On my arrival in Vrindavan on the 15th of October, my taxi had a little accident with one of those electric rickshaws. It happened just outside Kirtan Ashram, where I am usually staying. The Rickshaw driver's arm got badly injured, and blood was squirting all over the place. It was a disgusting sight, which stayed in my mind for a couple of days. What an arrival to the holy dham....! A good reminder of this world being 'padam padam yad vipadam' - full of danger at every step. Later I heard that luckily they were able to save his arm.....
On my arrival in Cologne on the 2nd of October I received Julia and Polina from Ukraine, who I had invited to join me on a little tour around Germany. I consider it to be very educational to visit temples in other countries. It broadens our experience and leaves valuable impressions on our minds and hearts.
I had not visited Kishiniev/Moldova for two years, so it was nice to meet all the devotees again.....
I stayed in the country side with Navadvip Prabhu and his wife Caitanya Rupa Mataji - around 50 minutes' drive from the temple, and Julia from Kharkov had come to take care of all my needs. It was a peaceful environment, and during the day I could find time to continue working on my next book.
I had once before visited Bhaktivedanta Manor outside of London around 30 years ago, when I had just gotten married. We had come for Janmastami and Srila Prabhupada's appearance festival which was indeed memorable, with many disciples of Srila Prabhupada remembering and glorifying their spiritual master. Many visiting devotees attended, and since we did not have a room booked, we had no choice but to sleep in the hay barn...
The gigantic Bhakti Sangam Festival in Ukraine is another highlight of my life - the most amazing and unique event within the three worlds. Nothing compares to this.....!
More than 8.000 devotees came together in Koblevo - a holiday resort on the Black Sea outside of Odessa. We welcomed many Sannyasis and preachers, who offered seminars in six venues parallel throughout the day. And there were so many wonderful kirtaniyas chanting the holy name throughout the evening.
The festival days of Janmastami and Srila Prabhupada's appearance in Kharkov/Ukraine are my most blissful days of the entire year. It is the time when I can taste a different flavor of joy and absorption - not preaching and giving lectures, but creating a Vrindavan panorama on our altar in order to open a window into the spiritual world - Goloka Vrindavan.
On Saturday, the 25th of August we had scheduled our first Children's Day for our Kharkov Community. It had been my spontaneous idea during the children's course in order to move our children into the center of our community. The outing was not only for children and their parents, but anybody who wanted to interact and play with the kids was welcome to participate. And even some of our brahmacaris and young bhaktas joined the fun, eager to give pleasure to the kids....!
On my return to Kharkov/Ukraine on the 29th of July I immediately settled back into my writing retreat and continued working on the draft of my second book in a very disciplined and regulated way. I enjoyed my seclusion and absorption, marveling how Srila Prabhupada performed this herculean task of producing so many volumes of books while traveling and preaching!
And I had to start putting ideas together for the design of the book cover. To produce the second book seemed easier than the first one...
Since I had come to Germany to attend Damodara-priya Mataji's wedding, I decided spontaneously to visit my dear mother for three days, together with Olga. My mother had expressed that she did not feel well, and I would have been very regretful if she was to leave her body in the near future, and I had not taken the opportunity to pay her a visit.
On the 12th of July I flew together with Olga from Kharkov to Germany to attend the wedding of Damodara-priya Mataji and Gopal Sundara Prabhu at Goloka Dham. This event was so important to me, that I decided to interrupt my writing retreat and specially fly to Germany to participate in this wonderful celebration.
Devaki Devi Dasi's Traveling Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary. Welcome to relish this nectar!