Written by Nimai
The Holy Name Festival in Spain had been a lot of fun and Kadamba Kanana Swami enjoyed it, however it was also intense and he felt the need to take a few days off and not do any programs. So we flew from Madrid to Split, Croatia where we landed in a tiny propeller plane (15 August). During our flight, from our window, we could see the 1000 islands of Croatia. We were nicely received at the airport and Matsya drove us to the apartment where we spent the next few days. The village was called “Razanj” which translates into “barbecue”. It was very peaceful and Maharaj regained some strength from spending some quiet time there. Our apartment was located just above the water so whenever we felt like it, we could just walk down in a minute and go for a swim.
It happened to be my birthday while we were there and Yasasvini made a raw cake and Malika Malati brought non-sugar ice-cream for Maharaj. Dharma-setu visited and Tridasha stayed with us for the whole stay and cooked all of Maharaj’s meals every day. He also rented the place for us and helped us a lot throughout our stay in Croatia!
After staying in Split, we drove to Zadar which is officially the number one tourist town in all of Europe. On the first evening (18 August), Maharaj was invited as the special guest for a program in the city center. Since it was Lord Balarama’s appearance day, Maharaj spoke about different pastimes in honour of him. In full detail, Maharaj told the stories of Pralambasura and Dhenukasura being killed by Lord Balarama. He explained that these demons represent bad qualities, for example Pralambasura is symbolic of lust, and Maharaj said that we have to “kill the Pralambasura in ourselves”. Similarly, Dhenukasura is representative of greed; he was consumed by material things and therefore he had to take the form of an ass. Maharaj emphasized that we should free ourselves from all unnecessary material things in order to rise above the platform of an ass. Maharaj also mentioned the word “saint” many times in his lecture and concluded by saying, “Today’s lesson is to become a saintly servant who gives his life to others.”
The next morning Maharaj gave another class at the house where we stayed. About thirty devotees attended so it was like in a temple. We went for a walk afterwards along the beach on a path that is called “karma”. When we came back, we found the house full with people once again. More than fifty pizzas were prepared for the big pizza party that was about to start and Maharaj was impressed and said that he never saw anyone make so many pizzas in such a short time!
Tridasha drove us to Split and he and Dharma-setu stayed with us at the house of a really friendly old lady, Lalita Mataji (a disciple of Sridhar Swami). She made sure we had everything we needed and even cooked for Maharaj herself. Maharaj told us that he spent six months in Split, some 45 years ago. Many things had changed of course but Maharaj still recognised some things and showed us where he used to live. We had one evening program in Split which was well attended and Maharaj got everybody to dance in a very wild kirtan.
The next day we took a plane to Zagreb and then drove to the temple which is located a bit outside the city. We spent two days there and Maharaj did the whole Sunday program as well as initiated a new disciple, Krsnalekha dd – haribol!
From the temple, Gudakesh drove us to his house which is close to Croatia/Slovenia border, and we stayed two nights. We decided to go for a walk on one of the days so the devotees took us to a special healing place in the forest. There was a natural spring which was supposed have several benefits for health and good looks if you drank the water. Around the spring there were twenty-two healing spots and Maharaj happened to stand at the point which is supposed to heal any problems with eyesight. So Maharaj made a gesture of throwing his glasses away as if he didn’t need them anymore. There was one local woman though and when she saw it she told us that we shouldn’t make fun of the place or otherwise we would get bad reactions!
A lot of devotees live around the area there so when we had the evening program in Lendava. The room was packed and the mood was really good and once again the kirtan became ecstatic and Maharaj sang for a very long time. In the lecture that night, Maharaj mainly spoke about lust in all its forms. He gave many examples, told stories and gave dramatic performances throughout the class! The videos of that evening’s program are shared below. On 24 August, we travelled to Ljubljana for the celebration of Janmastami. Visit Flickr to see more photos.