It had been a few years that I last visited the Baltic countries for preaching. Svarupa-Siddhi Prabhu and his good wife Govardhini Mataji who are heading up a little preaching center in Riga had felt inspired to arrange for a retreat in a nice holiday center near Sigulda, 45 km's outside of Riga. We had invited the devotees from the three Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) to come together and spend two days churning the nectar on the topic of "Men and Women in Spiritual Culture". On the weekend of the 22nd/23rd/24th of September a nice group of around 35 serious devotees assembled - some of them had traveled a long way to get here.
On my arrival in Zagreb on the 9th of September I was nicely received by the local devotees and settled into a comfortable guest room in the temple.
The gigantic Bhakti Sangam Festival in Ukraine is truly the most amazing event within the three worlds. It is so unique and unparalleled - simply out of this world! Nothing can compare to it.....!
After Janmastami I spent another two and half weeks in Kharkov/Ukraine in order to associate with the devotees and give my body a little more time to recover after the Chemo.
On the following Sunday I used the Sunday feast lecture to introduce the upcoming seminar "From Grhamedhi Life to the Grhastha Ashram", which we were conducting over two weeks, as extended evening program. Our devotees are always eager to attend systematic courses, and thus we had a nice group of devotees who participated in the entire seminar. Recently the realization had occured to me, that we have not yet managed to establish the grhastha ashram firmly, but are still with one foot in grhamedhi life. We are still tending more towards material patterns of behaviors, expectations and attitudes found in mundane family life. And it is very natural: we are coming from grhamedhi families, and we are surrounded by grhamedhi culture and propaganda - we are carrying a good portion of grhamedhi conditioning and "luggage" with us. It will take time to establish family life as an ashram - a place for cultivating pure devotional service. It requires systematic training and education, and ultimately an internal transformation of our desires, expectations, attitudes, visions and approach to family life.
Devaki Devi Dasi's Traveling Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary. Welcome to relish this nectar!