Written by Krishna Kirtan
On 10th of May, Kadamba Kanana Swami came to England after an incredible Sri Nrsimha Caturdasi festival in Simhacalam temple, South-West of Germany. Sutapa and Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Prabhus picked up Maharaj and took him to Krishna Kirtan’s house where he rested well and had some informal talks with them for that day.
The next morning Maharaj came to the Bhaktivedanta Manor to give the morning Srimad Bhagavatam class on the 10th Canto, chapter 11, verses 33 to 35. Maharaj straight away pulled out his phone to search the commentaries from Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. During the class, he told us that in the morning before japa he was reading the Saratha Darsini commentaries leading up to the Brahma Vimohana Lila, where there were descriptions of Krishna having a top knot. So this description then became Maharaj’s meditation during his morning japa. He was making the point that we need to absorb the mind in Krishna’s Lila and just think of Vrindavan, forget all else. Maharaj spoke a lot about the need for simplicity and how this is very favourable for our Krishna Consciousness. Telling us all that 1978 to 1984 were some of his favourite times in Vrindavan as things were still simple, and no-one had yet modernized or brought any Western culture into Vrindavan yet. The class ended on a very important note for everyone, with Maharaj stating that yes, Srila Prabhupada put Krishna at the front as He’s more known in the West, but he did introduce and give prominence to Lord Caitanya but now it is up to us to internally bring Lord Caitanya to the front! Because when we see our lacking we must turn to Him, Lord Caitanya and He is the one who will take us to Vrindavan.
In the evening there was an informal gathering of disciples and well-wishers at Krishna Kirtan Prabhu’s house. Around 30 devotees had come to spend time with Maharaj. And what a wonderful evening it was. Maharaj began with a short kirtan & then began reading the pastime when Nanda Maharaj was captured for untimely bathing to break Ekadashi vrata. Being captured by Varuna’s guards and then Krishna Himself came to rescue His father. Whilst reading the commentaries, Maharaj began explaining how these Krishna topics are every fresh as stated in the Lalita-Madhava that 1. The pastimes have transcendental potencies and 2. Based on the hearer’s pure eagerness and desire to relish them.
At the end of the evening, there was a small birthday surprise to celebrate and tie a few of the family members together. Hasita Raja Mataji had made an incredible cake for: Maharaj’s belated birthday, Janakinath Prabhu Sutapa Prabhu, Arjuna Raja, and Camplakata Priya Mataji. Maharaj got everyone singing and then all 5 joined hands over one knife to cut it and Maharaj began distributing to each of them.
The next morning Kadamba Kanana Swami left early morning to go to Plas Glansevin in Wales to facilitate the annual ISKCON Soho Street mentorship retreat. All were expecting a cold rainy affair, however Maharaj and the devotees being present in an old mansion house warmed up the atmosphere in no time. Maharaj delivered 6 seminars on the 9 processes of devotional service (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam (SB 7.5.23))
Throughout the retreat Maharaj elaborately in a very unique manner how simply by relishing the Srimad Bhagavatam most the process of devotional service are fulfilled. Everyday Maharaj read from the Saratha Darsini commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura, which inspired many others to follow and dive deep into these commentaries. Maharaj brought an abundance of energy to the retreat and devotees in the evenings with his special kirtans. The devotees came away after the 4 day retreat extremely inspired, enlivened and eager to progress after Maharaj’s association and deep presentations, which showed there is great room for individuality.
On Tuesday night Maharaj left Wales to return back to Krishna Kirtan prabhu’s house in London. Wednesday Maharaj spend some times with various disciples, having one to one darsans. Later that evening Maharaj took everyone to his godbrother, Vrajesvara Prabhu’s new house for an auspicious start and an evening to welcome and invite the vaisnavas first. The evening began with Maharaj leading ecstatic kirtan and then speaking for a short time, followed by prasadam and a Vrajesvara Prabhu showing great appreciation and gratitude to Maharaj and the assembled devotees.
The next day, a few disciples came in the early morning to take Maharaj to the London Heathrow Airport for his departure to Brussels. Having a wonderful and humorous time with Maharaj in the airport but unfortunately, he had to leave and carry on his journeys to Radhadesh to enable his writing projects to take priority.