Q: How important is for a spiritual practitioner to pilgrim the holy places or to participate at the festivals like Gaura Purnima?
A: What we hear from our gurus the most important thing is the holy person the holy people. That supersedes the holy places. So, it’s the holy people we want to take a pilgrimage to, go to them. They purify the holy places which become contaminated in time. The holy places can become contaminated through everyone coming and releasing their sings. The place can become full of contamination. So the holy people go there and it becomes purified by their presence. This example is given. So our emphasis is take a pilgrimage to the holy person wherever they are and that will be the holy place. It’s no different from Vrindavan. Wherever Vaishnava is that’s Vrindavan. And then Srila A. C. Bhactivedanta Svami Prabhupad felt: “O I’m in America, and I’m sick! What if I die here, I don’t want to die here”. He was very worried about this and wrote Srila Sridhar Maharage telling: “I’m sick I might die, want to be in Vrindavan, I can’t get there”. He ended up recovering and going to Vrindavan and then living the world in Vrindavan. His wish became true, fulfilled. But Srila Srihar Maharage answered in Bengali: “Wherever you are that is Vrindavan”. It’s the truth. So, there is always some importance and auspiciousness to visiting holy places but it’s the holy person that we are concern with. That’s priority and that takes precedence.