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.
On the 3rd of February, a couple of days after our five courses concluded, we conducted another Holy Name Retreat at Ekachakra - this time for the student boys and girls of the Mayapur International School. Ramanipati Prabhu, one of the leaders of the school had requested me to spend some quality time with their pupils aged 11 to 18. We had decided to first welcome the boys with a group of teachers for two days to Nityananda's abode, and then a bus-load of girls and their teachers. What a wonderful excursion!
I had contemplated this idea for several years, and finally it was now coming true. Our children are so special, and they start chanting in japa and kirtan already at a very young age. If we can inspire them to develop good chanting habits from the very beginning of their life, it will give them a wonderful start to their way back home, back to Godhead.
The month of January was a very intense but blissful time for me in Mayapur. Over five weeks I was offering five courses - each course for five days, 3 hours in the afternoon. We started with "Sheltering Relationships - the Foundation to Devotee Care", followed by "The Vanaprastha Ashram - Meeting Death With Joy". Then we moved on to "Being in Harmony with the Other Gender", which formed the foundation to "Family Life as an Ashram", concluding with "Our Children are our Future".
On my arrival in Kolkata airport on the 11th of December I met my two assistants coming straight from Ukraine - Goloka Vasini Mataji and Lisa. Since it was already afternoon, we decided to spend one night in a hotel near the airport, and we traveled out to Mayapur early next morning.
I had visited the Coimbatore temple once before in 2014, and now I had found an opportunity for another visit. On my arrival I was comfortably accommodated in the home of Hema Mataji and her husband, who is the sister of well-known Radhesyama Prabhu from Punee. So I was in good company.....
Devaki Devi Dasi's Traveling Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary. Welcome to relish this nectar!