On my arrival in Berlin on the 29th of August I spent some days associating with
the local devotees and giving a couple of morning and evening classes.The Berlin
city authorities had declared Saturday the 1st of September as the "Night of Religions".
It had been advertised widely all around Berlin, and people were encouraged to visit
various religious organisations with open hearts and explore their missions and believes.
and feast for the Berlin yatra. I was invited to give the main lecture in the afternoon,
and many new people had come to explore the life style and mission of the Hare
Krishna's. They were asking good questions and were attentive and eager to hear.
I felt obliged to appologize to the audience for the lack of my ability to express myself
in the German language, since I have never read Srila Prabhupada's books in German
and am thus not so familiar with the spiritual vocabulary. One of the German devotees
had kindly agreed to sit close to me and help me find the suitable words in the German
language, sometimes simply translating my English phrases, and the audience was
somewhat amused to see how a German person can also be in need of a translater....
In the evening Sacinandana Swami attended the program leading a sweet and meditative
Kirtan, and people were drifting along the sound vibration into deep absorption in the holy name.
Maharaja was kind enough to give me his personal association in discussion, calling me
to his room. When his servant was bringing me my evening milk I felt embarrassed to take
it in his presence. Maharaja laughed in his child-like innocence stating: "We are on the
battlefield of preaching here! Let us forget all these formalities for now, so please drink your
The highlight of my visit to Germany was the ecstatic Kirtan Mela which took place in a
rented Holiday Camp near Chemnitz in the Eastern part of Germany.
On the 2nd of September around 400 devotees from all around Europe assembled for five
days in order to spend twelve hours every day in chanting the holy name in Kirtan. The
Sportshall was turned into a wonderful Bhajan Kutir, with tasteful decorations and partitions
made with a variety of colored and painted cloth. It created a wonderful and most conducive
atmosphere for meeting the Lord in the form of His holy name.
Many wonderful kirtanias had assembled - every one of them chanting with their personal
mood and thus adding a special flavor to the entire arrangement. It reminded me of a variety
of wonderful flowers arranged in a most beautiful bouquet.....
I mainly attended the kirtans of HH Lokanath Swami, BB Govinda Swami, Sacinandana
Swami, Yadubara Prabhu and Madhava Prabhu. Some days I also managed to attend
Krsna Ksetra Prabhu' Kirtans.
The Holy Name Retreat which we had just conducted in Kiev was a perfect introduction,
and this Kirtan Mela was simply a continuation of the same meditation - deepening our
relationship with the holy name.....
The event gave me an opportunity to connect with many devotees. I was invited to take
prasadam with the VIP's which is always a wonderful chance to get the association of
senior devotees and Srila Prabhupada's disciples from around the world. Some matajis
requested me to have a meeting with the ladies which was well attended.
I introduced the topic of "Exploring the roots of spiritual culture" and some ladies immediately
decided to register for our course in Mayapur. The interest in the topic is surprisingly keen.
Especially the young generation is hankering for something deeper and realizes that we are
missing the culture.
I also spent a couple of hours in discussion with Krsna Ksetra Prabhu, a wonderful sadhu.
He showed interest to attend our Swedish Festival next summer, and to visit Bangladesh
again - he had been there once in the beginning of the 1980's. Since then so much has changed.....!
On the 8th of September we took the holy name into the streets of Leipzig in a Ratha
Yatra Parade - a wonderful way to conclude the Kirtan Mela. Lokanath Swami's powerful
chanting was shaking all the people of Leipzig out of their ignorance, and devotees were
blissfully pulling the cart through the beautiful old part of the city. The parade ended on
the Market Square, and devotees were distributing prasadam to the public and conducting
a program on a little stage, with a lecture, Kirtan, Indian dancing and other cultural performances.
It was a joyful event, and thereafter devotees departed into all directions of Europe.
I spent one more week in Berlin and managed to get a student visa for India. Janmastami
Prabhu from Mayapur and his good wife were also there, and we enjoyed each other's
company in the morning classes discussing Srila Prabhupada's purports in Srimad Bhagavatam.
A young grhastha couple was kind enough to accomodate me in their home just around t
he corner from the temple, and we spent a nice time revealing our minds in confidence.
On the 16th of September I flew to Simferopol in Ukraine for yet another wonderful event -
the Bhakti Sangam Festival.....
Your servant, Devaki dd