Written by Uddhava
Wednesday, 26 April
The afternoon was dedicated to expanding our spiritual family during the initiation ceremony with a record number of seventeen initiates. The Radhadesh temple room once again filled to the maximum and the temple room plus fire ceremony area were again beautifully decorated. All the initiates gathered around the ceremony area and were awaiting the arrival of their spiritual master.
Maharaj started with a short speech on the vows of initiation and continued with the name giving of the new initiates. There were nine first initiations and eight second initiations.
Gopinathacarya Prabhu did a wonderful job of translating the Sanskrit names and gave their meaning. Here are some examples:
The lotus-like pastimes (līlā); the pastimes which are untouched by the material world, even if they are manifested in this world, like a lotus is untouched by water, though it grows out of the water.
Literally “vision” or “sight”. The name is an abbreviation of Tri-locana (“he who has three eyes”), a name of Śiva. Locana Dāsa is the author of the Caitanya-maṅgala, a Bengali biography of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
She whose residence (āśaya) is in the water (jala). A name of Rādhārāṇī, who appeared in a golden lotus in the Yamunā.
This enervating day was not over yet. We still had three dramas planned that night as part of the closing ceremony for the Radhadesh part of the festival. When the evening ended, we all went to bed early for the final leg of this festival namely the Kingsday harinama which took place the next day in Amsterdam.
You can watch the whole initiation event below (or on youtube)