(Photos by Rangadevi dasi)
Back in Amsterdam and immediately ready for the morning class, even on his birthday. On Friday (12 April), Maharaja turned sixty years old. To commemorate this day, he received a birthday cake and got presents from the devotees in Amsterdam. From the Vyasasan, the cake was cut and distributed after the morning class. In the class, he discussed the levels of realisation of worship; from the lower levels – worship out of fear, to the higher level – love of God. You can listen to the whole class below.
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.1.32 – Persons are more important than things.
KKS SB-5-1-32 12-Apr-2013 Amsterdam
Later that day, after the very busy dinner program, lots of visitors stayed for the Friday evening bhajans which later turned into a small birthday party for Maharaja. For almost two hours, Maharaja was singing his socks-off and he rocked the harmonium hard. At some point, the cooks came from the kitchen to join the tumultuous singing and dancing. One singing swami, a harmonium, two pounding mrdanga’s and Bhakti devi dasi (AU) was working the whompers. Our ears still remember the afterparty.
And then came the 2nd and 3rd birthday cake. Rangadevi made a birthday cake plus a special raw food cake for Maharaja himself. Maharaja and his dear friends Bhakta das & Bhakti devi dasi (AU) cut the cake and distributed it to everybody. Afterwards, Maharaja handed out delicious sweetballs.
It was a night to remember!
Saturday 13 April
After the Friday night of bhajans, the morning program on saturday was THE afterparty. And after lots of singing, Maharaja gave a class on the Srimad Bhagavatam. He described the structure of the universe, the different oceans and he explained that the Srimad Bhagavatam is not just theoretical – the more you go into the scripture, the more the bhagavatam comes to life until you realise that the Bhagatavam is life itself.
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.1.33 – The Oceans Really Exists in the Bhagavatam
Sunday Feast – 14 April
Temperatures were reaching 20 degree celcius in Amsterdam. But inside the temple, the sauna was turned on fully. After the introductory bhajans by Yadasampati and Linda, Maharaja took the stage and sang his latest tunes. The small temple was packed with everybody squeezing in. Thereafter Maharaja spoke on Bhagavad-gita. The class was in English and he discussed a verse from the 7th chapter dealing with Arjuna and Krishna on the battle field, witnessing their family ready for war. Maharaja explained that we need to make our spiritual practice not only spiritual but also practical, to a down-to-earth level. Everybody listened with rapt attention.
After the Sunday feast class, the kirtan led by HG Parividha prabhu took us to another spiritual plane. The program concluded with a super tasty vegetarian feast, prepared by the cooking team Vanee and Amrita.
Home Program – 16 April
Next stop was Bloemstraat! Maharaja went to visit the home of Uddhava & Visakha for a small, intimate home program. About 10 people joined for the evening program of pizza, ice cream and of course bhajans. Maharaja was singing his latest tunes and together with Parividha Prabhu it almost became an opera 😉
Leaving for Sweden.
On Wednesday, leaving us energized, Maharaja left for Sweden, ready for new adventures,