Every first Saturday in a month the devotees conduct here a bigger program, where around sixty people from the surrounding cities are coming together.
Since Mo, the 3rd of October was a public holiday I was scheduled to offer the course "Giving and Accepting Shelter - the Foundation to Vaisnava Relationships and Devotee Care" over the long weekend, using the Saturday program as introduction to the course. We had a nice little group of interested devotees participating - the discussions were reaching their hearts, and some seeds were sown to the understanding of what Devotee Care is all about.
It was a great pleasure for me to visit this community, and it gave me an opportunity to get to know Dina Sharana Mataji on a more personal level.
Out of all city temples in Germany the Koeln yatra is definately the most vibrant and dynamic one. It is also the only city temple which is ISKCON property, and this gives of course stability to a yatra. The area around Koeln is densely populated, and thus there must be around 300 devotees living within a radius of one hundred kilometers. The community has a very active Russian congregation, and also an active Indian congregation, and of course also a nice group of Germans, and they all work very nicely together.
".....He greatly loved his wife Barhismati, and with the increase of days, their exchange of nuptial love also increased. By her feminine behavior as she dressed herself, walked, got up, smiled, laughed, and glanced about, Queen Barhismati increased his energy. Thus although he was a great soul, he appeared lost in the feminine conduct of his wife. He behaved with her just like an ordinary man, but actually he was a great soul.
Purport: .... To maintain such a life of strict vigilance, one needs encouragement from his wife. In the varnasrama-dharma system, certain classes, such as the brahmanas and sannyasis, do not need encouragement from the opposite sex. Ksatriyas and grhasthas, however, actually need the encouragement of their wives in order to execute their duties. Indeed, a grhastha or ksatriya cannot properly execute his responsibilities without the association of his wife. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally admitted that a grhastha must live with a wife.
Ksatriyas were even allowed to have many wives to encourage them in discharging the duties of government. The association of a good wife is necessary in a life of karma and political affairs. To execute his duties properly, therefore. Maharaja Priyavrata took advantage of his good wife Barhismati, who was always very expert in pleasing her great husband by properly dressing herself, smiling, and exhibiting her feminine bodily features.
Queen Barhismati always kept Maharaja Priyavrata very encouraged, and thus he executed his governmental duty very properly. In this verse iva has twice been used to indicate that Maharaja Priyavrata acted exactly like a henpecked husband and thereby seemed to have lost his sense of human responsibility. Actually, however, he was fully conscious of his position as a spirit soul, although he seemingly behaved like an acquiescent karmi husband."
Prabhupada further explains how in former days ksatriyas were even allowed to have many wives - not because they were so lusty that they could not be satisfied with one - no! They were such heroic leaders, that the feminine energy coming from one wife was not enough - they needed the energy of several wives in order to rule the entire world.
Sometimes we can find, that if a man is not situated in marriage but is lacking this feminine energy in his life, he might just steal a few drops of it, by reaching out to ladies, preaching to them and 'taking care of them'.
And of course, a lady can feel this, and as a result she might get attached to him, thinking that he might want to marry her. When approached with this question, he might react very surprised, exclaiming that he is simply preaching to her.....!
Let us clearly understand that not only do most of us women need the protection and care of a man - at least for some period of our life - but also most men do need the feminine energy in order to be motivated and responsible. Once again we can discover how perfect Krsna arranged the system He has given us.....
On the 10th of October I flew off to Delhi......
Your servant, Devaki dd