Apart from his participation in the Ratha Yatra held in Hamburg, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja spent the last two weeks in Amsterdam. While here, he attended the Amsterdam chariot festival and Maha Harinama (described in previous posts) but the purpose of his prolonged stay was to assist in the change of temple management and to install the new president.
For the last four years HG Dhananjaya Prabhu, an early disciple of Srila Prabhupada, served as the temple president. Actually, Dhananjaya Prabhu opened the first temple in Amsterdam where he personally received Srila Prabhupada in 1972. At that time, being inspired to help the yatra, he took upon the role of temple president as well.
However, now the service has been handed-over to Markandeya Dasa (KKS), who is of German origin, but nevertheless is still willing to help with the preaching mission in Amsterdam. Another one of Maharaja’s disciples, Iksvaku Prabhu has also joined in support of Holland’s capital. He is a stalwart book distributor from Croatia who plans to preach daily on the streets.
Markandeya Prabhu and his team are full of enthusiasm in their new service! Some early goals that they plan to pursue include renovation of the temple building, while simultaneously searching out a better location for the temple. In this way, they hope to inspire more devotees to participate and kick-start a wonderful project for Krsna. We shall give them our blessings in this new endeavour.
During his stay, Maharaja met with other local leaders in several meetings, discussing strategies for the new management. He also collected the funds and purchased a new vehicle for the temple to allow flexibility for preaching and other practical purposes. Additionally, he held daily Bhagavatam classes which gradually inspired more devotees to participate in the morning programs at the temple. He also led bhajanas and gave the lecture at the Sunday program where he elaborately described the mistery of transmigration of the soul.
On Thursday afternoon (23 August), a handful of devotees assembled at the main station and performed a sweet little Harinama through the inner-city of Amsterdam. The locals responded very favourably as pedestrians danced and sang; while some street musicians even played along with the Harinama party. On another day, Maharaja served as a tour-guide as he showed some of the brahmacaris the countryside of Holland. All-in-all, it was a highly productive visit!
Enjoy the pictures!
If you cannot view the slide show below, please visit flickr!