It was in 1652 that Dutch colonialist, Jan van Riebeeck, reached the native pastoral land of the southernmost tip of the African continent. It was due to the optimism of establishing a supply camp for ships en-route to the East that this area was known as The Cape of Good Hope! It was here that the Dutch East India Company set up camp and developed the region to what eventually became known as the city of Cape Town.
Since the turn of the 21st century, another Dutch descendant has been making inroads into the development of this region but this time, on a spiritual level. Kadamba Kanana Swami has been referred to as the ‘favourite devotee of Cape Town’ as a result of his long-term dedication to the yatra. It was also nice for me to meet Maharaj here as it was at this temple that I met him for the first time in 2003.
Maharaj travelled from Sydney, Australia and arrived in Cape Town late on Friday, 28 March. After a day of rest to recover from the long journey and jet lag, the first program he did was at the house of a disciple on Sunday morning. Due to the intimate nature of the audience, his lecture was based on Krsna’s Vrndavan pastimes from the 10th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam and he spoke deeply on the guru-disciple relationship. The day continued at the temple with the Sunday Feast Program where the lecture focused on topics such as knowledge, guilt and attachment.
The daily morning Srimad Bhagavatam classes were from canto 9, chapter 5 entitled Durvasa Muni’s Life Spared and covered subjects like offenses, austerities, forgiveness and offering respect, amongst others.
Tuesday (1 April) evening’s lecture could be entitled The Good Times Ahead where Maharaj spoke of the imminent doom of technology and how it will serve as a catalyst for a shift to village life that is based on the teachings of Bhagavad-gita.
On Wednesday, Maharaj presented a lecture entitled The Modern Age, at the Bhakti Yoga Society weekly meeting at the University of Cape Town. The final program in Cape Town took place on Thursday night where the lecture began with descriptions of the mercy of Panca Tattva and then he continued to speak about faith in spiritual in life!
This was Part One of the visit to Cape Town. On Friday, Maharaj flew to Durban and then drove inland to the town of Newcastle to participate in their Ratha Yatra Festival (5 April). Today, he gave class at the Sri Sri Radhanatha temple in Durban at their pre-Rama Naumi Festival. Tomorrow (7 April), he will return to Cape Town and spend the rest of the week there.
Here are photos from all the programs mentioned above. If you cannot view the slide-show below, then please visit flickr.