Written by Uddhava
We will begin our day-to-day account of the festival. On Saturday, 22 April, after a tiring > 20 hour flight from South Africa via London, Kadamba Kanana Swami arrived at Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam. I took him to our apartment to freshen up, have some breakfast/lunch, and gave him some time to prepare for the upcoming drive to Radhadesh. After so many hours of flying, sitting and waiting; he appreciated a little downtime and sorted out his luggage. He brought four pieces of luggage, including a super heavy bag with the quote book that was produced in South Africa, as a gift for those who attend the Vyasa-puja festival.
After the meal, a long shower and packing up the car we were ready to leave for Radhadesh. Already devotees were inquiring on social media as to when we would arrive to make sure he would be welcomed nicely and that he could settle in comfortably in his apartment in Radhadesh!
Driving into the hillside area of Petite Somme, entering Radhadesh, we were readily welcomed by a party of chanting devotees. After dropping him off at his apartment and offloading his luggage, everyone followed him back into his room that was fully packed in one minute. He commented on the journey and related some stories from the recent South Africa adventures. And he welcomed the early guests that had come to meet -and-greet him.
For the rest of the day Kadamba Kanana Swami he took rest and in the evening went up the hill for a speedy evening walk, some well-needed exercise after a long journey.
Sunday, 23 April 2017
On Sunday, the second batch of devotees started arriving in Radhadesh, and by the evening the guesthouse started filling up gradually. Maharaj was slowly adjusting to the change in scenery and in the morning, he met with the festival management team to discuss some final details. For the rest of the day, he took it easy and only appeared from his apartment in the late afternoon. After the Ayurvedic treatment in Coimbatore, he has to follow a strict schedule to take his medicines to recover and he needed time to gather energy and to prepare for the coming days.
In the afternoon, he met up with friends & disciples and after an hour or so he took a whole group up the mountains for a walking workout session again! His daily walks are part of his health regime and he really goes full steam up the hills of the Belgium Ardennes. Some devotees were just managing to keep up with him on his mile-long walkabouts!
Monday, 24 April 2017
During the Srimad Bhagavatam class, Maharaj mentioned that there are at least 100 people who want to talk with him. And how that might not be possible!? So he quoted Prabhupada who said that he spoke to his disciples intimately in public during his classes. Kadamba Kanana Swami really likes that mood as during the class we are more focussed on Krsna and a casual talk with him might not at all be Krsna Katha. So he preferred to speak through the Bhagavatam with most of us and still meet in person those who came from the far corners of the world.
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.67
After an entertaining day, the festival officially started at 16h00. Of course, the preparations are still on-going but we have set time to meet all together and focus our minds & energy on the festival to come. We met again for the evening bhajans in the temple room with Kadamba Kanana Swami.