Especially amazing were Radharani's cakes: the entire altar was decorated with the most beautiful works of art in the shape of cakes. The actual cake itself was always the same: a rather simple fruit cake. But the outside decoration was a most beautiful creation of artistic devotion - too beautiful to eat! And of course, the little ornamental figurines of Krishna and the gopis were not eatable....! There were cakes with pictures on it - Varsana, a painting of Radharani, her lotus feet, her slippers, etc. And some cakes even had little pastime scenes on them - something I had never seen before. How much time and energy, love and devotion had gone into creating these wonderful pieces of art! Radharani must have been charmed and conquered....!
If we get Radharani's attention and recommendation, then Krishna will surely accept us.....!
I had recently read Syamasundar Prabhu's book "Chasing Rhinos with the Swami" - a wonderful warm-up to my visit to London! Prabhupada had been so keen to establish a temple in London, and it was a great victory for him when his early disciples were finally successful in establishing the Bury Place temple, after a long struggle. These recollections strikingly establish once again, how Krishna ultimately makes the perfect arrangements at the right time, reciprocating with the sincere endeavors of His surrendered devotees.
I experienced the Manor to be a very special project within ISKCON. I could perceive a sense of historic greatness and importance still lingering in the atmosphere. George Harrison had donated the property to ISKCON, and Syamasundar Prabhu's book gives insights into his own personal friendship with this so world famous Beatles star. In 2013 the devotees had opened a very beautifully created Memorial Garden for George Harrison behind the temple. It has exotic trees and shrubs, big rocks and stones, with a water fountain and rustic sitting places - very naturally and uniquely arranged. Just like George Harrison would have liked it! Along the walk ways are short quotes from his songs, which are connected to Krishna. The park has a unique atmosphere - a wonderful sanctuary for contemplation and meditation......
I also had the opportunity to visit the temple in Soho Street in downtown London. It is a buzzing place with many little rooms and corridors - almost like a maze. And as always, I met a few well known faces! One morning I offered the SB class here, and on Saturday I conducted the same seminar "Being in Harmony With the Other Gender", facilitated through their College of Vedic Studies. I had a very mixed group of eager devotees attending, and the presence of senior devotees and disciples of Srila Prabhupada stimulated lively discussions. It was truly a great pleasure and honor for me to spend my time in their association!
On the 25th of September I flew off to Kishiniev/Moldova........
Your servant, Devaki dd