Back in South Africa, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja’s first stop was in Newcastle, to attend the annual Ratha Yatra festival.

He arrived in Newcastle on Thursday, 22 March. Maharaja started off his visit with a casual and amazing home program with the Newcastle Youth Group ‘Das Anudas’, leading a blissful kirtana session and he got the youth to chant the holy names with great intensity! HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami was also present and together they took Das Anudas on an inspiring journey back to the various occasions to when Lord Jaganatha, Baladeva and Lady Subadra appeared.

The next day Kadamba Kanana Maharaja kicked off the Ratha Yatra procession with an awesome two hour long kirtana, which got many outsiders enthusiastic to join in. Later both Maharajas gave a very deep and inspiring class, and ended the program with another jumping kirtana. Maharaja closed off the weekend with a program on Sunday evening at the tent campaign with a class on Karma Kanda, following ‘religion’ blindly and various other topics and then led the crowd through the final kirtana.

From Newcastle Maharaja made his way to Cape Town, where a jam packed week awaited him. Many classes were given and house programs were held, but the university programs were a special treat! Maharaja gave a talk at the UCT (University of Cape Town) and introduced the audience to the art of “mantra-yoga”, the chanting of the Maha Mantra. The next day Maharaja was invited to be interviewed by the UCT-Radio. The show was hosted by two students who shared a lot of interest in spiritual topics and thus a nice discussion developed. Maharaja also went to the Stellenbosch University to inspire the students with beautiful kirtana, followed by a lecture describing the very essence and purpose of life. The students responded in a very positive way and many questions were asked. Then, on Saturday evening (31 March) another student program took place, called “Spirit Matters”, this time in the local temple. After the kirtana, Maharaja gave a spiritual view on the topic of individuality.

Then of course on Sunday it was the great appearance day of Lord Ramacandra, Rama Navami. Already in the Bhagavatam class Maharaja read about Lord Rama from the ninth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam and sketched the incredibly dramatic side of the Ramayana. Later in the Sunday program he basically told the whole Ramayana (as far as it can be told in one and a half hours), pointing out many beautiful details of this most famous story (click here for access to these lectures).

The text and the pictures, which are describing and depicting the Newcastle Ratha Yatra were contributed by Sevanandi Devi Dasi.

Can’t view the slide show? Just visit flickr!

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