I was excited to have the opportunity to visit New Vrindavan - one of the most prominent and famous communities within ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada had visited here several times, encouraging the devotees to establish a rural community on the basis of "simple living high thinking". And in order to glorify our beloved Srila Prabhupada, they had built a beautiful Palace of Gold for him, which has now become a very popular tourist attraction.
It was a great honor and pleasure for me to visit Dallas temple - one of the first temples which Srila Prabhupada established in the United States. It used to be a church - now transformed into the palace of Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji, Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra, and Gaur Nitai. The temple room is arranged in royal style, and Their Lordships receive a high standard of worship with opulent dresses and jewelry.
My tour around the United States began in Houston where ISKCON has a very beautiful temple - the abode of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava, Gaur Nitai and Giriraja. I had visited this community also last year, and it was nice to meet all the devotees again. Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava with Their big round faces and most extraordinarily beautiful outfits are so charming to the heart.....!
On my arrival I could give my body a couple of days' rest in order to adjust to the different climate and time zone.
On my arrival in Cologne on the 28th of March I was invited to speak at a house program in Dhara Mataji's home. She regularly arranges very wonderful programs with excellent prasadam, and she knows the art of bringing in new people from her yoga- and cooking classes. And the atmosphere is always very personal and cozy.
I arrived in Zagreb one day before Gaur Purnima - just in time to tune in for the festival day. In some ways I do prefer to be outside of India for our main Vaishnava festivals - as a preacher we have more opportunities to serve, and also the mood and atmosphere is somewhat sweeter, deeper and more intimate when not so many pilgrims are attending the program.
On my arrival in Cologne/Germany on the 11th of March, I had a couple of days' break to adjust to being back in Europe. Even though both places - India and Europe - are so familiar to me, nevertheless it is always a bit of a culture shock which requires some little adjustment within the mind to overcome the feeling of separation from Mayapur.
The last highlight of my time in Mayapur was the annual program of our Institute for Spiritual Culture, which we conducted on the 3rd of March. This year the overall theme was "The Glories of Our Mothers", bringing attention to the importance of the seven mothers which Krishna has given us. The guest speakers were HH Krishna Kshetra Maharaja, HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Maharaja, HH Bhakti Rasamrita Maharaja, Her Grace Rukmini Devi Dasi and Her Grace Prabhupada-priya Devi Dasi.
1st of March was the special day of the maha abhishek of the big Pancha Tattva Deities in Mayapur. Since the event takes place only every five years, many devotees had arrived from far and wide to witness the transcendental pastime. I had been so fortunate to attend all the maha abhishek's in the past, including the installation of the Deities.
Immediately after Nityananda's appearance I offered the seminar "The False Ego - Our constant Companion and Troublemaker" over four afternoons. At that time many devotees arrive in Mayapur, so it is always a good time to offer a course. Since the topic of the false ego is a catchy and intriguing one, we had a good crowd of 50 to 70 devotees eagerly participating.
On the 10th of February, two days after our return from Ekachakra to Mayapur was Vasanta Pancami - the beginning of spring. It is always such a beautiful day, when Radha Madhava and the Astha Sakhis are dressed in yellow, with profuse flower decorations - all in yellow.
Devaki Devi Dasi's Traveling Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary. Welcome to relish this nectar!