Written by Uddhava

Wednesday, 26 April 

After the exhausting previous day, Kadamba Kanana Swami still appeared to give the Srimad Bhagavatam class in the morning. And this day would continue into a myriad of events with a wedding, karatal workshop and initiation ceremony in the afternoon.
After the morning class, preparations started for the vivaha (marriage) ceremony of Antardvip and Yasmin. The temple room and yajna area were beautifully decorated and the ceremony was performed by Dhira Krsna Prabhu, the head pujari in Radhadesh. The couple was effulgent and the bride beautifully adorned! After taking their vows, walking around the fire, having their hands bound with a flower garland and last but not least, the tying of the dhoti and sari, they were officially husband and wife! Afterwards they met with friends for the traditional cutting of the cake!

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:

Līlā-kamala
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.

Locana
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.

Jalāśayā
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)

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