We have a series of catch-up posts coming up on Kadamba Kanana Swami’s travels during July and August…

Written by Nadia Karuna dd

From the Radhadesh Summer Festival in Belgium, Kadamba Kanana Swami travelled to Zurich (Monday, 27 July). Krishna Prema Rupa Prabhu, Bhakta Matthias, Bhaktin Ramona and I picked him up from the airport and drove to the beautiful Swiss mountains near Berne.

This year’s location for the retreat was very well-chosen. The organizers did a perfect job again! The fresh air, nature and sattvic environment helped the assembly to easily immerse deep into the Holy Name. Most of the devotees brought along with their Deities and transformed the altar into a huge blissful spiritual home.

Upon arriving, Maharaj took a short break and then began the evening with a beautiful bhajan and nobody wanted for it to end. The bright and spacious room was filled with devotees from near and far – some of them came from England, Netherland, Austria, Germany and Italy. The lecture that followed, given in German, started with the story of Jagai and Madhai and concluded that with the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, both of them were released from their sins. Maharaj went on further to say that Krsna wants more and more therefore one should not plateau in spiritual life, rather one should steadily go forward. Also, Krsna does not look at what you give up but instead, he looks at what you are holding back!

On Tuesday, Maharaj gave Srimad Bhagavatam (11.14.16) class. The main topic was our internal residence in Vrindavan – that manifestation of the Dhama, which Srila Jiva Goswami describes, is a state of consciousness. Our spiritual wealth has to be planted. We have to care for whatever treasures we find, maintain these treasures, nurse them with hearing and chanting, then these treasures will sprout in deep Vedic realizations. Our mind should be Vrindavan. This lecture was given in English.

It was a great pleasure that Maharaj took lunch prasadam in the dining room and gave personal exchanges to the fortunate devotees there. Then he used the afternoon to take rest and recharge his batteries for the following kirtan day.

The whole of Wednesday (29 July) was a great opportunity to participate at the 12h kirtan and please Sri Krsna with singing his Holy Names. Everyone could feel the atmosphere was getting more spiritual and cleansed from distractions as long as the kirtans went on. At the end, Maharaj began with a mellow bhajan which grew quickly into an awesome rocking wild kirtan, which lasted into the night. Everybody jumped up from their seats and danced until the whole house was shaking and trembling – holy cow!

Somewhat hoarse from the previous evening, Maharaj gave an incredible class on Thursday afternoon. He pointed out so many practical and helpful things for spiritual life. After the class, Maharaj went out for a japa walk and discovered some parts of the Swiss Alps. He also used Thursday to give darshan to some fortunate devotees, including Bhakta Andreas, Bhakta Suri, Bhakta Kajen, Bhaktin Carolina and Bhaktin Esma.

In the evening, Kadamba Kanana Swami and Sacinandana Swami opened up a Q-and-A session. The devotees were eager to use these great opportunity and ask their questions. One important point mentioned was, “I try my best and let Krsna do the rest!” On this Friday was Guru Purnima and Srila Sanatana Goswamis disappearance day. In Maharaj’s Srimad Bhagavatam (10.20.6) class, he pointed out the Vedic injunctions in glorification of the spiritual master.

During the day, I prepared myself to receive initiation. In the afternoon, Maharaj gave an amazing and touching initiating lecture. I felt, and still feel, deep gratitude that Maharaj gave me shelter at his lotus feet as well to those who I know from my first days in this movement who supported me all the time so kindly. From that day, on my name is Nadia Karuna devi dasi (previously Vanessa Sigrist). In the evening, the retreat was almost finished. Finally the children presented a cute power-point show for everybody’s pleasure, about their plays during the week.

Early on Saturday (1 August), Krishna Prema Rupa Prabhu, my husband Bhakta Silvan and I drove Maharaj back to Zurich to the main station, where he left for Sri Dhama Mayapur. Again, we all had an awesome time with Maharaj and of course, we want him back here next year!

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