The „Findhof“ adventure – on tour with Sripad Sadhu Maharaja

Prologue: Vrindavana, January 2014:

Last winter, my wife Govinda Priya and me, Tarun Govinda das, visited Sripad Sadhu Maharaja in his beautiful Munger Mandir in Vrindavana.

As always, the time came, right at the end of our stay, to talk about the tour of Sripad Sadhu Maharaja (from here on now called Srila Gurudeva) which would take place in the beginning of summer 2014.
Srila Gurudeva asked me to plan the US-tour together with the devotees there and then we sat together to talk about the European which should follow the US-tour.

So, my wonderful sister Suniti dd, Gurudeva and I sat down to discuss the various options. I won´t go into details here, but the reason why I mention this and why there needs to be a prologue is that, right at that time, Suniti dd had already made arrangements with a spiritual place in the middle of Germany, near Cologne.

It is called “Findhof” and she told us that this is an amazing place full of love and the owners would love to host Srila Gurudeva there and they would be ecstatic to hold a bhakti-festival there.

www.findhof.de

foto-findhof-zentrum

Those of you who know Srila Gurudeva are very much aware of the fact that he can “feel himself” into something which is still “in the future”.
And I was amazed how strong his reaction was when he heard about the “Findhof”. He immediately said: “I will go there. You have to organize a nice festival there. No doubt, I will go there. I will plan my tour in the US so that we can be at the “Findhof” at the given time.”
Suniti dd was happy beyond measurement and I was still astonished that Gurudeva immediately agreed to go to this place.
He loves Suniti dd very much and trusts her decisions wholeheartedly. So we planned the tour of Gurudeva accordingly.

Day 1: June 16th

Suniti dd, Gaurasundara (her husband) and Gaurachandra went to Frankfurt airport to pick up Srila Gurudeva and his daughter Niti.
They met with a beaming Gurudeva, filled with wonderful and loving experiences from his recent US-tour.

Govinda Priya and I arrived at the apartment of Suniti dd and Gaurasundara at about 4:45 pm and it was a most wonderful meeting after nearly 5 months of separation from Srila Gurudeva. Of course this period of separation was made a lot easier by countless Skype and Tango-meetings in the digital world.

Suniti dd and Gaurasundara live now in Birkenfeld and they recently moved into a beautiful apartment and Srila Gurudeva was extremely pleased with their arrangements. It is a nice and spacious place and we had a little room for ourselves right next to our beloved Gurudeva. It felt like a wonderful “family-reunion” on German grounds.

The lovely couple nicely decorated their apartment and the living room is very big with a most sweet altar with Radha Krishna deities.
So we sat there and we all chatted with Gurudeva who was so pleased and happy to meet all of us.
He told us about his experiences in the USA and he said that this year was the best year and he could go very deep in the philosophy of love. He said that he constantly spoke of realizing our eternal svarupa in loving relationship to Srimati Radhika which is the highest goal brought to us by Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

Slowly more and more guests arrived and the gathering grew bigger and bigger.
We started with bhajans and then Srila Gurudeva started his lecture.
He let Suniti dd read the text on the back of her newly published book, the German translation of Srila Narayana Maharaja´s “Hidden path of devotion”.
Suniti dd did an excellent job in choosing this book and she most wonderfully published a very nice German edition. Gurudeva was very very happy with her amazing efforts.

So she read the text on the back, describing the subject matter of this book, namely Sripad Vishvanatha Cakravartipada´s “Raga-vartma-chandrika” which is discussed and explained by Srila Narayana Maharaja.
It is said there that the book “Raga-vartma-chandrika” is like a moonbeam in the darkest night which shows us the way to our goal, pure love to Radha and Krishna, expressed in our RAGA or passion for the service to the Divine Couple.

Srila Gurudeva compared the dark night with the ignorance in our hearts. We forgot about our eternal nature and therefore we are in the dark night of the soul.
He explained that love or BHAKTI is like the full moon illuminating the dark night. With BHAKTI we can have light on our way to our goal. We need this light. Where there is light, there can never be darkness.
Srila Gurudeva told us that we need this RAGA, this most wonderful longing for being together with Radha and Krishna. When we want to love Them, we need this greed. We can´t only gather knowledge life after life. What do we want? Know Them or LOVE Them? BHAKTI makes us love Them. Our hearts need to be full of RAGA, full of passionate love for Them. He told us that this is not a worldly love-passion. Focused on the Divine Couple, our love will become pure.

He wonderfully explained that we should follow the ragatmika-devotees in Goloka Vrindavana. We then are called raganuga-devotees: Followers of those who have RAGA in their souls eternally, like Srila Rupa Manjari.

He made the point that this path of raganuga-bhakti is a very narrow one and that we have to be careful when we walk on it.

Without realizing our eternal svarupa, we can´t see this shining light and we can´t walk on this path of RAGA. Relationship is the key and emotions are the key. Without knowing who we are, we are trapped in this body and we are following the path of our senses. Real emotions can only come from knowing our real identity in relationship to the Divine Couple. Gurudeva let Suniti dd read the passage of Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami´s Bhagavat-gita, page 4 of the introduction. There Swamiji writes that every individual soul has an eternal relationship with Krishna in his or her eternal form.

Gurudeva said that without the mercy of Radhika, coming into the heart of Sri Guru, we can never understand these things. Only by Sri Guru´s mercy can we actually see the moonbeam of pure bhakti in the dark night of our soul.

After the class, Gurudeva answered nice questions and we all honored prasadam, food offered to Radha and Krishna. It was a wonderful evening and everybody was in bliss and very very happy.
An old friend of mine, Mahapralayakari das and his wife Ulrike were so touched by Gurudeva that they decided to come again next morning. Ulrike was so happy to finally meet Srila Gurudeva. She told us that she watched countless videos of him on the internet and it was like a dream come true to be able to meet him.
Govinda Priya and Ulrike were speaking about harinama-initiation and Ulrike was amazed that this would even be remotely possible.

Day 2, June 17th:

So next morning, after sweet and personal moments with our beloved Gurudeva, Ulrike and Maha and her daughter came again and Gurudeva gave initiation to Ulrike and a new name for my friend Maha: She is now Dayanidhi dd and his new name is Premamrita das. Gurudeva told the daughter that her name now is Priya. It was a very moving and touching initiation and we could watch the changing of lives…due to the boundless love and mercy of Gurudeva.

Gurudeva then was invited to a breakfast at Vishvadeva´s house, the owner of the production company for Govinda´s which is again owned by Dhanu dd who also had attended the class the evening before.
When Gurudeva left for the breakfast, Suniti dd, Gaurachandra and we cleaned everything and after an hour or so we went to Vishvadeva´s house nearby.

The plan for today was that after breakfast, Gurudeva would drive to the place of Sadhu Ma and Sudevi dd near Cologne to have a nice afternoon and from there then to the final destination, the Findhof.

I had the good fortune by the mercy of Gurudeva and my beloved wife to drive with Gurudeva, Gaurasundara and Niti to the place of Sadhu Ma and Sudevi dd.
During the drive we had personal talks and Gurudeva chanted and rested nicely.

When we arrived at their place, we were received with the most loving sentiments and we immediately felt like visiting another part of the family. They showed Gurudeva their renovation-works of their old house which they want to transform into a center for making satsang or different seminars. They told us that they needed a name and Gurudeva told them: “Bhakti-Yoga-Zentrum”.
So, all was set and Gurudeva liked what he saw: a big room for seminars, a kitchen and a private room for the teacher/seminar-leader/etc…

Sadhu Ma and Sudevi dd then served us wonderful prasadam and after some sweet talks we all took some rest. What a wonderful stop-over.
Gurudeva woke up nicely rested and came to us out on the balcony. We had some coffee and then we drove to our final destination: the Findhof.

The Findhof is an arrangement of older German Fachwerk-houses, a beautiful complex situated in very natural village-surroundings. It is run by Achim and his wife Ute, Achim´s brother Bernd and by another couple called Eberhard and Irmgard.

When we arrived at the Findhof, many people and devotees already stood outside, singing a welcome kirtan. Gurudeva was very warmly received by the owners and his beloved devotees and the eyes of everyone drank the beauty of our beloved Gurudeva. Of course, all hugs inclusive.

Gurudeva went straight into the seminar-room which was festively decorated and in which wonderful Suniti dd and her “team” established a very nice altar for the Divine Couple.
We all sat down and Gurudeva immediately went to talk about the goal of our life. He praised the Findhof and lovingly encouraged the owners to keep up their marvelous work. He liked the place instantly.
Srila Gurudeva gave a deep class about the importance of our eternal relationship with the Supreme God, Krishna.

He talked about the eternal relationship Jesus has with God as his father. We all need this relationship and we all need to fix our minds and our emotions on the Divine Couple. If we want to love, we have to shift our consciousness from being unconscious (material) to conscious (spiritual). We should not serve our senses, but we should serve with our real identity. Bhakti-yoga is the way to reach our goal. When we engage in BHAKTI, love-in-action, we can become free from the material senses and from our material mind who always creates doubts. We must realize our eternal form.
The audience was captivated on the spot and everyone loved to listen to Gurudeva´s elaboration on BHAKTI in its most sweet form.

Soon, the next important guest would arrive. Krishna Chandra from Switzerland was the other great sadhu who was invited to speak on the nature of .BHAKTI.
We all very lovingly welcomed him and everybody was now happy that the festival was about to begin soon.

Krishna Chandra talked about the importance of meeting with holy persons. He told us that even a short time in the presence of holy sadhus can change our life completely. We all come here not to just passively watch a performance or such, but we all are actively taking part in sadhu-sanga. We all share and exchange feelings of love. We all learn from each other. When we leave an association of sadhus, nothing will be as before. Krishna Chandra advised us to fully take part by asking questions. He said that we should not just listen in a diffused way. We should digest and think about what we heard and we should consciously decide what to take with us and what we should do.
It was a very nourishing introduction to the festival. Srila Gurudeva hinted at the various topics in BHAKTI and Krishna Chandra told us how to “participate”.

Suniti dd gave us the information about the daily schedule:

  • 6:30 am – Mangala arati (morning ceremony)
  • 7:30 am – class
  • 9:30 am – breakfast
  • Up to 2:30 pm – free time to associate, talk, do bhajans, private meetings, etc
  • Evening class & bhajans

After the class, prasadam was served and Srila Gurudeva was sitting together with the devotees and the owners of the Findhof. They explained him their “way of yoga”, which is a path of shakti yoga.
Gurudeva nicely told them that all perfection is achieved by following the highest yoga: The yoga or the meeting of the soul with the Supersoul. He told them that BHAKTI, love in action, is so wonderful, that everything is included in this practice. All mystic perfections are knocking on BHAKTI’S door. No path is followed without BHAKTI. They were very impressed and they admitted that all the needed was love. So, Gurudeva is the right person to enlighten them about REAL love. He sat together with the devotees for a long time and very late in the evening, he went to his room and took rest.
By Suniti dd´s mercy, my wife and I had our room right next to Gurudeva so we all could take care of him every minute.

Day 3, June 18th

Since Srila Gurudeva went to bed very late and since he took no jetlag-rest after flying into Germany on Monday, he was very tired this morning. We joined him after waking up and we sat there peacefully enjoying these most wonderful intimate “morning-lilas” with our Gurudeva. Talking about the day before, the impressions, sitting together, sharing and just being happy.
This morning Srila Gurudeva asked Krishna Chandra to start with the lecture, telling him he needed to have more time this morning for himself.
So Gurudeva went to give class at about 8:20 am or so.
He told in this class about Saint Francis of Assisi who was a realized soul. Gurudeva explained his spotless character and his true spiritual nature. He told the story where Saint Francis gave away all his clothes and then stood naked in front of everyone. “He had no problems, no shame. Women and young girls were there. But he was in his spiritual identity. He had realized that he was not in his bodily consciousness. We have to become like him. He could talk to all living entities, even to the birds. Why? Because he realized his eternal self and all the other living entities as eternal souls. All connected to Krishna. One big family.”

Gurudeva also remembered himself visiting the place of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy. He was there, talking with the main priest. The priest showed Gurudeva the small cottage and the yard where Francis sat to meditate. Gurudeva said that he sat down there to meditate on his own eternal relationship with God. We should also follow this example and make space and time for meditation on our eternal self in relation to Krishna. He told us that BHAKTI is a universal truth, not bound by religion and belief. Religion is not spirituality. Rituals and rules and regulations make Krishna not happy. We should focus on Divine Love. In everything we do – with our hands, feet, tongue – we should act in love, with Krishna in the center.

I couldn´t follow the full lecture, because I cooked breakfast these days for Gurudeva, so I left in time to prepare something for him.

After prasadam, Srila Gurudeva talked with many guests, sitting outside in the little yard of this wonderful complex of old and beautiful houses. He was shining from afar and many just sat there watching him.
When many questions had been answered, Gurudeva decided to take some rest.

After talking to some guests, I decided to check on Gurudeva and found him taking nicely rest in his room.
I laid down on the floor at his foot-side of the bed and I just treasured being with one of the most wonderful persons on earth.
Shortly I napped too, then woke up and chanted while Gurudeva calmly rested some more.

It is nothing but utterly amazing to be witness of such a true miracle: Gurudeva flew into Germany after being on tour in the USA where he went to the Boston area, Miami, Ecuador and Peru…always in the mood of serving his beloved Sri Sri Radha Mohan by helping the devotees and by giving them love. His body is nearly 70 and he still teaches us youngsters what it means to serve and to be always ready.
This time, during the “Findhof- adventure”, I consciously spent a lot of time with him, especially when he was in his room, receiving guests. And again, like many times before, I witnessed his true magic in how he lovingly helps, transforms, advises, supports, clears doubts, etc…

So after Gurudeva rested nicely, his disciples Janavallabha and his wife Radharani came to his room and gave Gurudeva a most refreshing and most expert massage. What a nectar to sit there and watch Gurudeva being relieved of muscle tension due to always sit in different positions.
Of course, it was utterly fantastic to watch him talk with the masseurs and giving them his blessings and love.

In the afternoon, when I was with Gurudeva, Krishna Chandra spoke about the different approaches to a relationship with Krishna: the majestic approach in awe and reference (aishvarya) and the most sweet and personal approach (madhurya). I could register very happy faces on the people who came out of this class and I heard only wonderful things about it.

In the evening, Srila Gurudeva decided to answer questions brought forward to him. Krishna Chandra immediately asked him: “In all your devotional years, what was your secret to always keep something in your heart from all the wonderful association and all the sadhu-sanga you got? How did it all stick to you and didn´t fall down from you like water drops from a frog? When we listen to sadhus and when we meet them, very little stays with us and most of it we tend to forget.”

Srila Gurudeva answered that we should be very greedy for the mercy of the great sadhus. We should serve them. We should approach them in humility. We should listen very carefully and we should be ready in our innermost heart to embrace their teachings. We should take shelter in their association. They are ashraya-tattva, shelter. Ultimately, Srimati Radhika sends out her messengers here in this world to rescue the jivas. She is the final shelter. Vishaya is the goal. Krishna-prema is vishaya. How to reach this goal, this vishaya? By taking shelter of the ashraya-tattva, by Her Who loves Him the most.

Krishna Chandra told also how he keeps everything “with” him: By offering the results of all sadhu-sanga, of all realizations to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, like a prayer. He gave the example of us when we go to the bank and when we give all money to the bank for safe-keeping. In the same way, we should give everything to the Divine Couple.

“How can we develop such necessary greed in spiritual life?”

Srila Gurudeva said by chanting of the Holy Names and by engaging in love-in-action, BHAKTI. Greed is actually coming by the mercy of someone who has already this greed. When we are together with such a person, we also develop that same greed. Here Gurudeva hinted at the tattva of Sri Gurudeva. Only by the mercy of Sri Gurudeva can we develop such powerful greed.

“How can we become more close to our Gurudeva when we are alone in our home, at our job or at other different activities where we are not in the bodily presence of Sri Gurudeva?”

Actually, Srila Gurudeva said, we are always connected to Sri Guru. He bestows upon us the Holy Name and later on the diksha-mantras and he engages us in BHAKTI. So by chanting and doing BHAKTI, we are always connected with Gurudeva.

“What to do when Sri Gurudeva leaves this world?”

Srila Gurudeva said that in the book translated by Suniti dd, Srila Narayana Maharaja tells us to look for a siksha-guru when our Gurudeva left this world. He should be in the same mood and we should take shelter from him. Diksha-guru is one, siksha-guru can be many.

“How do we realize our eternal svarupa?”

Srila Gurudeva told us that diksha is a process. It is like a school. When the process of diksha is finished, we realize who we really are.

Then Srila Gurudeva was asked to explain the Mahamantra. Someone said that this mantra is only about Krishna. Why would he always talk about Radhe Radhe Radhe…

“Hare here means ‘to cover with an embrace’. It also stands for Radha´s name. So Radhika makes ‘hare’ to Krishna. Full embrace to Krishna. Not only once: Two times She embraces Krishna – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna. Then ‘Krishna Krishna – Hare Hare’. Krishna realizes then that someone wonderful is embracing Him. He sees that it is Radha. So He does ‘Hare Hare’ too…He embraces Radhika too. First Radhika embraces Krishna, then Krishna embraces Radha. Then ‘Hare Rama Hare Rama’ – the HARE here stands for the living soul, the jiva. The jiva beholds RAMA – Radha Madhava. They are together…dancing the maha-rasa. RA for Radhika, MA for Madhava. They invite the jiva: ‘Come to us.’ Then ‘Rama Rama Hare Hare’. Now we are there. We serve Them in the rasa-dance. We can see Them together. We are happy only when they are together.”

Many questions were answered and all the devotees were very happy.
After the question-answer-thing, Srila Gurudeva initiated five new devotees into the Holy Name.
Welcome to Gurudeva´s family, dear Sundara Priya dd, Caitanya das, Nitai das, Vasudha dd and Gaurangi dd.

Again, Srila Gurudeva received many guests in his room after the evening class. Unfortunately I was too tired to be there and so I went to sleep a little earlier.

Day 4, June 19th

This morning class, after saying his invocation prayers which end with a prayer to Srimati Radhika in Her form as our Swamini, our beloved Mistress, Srila Gurudeva immediately started to talk about the glories of Srimati Radhika. He said that the highest goal for the living entity is to become a maidservant of Srimati Radhika. Why? Gurudeva told us that we should engage in BHAKTI. Where does BHAKTI come from? From Krishna´s HLADINI-sakti, His innermost bliss-energy. We should try to know about Her. Many years, many lifetimes we were trying to gather knowledge about Krishna, about God. But it is more important, now that we know Him, that we start LOVING HIM. And who can teach us to love Him best? Radharani. She is the master in teaching us how to love God.
We need to forget that Krishna is God. He forgets it too. Only then can we really love Him for Who He is.

We need to give mercy to our own self. JIVA-DAYA. DAYA means mercy. When we know our self, we are merciful to us. We can act then in our self. We need to love our self. It is the nature of the soul to love. It has the potential to love. We are eternal, so we need to focus on the eternal. We need to stop loving our senses. We need to change our love. Now we love material things. We need to spiritually love. When we know our eternal self, we will automatically love it. Then NAME RUCI – taste for the Holy Name will come. Now we have taste (ruci) for sense enjoyment. When we know our eternal form, we will have taste for bhajan, for spiritual things. For Krishna´s name…we will do seva. VAISHNAVA-seva. We will help EVERYONE. All living beings are devotees. We need to make them conscious. Then they are Vaishnavas too.

We don´t need to change dress, job, house, etc…The gopis live their lives too…Husband, children, household…but secretly they love Radha most. They do everything secretly, in hiding. Not openly. We should do the same. Outwardly we do our worldly duties, but inside, we develop love for Radha. More than for Krishna.

After some time, I had to go cooking for Gurudeva, so the last part of the class I missed.

After breakfast, Srila Gurudeva chatted with the devotees and then he told us that we should do non-stop bhajan until the class of Krishna Chandra in the afternoon.

So we sat down with Srila Gurudeva and many of us sang some bhajans and it was very very wonderful. Srila Gurudeva was there the whole time. He enjoyed it VERY much.

During Krishna Chandra´s class, many devotees came to Srila Gurudeva´s room and he patiently took care of everyone. Many guests who never saw Srila Gurudeva before decided to take initiation.
Our good friend Gauravani came to visit Gurudeva. Also Dagmar, Govinda Priya’s friend stayed until next day and Premavati’s two friends, Nicki and Kerstin visited Gurudeva. They were falling in love with Gurudeva by the minutes. They had the opportunity to have private talks with him in his room…a treasure highly valued by everyone.

Also we all could feel the owners of Findhof falling in love with Gurudeva more and more. Not only did they refuse to charge a festival-fee for the days, but they even decided to give the money charged for the guest-rooms to Gurudeva as a donation. Unbelievable. What an act of selfless love. Achim told Suniti dd that all money for the rooms should go to Gurudeva.
I could see that they more and more loved the association. They attended all programs, morning and evening and sometimes afternoon. Especially Eberhard was very much attracted to bhakti-yoga.
But also Achim, Irmgard and Ute loved the bhajan-singing and the classes.

In the evening we planned a mantra-concert and many guests came especially for this event, with Srila Gurudeva as a mega-super-bonus of course.
They started with some nice devotional songs and at one point, Srila Gurudeva intervened (after a couple of songs) and a nice devotees called Dandadhrik das was invited to sing bhajans.
Srila Gurudeva talked between the songs about Vrindavana. He sang verses from a wonderful written poem by Bilvamangal Thakur, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti”. How ecstatically beautiful it was to listen to Gurudeva sing. He explained some of the verses.

“With a closed fist we come to this world. In this closed fist, there is nothing and we leave with an open hand. We come with nothing and we go with nothing. Only the love to Radha and Krishna stays.”

“Who are your real friends? Only those who help you reach the highest goal, Sri Guru and the Vaishnavas.”

“Try to see Krishna in everyone and in everything. Mother, father, relatives…all are forms of Krishna. We need to learn to love here in this world to prepare for Goloka Vrindavana, the spiritual world.”

“You must forget that Krishna is God. He Who commands everything, He Who controls everything is controlled in Vrindavana by His friends. They win in games with Him. They ride on His back when He loses. He loves it when they win. That is real love.”

“When they hear Krishna´s flute, the gopis go mad. They dress wrongly and they apply lipstick to their eyes and eyeliner to their mouth.”

Krishna Chandra told us about the nature of the gopis love with verses from the Bhagavatam. Their love is so pure that even Krishna can´t fathom its depth.

It was a very wonderful evening and Jahnava dd closed the mantra-shower with extremely nectarean bhajans.

After the concert, again some devotees came to Gurudeva’s room and shared some intimate moments with him and again it was wonderful to see how much he loves and cares for the devotees and his disciples.
One encounter truly was touching the heart: Eberhard, one of the owners, came to Gurudeva’s room and told him that we wants to become a yogi. Gurudeva said: “What? You want to leave the family and the world?” “No”, he answered, “I want to become a bhakti-yogi. Like you and all of them here.” Everyone cheered in joy and Gurudeva was very happy. Eberhard asked for initiation and Gurudeva blissfully agreed to initiate him the next morning.
Short before we left Gurudeva´s room, the next day and his departure was planned with Suniti dd and Gaurasundara. We all watched how amazingly Gurudeva coordinated his departure to many different places before then reaching his next destination: Yoga-Vidya-center Bad Meinberg.

Day 5, June 20th

So, the last day of a fantastic and most sweet festival of bhakti-experience.

Srila Gurudeva asked Suniti dd to say something about this weeklong festival and to thank the owners for their wonderful hospitality.
So she spoke very kindly with a warm heart and thanked them and all those who made this week possible.

Srila Gurudeva started his class with making it clear to us, how important it is to start with our self-realization. We need to become conscious of our eternal nature. We need to start a divine relationship with our Creator. Right now we are without real feelings, like a chair made of matter. We need to wake up and become conscious. The energy is always there. The mercy is always there. We have to be greedy to receive the mercy. Again Srila Gurudeva showed us the example of Jesus and how close he was with his father. He was a truly self-realized soul. Why? Because he was in a relationship with God. Not a neutral observer. Gurudeva said that our eternal consciousness needs a form. Only with a form (personal form) can we start a relationship. The son needs a form to relate with the Father, the friend needs a form to relate with the Supreme Friend, a lover needs a form to relate with the Supreme Lover.

We see in this ceiling above us ten light bulbs. They are there a long time. Did they develop a relationship with each other? Light has no form. Light can´t develop a relationship. We need to understand that we are a spiritual person. We have a spiritual form. To realize this, we must change ourselves. BHAKTI can change us.

When Gurudeva was in Hungary he visited a town with many saintly people. There, in this town, visitors can visit a stone with a beating heart. The stone was trembling and there was like a heartbeat. It was pulsating. So, if a stone can change his nature, why can´t we? We too can change. This stone changed. It is unimaginable. Gurudeva said he saw it with his own eyes. BHAKTI can change us too.
We need to start with loving relationships in this world. With our spouse, family, relatives, with all living entities.

He then gave initiation to Eberhard and rewarded him with the name Paramatmananda das. The initiation was really very touching and lovingly Gurudeva spoke about the meaning of initiation and made some points of the principle of Guru-ship (guru-tattva).

Paramatmananda das was utterly happy and after the initiation, Srila Gurudeva and Krishna Chandra had to leave, each to his own destination(s).
We all said “See you soon” and not “Good bye”, because we all are connected and we all will see us soon.

After breakfast, everyone left the Findhof with a sad heart, but filled with wonderful and most uplifting experiences. It was truly a week of love and a deepening of everyone´s BHAKTI.

All glories to Sripad Sadhu Maharaja!
All glories to Krishna Chandra!
All glories to Suniti dd and the organisators!
All glories to the Findhof-team!

Epilogue:

As if Srila Gurudeva knew it all along: The Findhof-adventure turned out to be a most wonderful, sweet, personal and uplifting festival of BHAKTI.
Everyone could feel the glories of the association with Holy People (sadhus). Everyone experienced how wonderful a life of love can be. It was a week of getting to know each other and of getting to love each other in a truly spiritual sense of the word.

By the mercy of Srila Sadhu Maharaja, everyone could receive a glimpse into spiritual reality where no confession rules supreme but one: unconditional love.
The presence of Srila Sadhu Maharaja, our beloved Gurudeva, is like a touchstone: His presence transforms every place into the realm of love – Vrindavana.
Tirelessly he radiates love. He showeres buckets full of nectar-sweet blessings and mercy in abundance.
I was with him now for many times and many festivals, but I have the impression that he deliberately decided to drown this place in honey-sweet bliss. It was utterly amazing how much love he
gave to everyone and it was utterly amazing to watch TOTALLY NEW PEOPLE who NEVER met him before fall in love with him.
I was oftentimes sitting there nearly shedding tears…it was so touching to witness his magic of pure love.

Krishna Chandra too is a truly wonderful sadhu. I could witness too how he, full of love, was taking care tirelessly of many many devotees…always ready to help, talk or support each and every one.
He is such an elevated soul and it was very inspiring to see how he lives and breathes bhakti in its essence.
He is a real connoisseur (rasika devotee) who knows how to touch the hearts with the right words.

Suniti dd, our wonderful sister, was the “motor” of this ecstatic festival. She not only organized EVERYTHING but also was responsible for the NECTAR prasadam on all days, breakfast AND lunch/dinner.
Her service was beyond humanly possible and she was full of love towards everyone.
I saw her in the kitchen from the early morning hours and she was the last person to leave.
My heart goes out in thankfulness to such a dedicated dasi of Radhika.

Her husband Gaurasundara das was the backbone of the festival. Like a big brother to everyone, he was the pillar of support. His heart is not in any human category of size, much too big.

Gaurachandra das was the perfect personal servant to our beloved Gurudeva. He was with him all the time. Taking care, massaging, medicine overview, you name it…he was there only to make Gurudeva happy.

And as the nectar goes on: A date was already fixed for the end of May next year in 2015.

So the adventure of the Findhof turned into a festival of love. “Findhof” in English means “a courtyard where we can find things”. I guess everyone found something jewel-like.

Jay Sri Radhe.

PS: It may be that, because it is all so fresh and new in my humble mind that something I wrote happened on another day or on another time-period of a day.
Please forgive me for that.
Please, if you find a “time-switch”, tell me and I will correct it.

http://www.findhof.de/