By Rukmini devi dasi
Amsterdam is the capital city of the material world. On the Queen’s birthday, people flood the streets, taking the celebration of such a culture to the max. Slicing through the craziness was a group of two-hundred Vaikuntha men and women. With bright, smiling faces and dressed in flowing orange, they danced and swirled down the streets singing in sober ecstacy, having the biggest party of them all! The resounding clash of the cymbals and upbeat drums deafened the call of the material energy. Countless groups of unassuming bystanders got swept into the powerful kirtan. Scantily clad, with one hand on the beer can and the other on a mantra card, they chanted the holy names and moved to the beat of the drums. Through a spiritual microscope, one could examine just how their material sojourn came to abrupt halt and how the mercy of Lord Caitanya penetrated into lifetimes of karma. And the kirtan moved on.
One of the greatest wealth of the queensday harinama was the phenomenal kirtaniyas, including Vidyavicaspathi Das, Hare Krsna Das, Vraja Krsna Das and of course Kadamba Kanana Swami. Their enthusiasm and sincerity breathed life into the kirtan and the devotees were practically floating down the streets.
When in the mouth of Aghasura, one needs to remember Krsna. That was what the cowherd boys did. No doubt, Amsterdam was the gapping mouth of Aghasura yet with holy names resounding in our ears, remembrance of Krsna was the most natural thing in the world, despite the thicket of ignorance.
When Kadamba Kanana Swami finally took the lead, the clouds parted and we saw the first rays of sunshine in during our stay in Europe. The kirtan climaxed at a central promenade. A crowd of onlookers joined in and danced jubilantly with the devotees in a high energy, action packed sequence. For a moment all barriers dropped.
If you have not witnessed Queensday at least once in this lifetime then you haven’t lived. Queensday is not just a harinama or a preaching program. It is a pilgrimage into the capital of the material world. We enter with the sankalpa of gaining deep faith in the miracle of the holy name by sharing it with others. Regardless of the King, Queen or anyone in between, it was the royal flow of mercy that reigned supreme!
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