By Rukmini devi dasi
Despite the previous late night (27 April), at mangal arati the temple room was packed to capacity with devotees from Croatia, Czech, Germany, Slovakia, Norway, Sweden, Serbia, England, Australia and South Africa.
At the class that followed later, Maharaja spoke from the fifth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam on the relationship between varnasrama and devotional service. He said that devotional service is independent of varnasrama but if we would like to maintain our devotion over a long period of time then taking shelter of an asrama would be very helpful. His presentation was an intelligent and balanced approach both practical and philosophically solid – true KKS style.
Later that morning, Maharaja presented a special session entitled “Dedication to the holy name”. Here, he compared receiving the holy name at the time of initiation to one excitedly unwrapping a gift, only to find that it was something you already had – an anti-climax! He went on to explain what one actually receives at the time of initiation i.e. together with the holy name, the disciple receives the mercy of the spiritual master who prays to Krsna to accept this soul despite his chanting of broken names. Thus the holy name is an integral part of the guru-disciple relationship. In this way, Maharaja consistently dedicated his energy into sharing with us sterling gems of Krsna conscious realizations that he has unearthed and treasured himself. The session was punctuated with hilarious dramas by Shyamananda Prabhu (resident at Radhadesh) who expertly depicted the tussle with our minds in everyday japa.
The early evening was a laid back movie session. It included the debut of ‘first chapter’ of a production on the Bangladesh tour that Maharaja conducted in October 2011. Maharaja shared fond memories of the trip and highlighted some of the deep insights obtained. Mother Vishaka (ACBSP) also showcased a short movie
Behind the scenes, a hustle of activity took place. It was the only tell-a-tale signs of the loving investment of incalculable time and energy. The next day brought the priceless opportunity to immerse ourselves in the heart-felt celebration of Sri Vyasa Puja entitled “A bumpy road to harmony – a memoir in pictures”. It was an excellent production that any contemporary audience could appreciate and relate to. It was also special treat for the devotees to see the life story such a dedicated servant of Srila Prabhupada.