"Exploring The Roots Of Spiritual Culture" for Vaisnavis......
On the 30th of June we welcomed forty ladies coming to participate in this transformational journey - twenty coming from various parts of Russia, and twenty from different cities of Ukraine and Moldova.
I had limited the number of participants to forty ladies in order to create a personal atmosphere where I could give attention to each and every person, and allow everyone to ask questions and share realizations and comments.
We had rented rooms in several hostels of Colleges and Universities in order to accomodate everyone for these two weeks.
And as usual the entire event was conducted on donation basis - no fixed fees, since this is indeed such an important part of brahminical culture!
And this fact creates a wonderful mood of service: if the leaders are in a selfless mood of service, then this mood filters down through the entire program, and every participant wants to serve and give.
Spiritual culture is a culture of giving, where everybody is simply absorbed in wanting to serve and contribute. No need to charge, since there is a competition of service in selflessness.....!
Everybody was so eager to embark on this transformational experience - in humility, with open hearts and minds.....!
The teaching scedule was tight with a minimum of five hours of seminars every day, for five days a week. (The need for translation sentence by sentence makes it twice as long.)
Every morning we chanted japa together and joined the morning program in the temple, followed by the seminar session after breakfast.
Sharing in pairs and exercises brought the participants closer together, and the skits performed each morning summarizing the topics of previous day's discussions deepened the learning experience and added a pinch of imagination and creativity, seasoned with a good sense of humour.
Some of those skits were absolutely wonderful and deep, bringing tears to my eyes - sometimes in laughter, sometimes my heart being moved.....!
We took lunch prasadam together, and after a little break we continued with the afternoon session. Some days we had nice kirtans during the lunch break and in the evenings.
We became so close during those two weeks, after spending so much quality time together and learning in a group - almost like an extended family of sisters, cousins, aunties, mothers and grand-mothers!
The sweetest and deepest time in the association of ladies....!
And everybody was so blissful and excited, exploring so many life changing discoveries.....!
For the last day some ladies had made some nice cakes and requested me to distribute them to one and all - my favorite loving exchange: distributing prasad.....!
During the final sharing of realizations many expressed their internal transformational experiences. Everybody was so joyful and eager to try and apply the newly discovered principles in their life, and to share the knowledge with others.
Some described it as a life changing experience.....!
One of the senior ladies from Russia, Vadhu Rupa Mataji sent me the following feedback:
This course "Exploring the Roots of Spiritual culture" is simply brilliant!
Devaki Mataji has a wonderful ability to give deep spiritual knowledge and realizations to her audience.
The topics are very systematically presented in the hand-outs, and the discussions were profound and gave us deep insights into the eternal principles of spiritual culture.
I liked the atmosphere during the course - centered around discipline mixed with the spirit of respect and care. Everything was so nicely organised, with a wonderful service attitude.
I have been battling with my own false ego for the past twenty years, and it has not given me much success. Then, in 2012 I listened to the recordings of this course, and my consciousness changed by receiving some understanding of the position of a woman within spiritual culture.
Due to this transformation within my heart, and without any further external endeavor I could observe with great joy and surprise that the attitude of some senior men with whom I had had difficulties, had changed towards me!
And now after attending the whole course, I understand that the key to good relationships with men aswell as with women - the key to happiness and peace lies in getting rid of envy and pride. The key lies in the consciousness of
becoming a true servant - to give, give, give.....
And spiritual culture promotes and supports this transformation of consciousness towards becoming a humble servant.
I would like to apply all the principles of spiritual culture in my life as far as possible, and help those who are ready to accept them, and who are open to hear and discuss them.
With deep gratitude to Devaki Mataji and her assistants....,
your servant, Vadhu Rupa Dasi
The process of 'boiling the milk' in order to transform us into solid and sweet devotees - burfi-like devotees. Srila Prabhupada will be pleased.....!
On the 18th of July I flew off to Stockholm/Sweden for yet another wonderful event - the Scandinavian Bhakti Sangam Festival.....
Your servant, Devaki dd