From Spain, HH Kadamba Kanana Maharaja travelled a 14-hour journey to Amsterdam, on Friday (18 August). The main purpose of the visit was to participate in the annual Ratha Yatra festival (20 August). Coincidentally, it was the hottest day experienced in Amsterdam in years – 38 degrees celcius, in the shade! Still, plenty of stalwart sankirtana devotees gathered, to celebrate the Lords tour through Holland’s capital city. Maharaja started-off the chanting, followed by HG Parivida Prabhu and HG Jagadananda Prabhu, after which HH Lokannatha Maharaja joined the party and took over the lead. He continued to Dam Square, one of Amsterdam’s most central points, where the Ratha Yatra procession merged into the festival site that was erected there.
What followed was a very well organized and colorful stage program. It began with classical Indian music, followed by modern Hare Krsna songs by Markandeya Dasa (KKS) accompanied by guitar. Thereafter, the Samadhi Dance Company, a local drama group, expertly performed an artistic musical, depicting the forces of Kali in this age. Kali was the “master of puppets” and the other actors danced according to his will. After the play, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja rocked the audience with a full-on kirtana, with Madhava Prabhu as his drummer. A large crowd of people assembled in front of the stage and danced enthusiastically. Amongst the dancers, one could spot Muslims, Krsnas, hippies, rastas, old-folk and young – all united, chanting in transcendental ecstasy. After Maharaja, Madhava Prabhu took over the lead and concluded the festival with his beautiful rendition of bhajana.
The next day, 300 devotees from a cruise that was touring different parts of Europe, joined-in to perform a Maha Harinama in the streets of Amsterdam. Apart from the yearly Queensday Harinama, this was the biggest Harinama Amsterdam has experienced in decades. The cruise was hosted by great personalities like HH Lokannatha Maharaja, HH Radhanatha Maharaja, HH Sacinandana Maharaja, HH Bhakti Purossottama Maharaja, HH Candramauli Maharaja, and HG Malati Mataji, all of whom came along to inspire the Harinama party. From the Central Station, the parade marched to Dam Square and back, purifying the three worlds simultaneously. In a talk, during a break in the procession, Sacinandana Maharaja pointed out that due to it being Purusottama Masa now, the benefit of our chanting will be multiplied many times over. But not only that, as he explained further, our chanting has created a special devotional service for this month for all those Dutch men, women and tourists who had heard Krsna’s names through our chanting!
Enjoy the pictures!
Here is the kirtana performed by Kadamba Kanana Maharaja during the Ratha Yatra festival!
If you cannot view the slide show below, please visit flickr!