During the month of Kartik, we’ve had extensive coverage of Kadamba Kanana Swami’s activities in Vrindavan and Mayapur, written by Nandan and Rukmini, for which we received great appreciation. Maharaj stayed on in Mayapur until 17 December and here is a synopsis of what happened in the days after Kartik.
Meetings and more meetings, with respect to the Mayapur Masterplan, remained the dominant aspect of his schedule however, as always, still he made time to associate with those who are eager to hear from him.
On Sunday (29 November), students from the Mayapur Institute of Higher Education together with disciples and well-wishers were accompanied by Maharaj on a parikrama to Godrumadvipa, the island dedicated to kirtan. And in staying true to the principal service of the island, Maharaj led melodious kirtan and spoke the sweet pastimes of Survana Vihara, Hari-Hara Ksetra and Nrsimha Palli. He quoted the writings of Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Sanatana Goswami and Locana Das Thakur at various times in his narrations.
In the week which followed, Maharaj continued teaching “Nectar of Devotion” as part of the Bhakti Sastri course. Then, an initiation ceremony took place on Sunday morning (06 December), where Mathuresh Das from Czech & Indulekha dd from Russia received first initiation, and Hari Vilasa Das from Cape Town received second. In an inspiring lecture which preceded the taking of vows, Maharaj spoke on the life of Dhruva Maharaj, who achieved perfection and went back to Godhead, starting with the Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.12.17. Maharaj highlighted some of the following points from the verses he read aloud – Dhruva’s mood of humility in his journey, his offering of respect to the great sages who gave him transcendental knowledge, and Dhruva’s gratefulness for the mercy he received from his mother, Suniti and his spiritual master, Narada Muni.
At 2pm on the same day, Maharaj was the guest-speaker at the Russian Sunday Program which took place in the Community Hall. After a long kirtan session that had the audience swaying and clapping their hands, he spoke on the glories of the Panca Tattva, especially of their merciful nature.
On Ekadasi night (07 December), Maharaj lived up to his reputation with another 2 hour long feet-don’t-touch-the-ground-kirtan. Apart from the beautiful sound of Maharaj’s voice and the accompanying musical instruments, it was a spectacle to see the organized chaos with which devotees danced. The expression of bliss that night will remain etched in our memories for a long time…
Many disciples were present in Mayapur and some were old friends whereas others were new acquaintances. And in an effort to get to know everyone a little better, two of our seasoned godfamily members who reside in Mayapur, Sacidevi Dasi and Ter Kadamba Das, organized a disciple gathering on Tuesday night. The program began with Ter Kadamba speaking about the need for good relations between disciples and how we should offer support to each other. Thereafter, disciples got to introduce themselves and each one was appreciated by others for their respective services. The meeting ended with a little feast which left us on a sugar high.
After Maharaj completed teaching the “Nectar of Devotion” course, he began a seminar series on the Siksastakam (11-15 December) as part of the Kirtan Academy, as he did the year before. However, a different audience this time asked new questions which brought out other angles of explanations to the verses.
Then, another wonderful excursion happened on 13 December. At 10am that day, devotees gathered outside the Gada Park from where they departed for a visit to Yoga Pitha, Srivas Angan and the house of Murari Gupta. Maharaj walked at the front end of the group and led kirtan for most of the way. A walk through the countryside was a pleasant sight especially for those of us who reside in cities. At Srivas Angan and at the house of Murari Gupta, the group stopped and Maharaj shared the significance of these places of pilgrimage.
Interspersed in all of this, Maharaj gave a couple morning classes to English and Russian audiences, based on Srimad Bhagavatam, canto 6, chapters 17 and 18. This section covered interesting topics like the natures of men & women, and their expectations within relationships – entertaining to listen to but also thoughtful. Recordings to follow soon!
On 17 December, Maharaj left Mayapur and travelled to South Africa where he is currently. He made a three day trip to freezing Germany last week and is back this week, having a “Sravanam-Kirtanam” Retreat (04-07 January) with about 100 devotees, in the Drakensberg Mountains.
Visit flickr to see all the photos.