We had a big group of 45 participants from every corner of the globe: Australia, North America, South Africa, different parts of Europe, Nigeria, South America, Russia, Ukraine - and of course India. The mood was once again so wonderful, sweet and deep. Spending four days together in seclusion and endeavoring to receive deeper insights into the secrets of chanting the holy name had a very uniting effect on the hearts of our participants and created a very confidential and intimate atmosphere. Even though we may not have known each and every persons names - nevertheless, the holy name set a special foundation to our relationships and united us on deeper levels of eternal reality: our relationship to Krishna through chanting His holy name.
Subhadra Mataji from Croatia who is blind lead the most amazing kirtans, crying out in true helplessness. It struck me how such calamities of being blind can be turned around into the greatest blessing - a rare opportunity to cultivate a deeper level of helplessness in chanting the holy name! Her evening kirtans were the highlight of the whole event.
Let us remember the wonderful statement Srila Prabhupada made during the Mayapur festival in 1975:
"This chanting should go on. Instead of meetings, resolutions, dissolutions,
revolutions and then no solutions, there should be chanting."
tiger-mentality, monkey-mentality, deer and elephant-mentality. They simply chanted and danced in ecstasy, and the deer and tigers were embracing, in fact even kissing each other! Such is the power of chanting the holy name. It promotes us all to our real identity of being spirit soul, an eternal, loving servant of the Lord.
These animals reflect our materialistic conditioning – we have a few elephant-like devotees among us. There are a few tiger-like persons around also, not so many deer-like devotees, and lots of monkey-like personalities. By chanting deeply, with longing to serve, we can free our hearts from all temporary designations and conditionings. We will give up our enmity and our tendency for quarrel and conflict. Instead, we will simply glorify the Lord in harmony and love, overcoming all bodily identifications and interests.
Can you imagine what an amazing effect it may have, if the devotees in each of our communities would assemble every day for two hours of kirtan? Not only the young devotees, but all devotees! This would indeed give everybody a most unique focus and would provide the solution to all misgivings, tensions and disagreements.
Such a simple solution, yet so difficult to put into practice!
During the closing ceremony on the last evening of the retreat, devotees shared wonderful realizations - by the mercy of Lord Nityananda the entire event had indeed reached many hearts .....
Your servant, Devaki dd