, grandchildren, and other family attachments? Mine, mine, mine. This is ignorance, Maya. We are unable to understand that Maya is dragging us to hell.
Who is your well-wisher at home? The very people for whom you are so eager to go back, will drag you to hell. But if you stay here in Vraja, then everybody here will lift you up. You will be able to obtain Vraja vaas (residence in Vrajdham) as well as Govind seva (service to Lord Govinda). Residence in Vrajdham is by itself Service to Govinda. Even when you sleep here, the very act of lying down brings you the benefits of offering dandavats! Eating prasadam brings the benefit obtained by observing vrata (religious events)! Even fighting between devotees brings them the benefits of chanting Krishna's Naam! There are so many glories of Vraja.
Your present visit to Vrajdham, your coming here and being able to touch this Holy land, is also a matter of great fortune. If a person has sukriti from his previous life, only then he is able to touch the land of Vrajdham. But normally he is not able to believe this. He thinks this Holy land is just like any other place- for example, like Kolkata or Delhi. But it is not so. Vrindavan, or Vrajdham, is a transcendental, spiritual place. If a person somehow gets the kripa of Sadhu, Guru, and Vaishnava, but is not able to get the kripa (mercy) of his own mind 'Sir’, then everything gets ruined for him. His very life gets spoiled. This is true of all people living outside of Vrajdham. There is no certainty that they will again return (i.e. will be reborn as human beings). Then? (i.e. imagine their misfortune)
Our Goswami explains what happens to the people who come and reside in Vraja. Where does a river flow? Toward the ocean. It does not return back from where it came. It does not flow (climb) upward. Sadhu, Shastra, and Guru, they all say, ‘O human being, you will not get back this birth again even if you break your head on a rock. Birth in the human form is the last birth. This birth (in the human form) was obtained after births in 84 lakh species- after lakhs and lakhs of births. Going farther, a human birth in Vrajdham is not obtained by luck. It is obtained by kripa (mercy). By Mahaprabhu's kripa. He says, ‘go and reside in Vraja’.
Human birth by itself is very rare. Even Devatas (demigods) are unable to get it. A human birth in Vrajdham is even rarer. Even visiting Vrajdham is not possible for everyone. There are lakhs and crores of people in India and outside India. (How many are able to pay a visit to this place?)
Even Devatas come to Vrajdham to participate in parikrama. Making contact or touching this holy land of Vrajdham becomes possible only by His (Lord Krishna's) kripa. If we don't accept His kripa when He gives us an opportunity to live in Vrajdham, then we get thrown back into the material ocean. After that, it may not be possible for us to return (to Vrajdham) again. It is very difficult to obtain Vrajdham.
I used to also worry in the beginning (before coming to Vraja). My birth place is in Srihatta. Nearby to that place is Dharma nagar. My uncle was in Niketan. While travelling from one place to another while visiting friends and relatives, I would think what will I eat if I go and settle down in Vrindavan. Our first worry is usually how to eat. At that time, my Shiksha Guru said, ‘People worship goddess Lakshmi to obtain wealth. RadhaRani is Mahalakshmi, so there will be no scarcity of food.’
(Guruji pats the devotee sitting next to him): this boy is from Delhi where his parents and other relatives live. He was able to give them up and come here. (Turns to the old gentleman): are your parents still alive? If this boy can leave his parents and come here, then for whom are you staying there? (Guruji gets up, saying): whatever you decide, I must take leave now. I don't have any more time at this moment.
Translation by Sanatan Das (NCR)