color, with the leaves dropping and being carried by the wind. The European autumn brings along a certain mood of melancholy, contemplation and introspection. It is the season when life is dwindling. Spring carries the mood of re-awakening, birth and blossiming. Summer brings about growth and bearing fruits - reproduction, and autumn is the season of dwindling and withdrawing, until winter comes with its ice-cold climate - the mood of inertness and sleep - almost like a symbolic death. I remember missing those four seasons when living in Sydney - a place where there is not much difference between the seasons of the year.
I was invited to give a couple of morning classes and enjoyed associating with the devotees, trying to reach out to whoever I could to offer inspiration and encouragement. Whenever we have the mood and attitude of "where is somebody who I can give something to", then Krishna arranges all kinds of situations and uses us as an instrument to help fulfill His plans and arrangements. It is almost the same principle when on Sankirtan.
"You have asked about the specialness of the month of Karttika, and the answer is that it is a special inducement for persons who are not in Krsna consciousness to perform some devotional service. For persons who are doing nothing in Krsna consciousness, it is an indirect inducement to take to devotional service in earnest seriousness, every moment is Karttika. In this connection, there is a good example that sometimes a store gives a special concession to attract new customers. But for those who are already customers there is no need of a special sale. They will purchase at any cost if they know the important value of the goods. Similarly, those who are pure devotees do not aspire for any concession, and out of spontaneous love try to engage themselves in devotional service twenty-four hours each day, three hundred and sixty five days every year, without any stoppage."
After a small lecture they were singing rather modern songs - with guitarre and drum kid, reminding of American Gospel songs. I had never attended such sermon before, and I was missing the more traditional songs. Then several couples were sitting in different parts of the church at a little table, and people could approach them, share some problems and reveal their minds, and receive some advice and blessings. In another corner people could write down prayers and expressions of gratitude on a piece of paper, which were read out at the end of the service - anonymously. Lisa and myself were observing the program, while my mother felt supported by our presence and happy to be affectionately greeted by her friends. Such is the power of like-minded association within any religious or spiritual practice - we do need association. She introduced me to everyone as her "exotic daughter from India".
On the 11th of October I traveled on to Cologne, together with Lisa......
Your servant, Devaki dd