Dear devotees and friends,
Please accept our best greetings and good wishes, all glories to Srila Prabhupada!
In this newsletter we would like to share some small inspirations about the freshly celebrated Janmastami festival and the visit of H.H.Sacinandana Swami. We would also like to express our gratitude to Bernd and Ramona Henkel.
This year´s festival was broadcast online to fit in with the Corona regulations but still some special guests were present to celebrate it. Despite the rain and cold weather, the devotees took shelter in the big tent for hours of Kirtan to prepare their hearts for Lord Krsna´s appearance. On Monday afternoon, just as the deities came out for their annual parade, the Sun also appeared to celebrate and worship Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan. That certainly added a lot of pleasure in the hearts of the devotees. H.H.Sacinandana Swami gave inspiring lectures during the entire festival and took the devotees to higher and higher states of consciousness. In between the programs, Maharaja gave a lot of his time to encouraging and guiding the devotees, who were present.
The appearance day of Lord Krsna culminated on Monday evening with a gorgeous abhisheka, and melodious kirtans by Ramanaji, Gaura Krsna and Jay Goura. Just before the midnight darshan, H.H.Sacinandana Swami took the devotees to Vrindavana with a stunning slide show. After the beautiful darshan appearance of the Lord, a delicious banquet was distributed.
We would very much like to thank the pujaris of Goloka Dhama who organised amazing darshans. Jay Rama and Madanalasa being the main organisers and Advitya Baladeva who took the responsibility of supervising all the cooking and prasadam distribution.
On the next day, the celebration of Srila Prabhupada´s appearance was heart warming and filled with grateful feelings. We sincerely hope that next year, we shall be liberated from the Corona Virus once and for all so that we may celebrate Janmastami all together.
This year, H.H.Sacinandana Swami decided to stay in Goloka Dhama for a few extra days, thus giving two wonderful lectures on the topic of becoming empowered. He spoke in detail about a beautiful example of empowerment: the life of Krsna dasa Kaviraja Goswami. This topic is very relevant because most of us can perceive the great limitations to our own achievements, while at the same time desiring to offer much more in our service to Guru and Krsna.
Inspired by Sutapa Prabhu, Sacinandana Swami gave structured steps to becoming empowered:
1. Open yourself and be flexible for the Lord´s arrangements. Do not be too attached to your own plans but rather in the position of receiver instead of achiever. Maharaja gave the example that a thermos cup, turned up and down cannot get any water inside; we need to open our heart to receive the empowerment of the Lord. In his mission to serve his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada kept his heart always open. Many times his attempts did not work in the beginning but by remaining flexible and trying different options, he finally became successful.
2. We need to develop a desire to serve Guru and Krsna, only then will spiritual empowerment come to us.
In this regard, Maharaja spoke of 3 different types of services: 1. Services that you want to do 2. Services that are needed 3. Services that will make you grow (caring for others, challenging etc...)
3. We need the mercy of Guru and Vaisnavas
4. We need to be prepared to face and overcome difficulties
For this point, Maharaja quoted Prabhupada in SB 2.9.24: “An easy going life and attainment of perfection in transcendental realization cannot go together”
5. If one wants to hold on to the empowerment, then one will need to remain humble.
We hereby reveal a little secret: Sri-Sri-Radha-Madana-Mohan have had Their own beekeepers for over 20 years! Did you know that? - Bernd and Ramona Henkel, long-time Circle of Friend members and devoted hobby farmers and beekeepers, have been bringing 50 kg of first-class bee honey to Radha-Madana-Mohan every year for over 20 years. With every visit they bring not only a lot of honey, but also fresh organic vegetables from their own market-garden. On the picture you can see a beautiful specimen, cultivated with a lot of bhakti!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Bernd and Ramona from the bottom of our hearts for their many years of faithfulness and constant support for worshiping Sri-Sri-Radha-Madana-Mohan. May Radha-Madana-Mohan bless them with pure devotional service and always protect them on their path! Gaura-premanandi - hari hari bol!
With gratitude for your continual support,
In the name of the community,
Your servant, Gaurahari dasa