Upon arrival in Australia’s Krsna conscious outback called Govinda Valley near to Sydney, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja took a few days to recover from his somewhat intensive journey through South Africa and tank up for the Living with Vows Retreat (29-30 October). During this time, Maharaja gave two Bhagavatam classes. The first was discussing Krsna consciousness on a scientific level, based on Tamal Krsna Maharaja’s PhD thesis Living theology of Krsna Bhakti, mentioning that it is certainly a book worth reading. This was followed by an introduction to the retreat that was soon to happen.
Situated in nature, the Girl Guide Scout Camp in Glengarry, just a 30 minute ride from the North Sydney temple, provided a pleasant facility for the retreat. Even though fewer devotees participated this year compared to last, the retreat was still a success, considering the impact that Maharaja’s lectures had on the audience. In his talks, Maharaja established different levels of vows. Before the original sin, there is the original vow which is to be a servant of Krsna. Once we degrade to the material platform and become sinful then other vows are needed, like primary vows with the focus to direct our life towards spirituality and to reach perfection, e.g. the four principles and 16 rounds every day. Then, to govern our everyday life, we commit to secondary vows, i.e. vows of varna ashrama, vows of marriage etc. Further on, Maharaja elaborated on the importance of inner vows, supportive vows and common vows. The respective classes will be available on the blog shortly.
The camp’s final program was the Sunday feast in the North Sydney temple, with Maharaja leading kirtanas at full-steam and inspiring his audience with a very positive and practical advice.
Heart & Soul yoga
On Tuesday (2 October), Maharaja visited a nearby suburb called Cronulla, where the Govinda Valley project expanded in the form of a café called the Heart & Soul Café. At the café, one could find a poster advertising a lecture and music by Kadamba Kanana Swami in the nearby Heart & Soul Yoga Studio. After a full hour of meditative bhajanas, Maharaja addressed the crowd with a down to earth talk, establishing Vedic culture as being a very natural and effective approach to a life of goodness and spirituality. He explained further how the Hare Krsna world still has to grow up in their practices and embrace their own culture more in everyday life.
After a final program in the North Sydney temple on Wednesday night, Maharaja now is on his way to the Melbourne temple for just a pit stop before the long awaited flight to Vrndavana!
If you cannot view the slide show below, please visit flickr.