Part 2 of 3
June 2nd (Saturday) This day would be a very special day, so much can be promised already… During and after the program yesterday in Heidelberg, many devotees announced to come by for a private talk with Gurudeva or just to hang out with the big family already living in our house. Upaguru das was fully inspired and very eager to ask Gurudeva for initiation and since he was the one who brought me to Krishna consciousness, you can´t begin to understand how happy I was for him and he said that he would come whatever it may take. The problem was that he worked nightshifts, but his inspiration was so incredible huge that he said that he could sleep later. Our friend Zakarya also was very eager to come by and ask for initiation from Srila Gurudeva. Jay Govinda das and his girlfriend Lalita dasi also said that they wanted to come, Tribhanga das and his wife too and Suniti dd and Gaurasundara das wanted to bring with them Suniti´s mother. How awesome! It would be a full house of wonderful devotees. And our beloved sister Premavati dd received the promise from our beloved Gurudeva to receive diksha-initiation from him today. Before everything else, Premavati dd disappeared with Gurudeva in his room and when she came out, tears of thankfulness and love were running down her cheeks. Diksha-initiation from such an elevated soul will change your life forever and the REAL spiritual life for our beloved sister can begin NOW. So after breakfast, the first devotees started to arrive. Upaguru das and his wife Narayani dd made the beginning. Srila Gurudeva talked to them very privately and inspired them very much. But interestingly enough, Srila Gurudeva decided to wait with the initiation for Upaguru das and he said to him that he should come to Dole. And again, interestingly enough, Upaguru das was very happy with this decision. Not me and my false ego, though. I was so happy for Upaguru das and so much so that I was disappointed and felt sad for him, because I wanted so badly for him to be initiated from a sadguru finally. But I am very thankful for this painful realization. 1) I control NOTHING…lol 2) Srila Gurudeva knows EXACTLY what is good for whom and WHEN. Suniti dd and Gaurasundara das brought, like promised, Suniti dd´s mother with them. And after a small talk on our couch, Gurudeva asked the elderly lady if she would like to be initiated. Suniti dd´s mother happily accepted and quickly Suniti dd and her mother went upstairs in Gurudeva´s room with him. After a longer session, another completely happy soul left the room with diksha and her new name was Marga Darshana dd. And how happy she was! Unbelievable how merciful Gurudeva is to us conditioned souls. He promised to Suniti dd that she will see how her mother will leave this body heading for Krishna´s realm. Sweet! Then pretty soon after this, our brother Zakarya came and he was excited like anything. He knew that his „old“ life would be over from today on, hahaha. Also our dear friends Hamsaduta priya dd and her husband Paramahamsa das came to stay with us overnight. How lovely Gurudeva greeted them and how nice everyone was engaged in nice talking. After them our new sisters Tulsi priya dd and Lalita priya dd arrived. They rented a room near our village and they decided to stay until Sunday morning. So after initiation in Nürtingen on Wednesday and a wonderful evening program in Heidelberg, they cherished every moment of our beloved Gurudeva´s association and they also loved to be with us all. Very quickly everything was re-arranged and wooosh…Zak was in the room with Gurudeva. I was downstairs in the kitchen, cooking a nice feast for the devotees and Ijust smiled about what happened, at some point in time loosing control over everything that happened in our house. Counting the people was useless in this constant flow of human beings, all focused on our sweet Gurudeva! For my wife Govinda priya dd it was a bit too mucfh of everything. She had kind of a breakdown and an old issue of hers started to creep up on her, namely: What would other persons (neighbours!!!) think of her (us). She really broke down crying and I told her to get some extra rest and that I could handle things alone with our sisters for a while…She readily accepted. Later when she was in Gurudeva´s room during some initiations, he asked how she was. Then she cried again, telling Gurudeva about her issue with other people and Srila Gurudeva lovingly said to her: “Go down and look how much everyone here loves you. I love you. We all love you. Don´t care what other people think. And now, have some bhajan-music going on.” This smashed her “issue” to pieces and really, we had some nice little bhajans going on in the background and my wife was happy again and she told me that the burden of this “issue” was gone. Hooray! Zak soon then emerged from Gurudeva´s room with diksha-initiation and the new name „Jaga Mohan das“: one who sees Mohan in all the creation. Ecstatic! Jaga Mohan das was so happy, no words can desribe what I saw in his eyes. Bliss and more bliss… Ooops…I forgot to tell that also Tribhanga das and his wife Subhadra dd had arrived with Suniti dd too. Now it was their time to be with Gurudeva in private. Meanwhile Jay Govinda das and his lady Lalita dd arrived and the house was beaming in bliss. And then Amala Krishna das too came by for a visit. I was still cooking and he helped me finish everything for the offering to my Mohan Giridhari. Everywhere I looked I saw happy people with even more happier faces…living room, dining room, kitchen, wintergarden…incredible… After Tribhanga das and his wife´s darshana with Gurudeva, a nice lunch-feast was served and everybody dived into the ocean of prasadam in sadhu-sanga. After lunch, we had another nice kirtan in the living room. About 14:00h, Gurudeva and many devotees left for the house of Narahari das in Karlsruhe, the city where the evening program was scheduled to begin at 17:30h. Fantastic stuff happened: Jaga Mohan das was here with his awesome car, a Mazda coupé and he invited Gurudeva to drive with open deck through the sunny day to Karlsruhe. What a sight! A far-out looking saffron sadhu in a western sports-car…amazing…many devotees followed them and few stayed behind to clean up a little our house/ashrama…lol. What a HALF-day…fully packed like 5 working days. We all met at 17:00h in the Yoga-Vidya-centre in Karlsruhe. Everything was prepared nicely. For this day, Tribhanga das and his wife offered to cook dinner-prasadam. And everybody who knows them knows EXACTLY what that means. Gurudeva arrived at short after 17:30h in Jaga Mohan das´ car and soon the evening was in full bloom with a wonderful concert of different bhajan-singers. This evening Srila Gurudeva decided to have a question & answers-thingy. So he invited everyone to come forward with questions. Narahari das first asked how to overcome the mentality to be the enjoyer in this material world. How to give up the purusha-mentality of exploiting everything. Srila Gurudeva wonderfully led us through the stages of realizing our true selves, beginning from I am not this body. Again he referred to the gospel of Maria Magdalena where the soul is mentioned to be of female nature. We are the enjoyed, Krishna is the only enjoyer. We are prakriti, Krishna is the purusha. But Gurudeva went further in his explanation and he told us about the wonderful gift of Sriman Mahaprabhu: to become the servant not of Krishna but even better, of Srimati Radhika. He told us about the brilliance of manjari-bhava in a very sweet and understandable way. We all could feel that he spoke from his deep realizations, again…lol. Then Kalindi dd asked about who is higher, Radha or Krishna? And Gurudeva sweetly told us that Krishna is eager to touch the lotus feet of Radhika´s servant and that He, the Supreme Person, takes shelter in Radhika. Everyone was mesmerized about how naturally Gurudeva talked about such highly elevated spiritual truths. Again, everyone felt very satisfied. Many more questions then followed with very sweet and sometimes funny answers by Gurudeva. At the end, we again did some nice bhajans and the last bhajan ended in a rousing kirtan where the whole room began to dance wildly. Finally, Gurudeva stood up and joined the dance and how sweetly he moved around in the crowd. The atmosphere reached yet unkown heights. At one point, I had to leave my mridanga (drum)-playing to eat some prasadam and boy, what a nectarean feast was prepared outside. Lasagne, subji, salad, chutney, sweets…everything was waiting there. Gurudeva already sneaked out during one of the last bhajans only to return with renewed vigor and strength, so I thought I will do the same. Outside the big room, many people had gathered around tables, enjoying Krishna´s prasadam. So I joined them for a while. After I was finished, I went back in the big room and to my amazement, everybody was sitting around Gurudeva´s seat, just watching him and occasionally he would talk with someone very nicely and very sweetly. More and more people joined us. Then, Govinda priya dd´s friend Ulla wanted to have a picture of her next to Gurudeva and my wife shot it. This was the starting shot of many portraits with guests and Gurudeva in one single picture. It was so wonderful, I never experienced Gurudeva like that. He was completely „over-the-top“, completely absorbed in spiritual bliss, drunk with happiness and everyone could clearly FEEL how ecstatic he FELT. He was in such a jolly mood, incredible…laughing, joking, smiling…everyone was overwhelmed and in total bliss. Fantastic! Then Diana brought some laddus on lollypop sticks to him and he started to distribute them to all of us. More and more guests came to him to receive the nectar. I NEVER experienced a program like this and I NEVER saw Gurudeva any happier, and I saw a lot of programs! But like all things, this wonderful evening came to an end too. Gurudeva drove home with the Hamsaduta priya dd and Paramahamsa das and we drove with different cars to our home-ashrama. Staying overnight were: the Hamsas, Jahnava dd and her friend René (for him, a very very important time in his life started today, because he was on tour with us until the end on Friday, the 8th), Shyamali dd, Kalindi dd, Premavati dd and me and my wife. Happy family! Gurudeva didn´t want to go to bed, so we stayed up a little longer. Then Gurudeva received a call via Skype from Vrindavana and after that, we all went to bed tired, but ecstatic! And the best was this: Since the Hamsas were sleeping in our bed, my wife went down in the wintergarden-ashram and I was allowed to sleep in Gurudeva´s room…actually he had asked me before to sleep in his room, but I also wanted to support my lovely wife who went to her bodily limits everyday and who was happy to have me with her through the night as a cuddle-support. But this night, I could not refuse Gurudeva´s wish and I happily agreed to sleep on the floor in his room. Man, I was a very happy geek! June 3rd (Sunday) Today we had a wonderful last breakfast in our house. Everybody helped preparing a nice brunch with sweet and salty things. Gurudeva enjoys a salty breakfast, so Suniti dd made some fantastic spicy pancakes for him and some great salad. The rest of us shared the remnants of bygone feasts and we also plundered the rest from our fridge. Today we had been invited by Karuna dd who lives near Aschaffenburg. She knows and loves Srila Gurudeva and for the first time she had the fortune to invite him to her house. So after breakfast, the Hamsas had to leave for their place near Lake Constance and Shyamali dd had to leave for her home in Zurich. Kalindi dd too had to go home to her two beautiful kids. Tulsi priya dd and Lalita dd already said goodbye yesterday, so it was time to pack our things to embark on the second part of the German tour. Suniti dd and Gaurasundara das took Shyamali dd to the train station and then they headed to the house of Karuna dd. Srila Gurudeva decided to drive with our beloved sister Premavati dd who was in full ecstasy about this news. Govinda priya dd and me headed to Karuna dd´s place in our own car, packed with sleepingbags and clothes for one more week. Kalindi dd left with us and mercifully washed all pots. All glories to her! Jahnava dd and René left for Mannheim, because Jahnava dd had to do some recordings for her new CD. So our house was finally empty after an absolutely blissfull week. After two and a half hours, we arrived safely at Karuna´s place. It is a beautiful wooden house in a small village and we were heartly welcomed by her and by Gurudeva, who said to us both: „My God! Where have you been? I already missed you!“ They were all comfortably sitting around a fantastic lunch table with absolutely wonderful prasadam. Karuna dd had invited some friends of her too and she and her fabulous two daughters served out a lunch which clearly was not from this world. So, Govinda priya dd and me joined them immediately, wheras we started with the vegetables and the rest was feasting on cake(s)! Gurudeva visibly felt very comfortable. When everybody was finished, Gurudeva took some rest and we quietly started with some nice bhajans. The program was scheduled for about 18:00h and slowly the first guests arrived. Annapurna dd and Upaguru das´s wife Narayani dd came, Narahari dad and his wife arrived. And soon enough Srila Gurudeva joined our program, looking fresh and relaxed. Then amazing things start to happen: Since it was a Sunday and the place pretty far away from many of our friends, we thought that maybe not so much people from our area would attend…but wrong we had been! Tirthanga das and Diana, Jaga Mohan das, Radhanatha das, Jay Govinda das and Lalita dd, René and a friend of Jahnava dd…Gurudeva couldn´t trust his eyes anymore…more and more people filled up the house unable to tolerate separation from him. He was visibly touched by the love all these people showed, some of them driving more than 2,5 hours…He was in ecstasy. The bhajans went from fantastic to ecstatic and everybody was in great bliss. Srila Gurudeva gave a wonderful lecture about the importance of understanding the true gift of Sriman Mahaprabhu. And he strongly made the point that we have to be able to receive that gift, unconditional love for Radha and Krishna. He said that we will not be able to receive that kind of love if we don´t start practicing this love here in this world. We should always be in „samadhi“, always see the Divine Couple in all arrangements here on earth. And internally we should fix our SELVES in our eternal form, which is by nature a female form. He again explained that „female“ means here to be enjoyed by the only male, Krishna. It was again fascinating to hear him speak so eloquently and easy to understand about such a highly elevated topic. Afterwards many interesting questions arose, especially from Narahari das. Srila Gurudeva answered them brilliantly and everybody benefitted so much. And then what a huge SURPRISE for Gurudeva: Jahnava dd came after the recording session and Gurudeva was so happy. Jahnava dd decided to stay with us until we return home next Wednesday. Of course we ended the talk with bhajanas and then we had a nice chill-out in the living room, slowly good-bying everyone who had to go. It was completely amazing that our „tough atheist and strict non-believer“ René again came and…he stayed overnight with his lady Jahnava dd…ready to come on tour til Wednesday…which turned out to be Thursday night…LOL. After everyone had left, we all went with Gurudeva to his room where Premavati dd massaged him very gently. Again we had the fortune of being so incredibly close with Gurudeva. We felt so blessed. Gurudeva loves these moments of tranquility in „his room“, preferably with some of his disciples. So we sat there and boy oh boy, what a fantastic dialogue came forth…René had many questions and Gurudeva expertly answered them. But not only this. Gurudeva felt that something in René ´s heart was about to change. The man already was very soft now after all these days in Gurudeva´s and our association…But this night, Gurudeva talked to his soul. He told René things he could never know from a pure materialistic standpoint. René received a very astonishing and puzzling (for him!) what is in esoteric circles known as „reading“. It was utterly mind-blowing what Gurudeva said to him and in which way…like a father who talked to long-lost son. And René loved it. It was very serious and really soul-touching how Gurudeva reached out to a man who presented himself so tough and strong. But Gurudeva spoke directly to his heart and René therefore could accept everything Gurudeva said…like a real disciple would. And it would be the beginning of a spiritual love-story between René the strong and Gurudeva, the loving magician. It was wonderful to behold what developed after this memorable evening. Again we witnessed the all-encompassing love that radiates from the heart of our beloved Srila Gurudeva. He truly is a magnet of love. The evidence was right there, down in the living room, when soul after soul entered the house to be with him, not able to without him for even one day. And it would continue like that…amazing, right? Good night. June 4th (Monday) This day needs to stories as background information. 1) In Heidelberg, Srila Gurudeva met his friend Dr Ludwig Jacobs (Radharadhya das) and his wife, Sita dd. He knows the doctor from a long time ago when he visited Gurudeva in Vrindavana. During the evening, Radharadhya das offered to do a full health-check up on Gurudeva. Srila Gurudeva was very thankful and accepted the offer gladly. So they fixed the check-up for Monday morning (today) at 8:30h. 2) The next two and a half days we would be staying in Abentheuer/Birkenfeld. This is really something very very extraordinairy. Now, there is a beautiful ISKCON-temple in Abentheuer. Until now, Srila Sadhu Maharaja rarely was allowed to enter a temple of ISKCON in Germany. He was sometimes allowed to have darshan of the deities where he was staying, but this was something very special here. They allowed us all to have a wonderful evening bhajan-session with Gurudeva in the beautiful temple room. It was scheduled for Monday, 17:00h. Also something else needs to be told: The community of devotees here in Abentheuer is pretty numerous. Many senior devotees live here around the wonderful temple of Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan. Many of them experienced a very hard time when their Gurudeva, Srila Harikesa Swami Vishnupada left ISKCON. Many of them lost their faith and their hearts had been disappointed. Many of them stopped actually engaging in bhakti-yoga. Since I was in ISKCON from 1989 until about 1997, I too was initiated by Srila Harikesa Swami and I knew and still know many of the devotees living here very well. We all went through wonderful times with our main temple back then based in Heidelberg. So it was a little miracle for me what happened during these two and a half days. But we will come to this soon…Suffice it to say that Srila Sadhu Maharaja came and touched the hearts of many humble and noble souls. Soon, soon… So, after a nice night´s rest in Karuna dd´s house, we said goodbye to a very moved family and we could see how much Gurudeva enriched their lives… We decided together that Jahnava dd, my wife and I would take Gurudeva to the doc in Heidesheim and that Suniti dd and Gaurasundara das would drive straight to Abentheuer/Birkenfeld. My old friend, the former temple president, Vishvadeva das, invited us all to sleep in his big house. He is the production manager of Govinda´s sweets. Govinda´s is a large company with many many items ranging from Ayur-Vedic products to health products to all kinds of natural food and living stuff. It took us about 90 minutes to arrive at the doctors house and they both already waited in great excitement, even their dog who is a vegan devotee-dog! After a pleasant welcome-greeting, Radharadhya das drove Gurudeva to his lab to run the blood tests. Jahnava dd, my wife and I relaxed nicely in their wonderful home and Sita dd went for a quick grocery-shopping. After she came back we talked nicely and it became a very soul-touching discussion. Again, we were stunned about Krishna´s plan, since soon we realized that we had a very deep connection with each other. Sita dd revealed to us that she misses devotee-association very much, especially with like-minded devotees. And this is also what Gurudeva is always telling us. We all need svajati-association: People who are in the same mood and who are loving to each other. It was really a wonderful example, how Gurudeva brings together the souls who need each other. Weh ad never met before and it was really something not from this world. Thank you, dear Sita dd for being so friendly, open and kind! Soon the doc and Gurudeva returned and we took a light breakfast, consisting of a vegan oatmeal dish with nice fruits. Then the doc had to do more tests and comparisons and we happily chilled and relaxed in the living room. After like 2 hours more, everything was done and the doc told Srila Gurudeva which medication he should from now on take. It was clear that he should take A LOT of Vitamin D and B12, since these depots had been very low for a good amount of time. So the doc gave Gurudeva some medicine and told us that he would send more to our place where we would be on Thursday and Friday. Srila Gurudeva was extremely pleased with Radharadhya das´ work and with a happy mood we said goodbye and pretty soon we were on our way to Birkenfeld near Abentheuer, to Vishvadeva das´house. There the devotees had been preparing a nice lunch for us. We arrived at about 15:00h and it was very nice to see Vishvadeva das since such a long time. Gaurasundara das and Suniti dd and with them Annapurna dd were already in kitchen-ecstasy, preparing a delicious pizza for their deities. Srila Gurudeva was shown his room by the house owner and after that we accepted prasadam together on the table in Vishvadeva das´ living room. The pizza was fantastic and we ate with full gusto. Then Srila Gurudeva decided to take some rest.I went with him to help him settle-in properly. Honestly, I don´t know why, but Gurudeva loves me very much and I am always completely flabbergasted about how much he likes to „hang out“ with me. You see, he is so merciful, so much so that he gives such a low-class fool like me the opportunity to be very close to him. When I wanted to leave him resting on his bed he asked me: „Where do you sleep tonight?“ I answered: „Oh Gurudeva, we all sleep in the temple-ashrama.“ To this he replied: „No, this will not do. Govinda priya dd and you must stay with me. You sleep here in my room on the couch and Govinda priya dd will find also a place.“ My heart nearly exploded…I happily thanked him and wished him a good rest. Then I told Vishvadeva das that Gurudeva insists that I sleep in his room and Govinda priya dd said that she would sleep in the car. But Vishvadeva das didn´t want to hear this and said that we will find a space for my lovely wife. And by the mercy of Gaurasundara das and Suniti dd, who gave my wife the little room, it all went out fine. They love their Wohnwagen-mobil and so they slept there. At about 17:00h we arrived at the temple in Abentheuer and it was extremely wonderful to see how they received a sadhu of this high calibre. The devotees welcomed Gurudeva very warmly and soon after a wonderful darshan of their exquisite deities we all sat down for a wonderful evening of singing bhajans. More and more guests streamed in…Tirthanga das with his wife and little daughter, Gopalsundara das and many more, also from the temple-community. And even René came and was determined to stay for the rest of the tour. Soon the atmosphere was drenched in blissfull-music and happy faces everywhere. Srila Gurudeva too was very happy to see what was going on and he loved the deities and the fabulous temple room. Soon the temple manager, Bhagavat-dharma das, entered and I was very happy to see him because I also know him for more than 20 years. He received Srila Gurudeva nicely and welcomed him with sweet words. At the end, we sang together the Gaura-arati and after that we accepted mahaprasadam from Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan. Two ladies living in Birkenfeld asked for initiation and Srila Gurudeva happily accepted them and we were invited to their home the next day at 12:00h. Also a very nice devotee named Vrajendra-nandana das was with us and he invited us all together with Gurudeva to a wonderful home-satsang tomorropw at 15:00h…Wow…everything developed so fast…Gurudeva´s mercy was flowing so mighty and free! Everyone could feel his caring and his radiating, all-encompassing love. The hearts melted and we left the temple at about 20:30h. This night before falling asleep Gurudeva and I talked about the day. I told him that I was so touched and so happy for the devotees here in this place and Gurudeva told me that he loved the time in the temple and that he felt like being in Vraja-dhama. I told him that he is like a touchstone who transforms everything and everyone into love. He just said that all is happening by his Gurudeva´s mercy and by the mercy of his ishta-deva, Sri Sri Radha Mohan. He truly is the most humble and loving person. June 5th (Tuesday)Today would be a day packed with experiences and happenings. The devotees headed by Suniti dd arranged a marvellous breakfast in Vishvadeva das´ house and boy oh boy, what surprises had been waiting… First I was overwhelmed to meet Dhanu dd, the owner of Govinda´s. She decided to join us for breakfast. I know her since 1989 and I always liked her like a caring mother. She too was very moved by the hug Srila Gurudeva gave her. Soon she was sitting next to him and they were happily talking during breakfast. She told Gurudeva her story of commercial expertise and success, how she started her business alone in a small cellar in Heidelberg together with her husband, Hriday Govinda das. I met both of them around 1989 in Heidelberg and her husband visited me in my city (Karlsruhe) many times and together we arranged wonderful programs for the students of my university. I always cooked a huge feast and he spoke about bhakti-philosophy. It was very nice to see how Gurudeva re-opened their hearts and how their eyes started to shine more and more, sometimes near to tears… After breakfast, when everybody left in a wonderful mood, the greatest miracle happened. Dhanu dd´s husband, Hriday Govinda das, met her when she came to work (he works there too, at Govinda´s). She told him that Srila Sadhu Maharaja is at Vishvadeva das´ place. And then it shook him…He instantly left their building, telling: „I have to meet him.“ This was stunning for all of them knowing him and working with him. He was a disciple of Srila Harikesa Swami too and after he left, Hriday Govinda das was very disappointed and he stopped doing bhakti-yoga and in due course of time he even grew a little bit inimical towards the devotees. He just wanted to be left alone. We were all still sitting in the living room when the doorbell rang. Hriday Govinda das came in, fell to the feet of Gurudeva and told him this: „I had to meet you. I know that you are now my Gurudeva. Srila Prabhupada appeared to me last week to tell me to go and meet with you. Here I am. Please accept me as your disciple.“ I was moved to tears and I guess everyone there was too. Here a 58-year old man fell to the feet of Gurudeva with tears of joy in his eyes…I couldn´t believe what I saw. This was incredible. After many many years of intensive sadhana, this nice soul found his shelter in Gurudeva. Gurudeva spoke for about an hour about the importance of engaging in real bhakti-yoga. He told us what real seva means, what real love means and that we should know who we are. We should be fixed in knowledge about our eternal form. Again I had to read from the Gospel of Maria Magdalena and again Srila Gurudeva explained the nature of the soul. When the soul is engaged in psychological systems, she looses herself on the mental platform. When she experiments in esoteric circles she looses herself in pseudo-spirirtual activities and when she dabbles in ritualistic religion she looses herself in dry activities which will yield no loving result, no pure love for God. Again Gurudeva elaborated on the example of the soul as a prostitute. As long as our soul, the real bride, is not connected with her real groom, God, she lives a life in prostitution. It is exactly like in the Vedic literature, Gurudeva said. We are all manjaris for the service to Srimati Radhika. This we received from Sriman Mahaprabhu. Nothing is finished. It all is still going on. It is upon us to join the eternal loving activities of the Divine Couple. Everyone, especially Hriday Govinda das was thunderstruck by this lecture. He was now very sure that he was at the right place at the right time. Also René listened with huge ears. He told me afterwards that he never heard anything so brilliant and so clear about bhakti-philosophy and that his heart was extremely touched. René by the way was over-nighting in a very special place in the Abentheuer-temple, where no MAN dares to sleep…LOL. So, Gurudeva saked Hriday Govinda das when he would like to be initiated. „Right now“, he answered. And so Gurudeva and he walked to the house-temple-room and Gurudeva gave him harinam and diksha on the spot. And a new name too: Govinda prema das. Was this an awesome morning or what? But it was only the beginning of a fantastic day. At 12:00h we arrived at the place of a very nice Indian lady. There a dear friend of hers and herself begged for initiation. When the whole crew and Gurudeva arrived there, all was very festively arranged and we were greeted very warmly. Gurudeva sat down and we started to talk with each other. Gurudeva asked them questions and everyone was very happy. Giridhari das also was there. He is a good friend of Srila Gurudeva and his wife was the other lady begging for initiation. During the discussion it came to light, that the Indian lady´s husband, an old disciple of Srila Prabhupada, was in the apartment too. He is suffering from severe depression and we were told that he is currently unable to get up from bed. Srila Gurudeva was very surprised and told them at once that he must see him. So he went in the husband´s room and had a strong talk with the man. He was very compassionate but he also strongly recommended that he should never give up and that he should try to overcome his depression. Soon, we were all back in the living room, except for my wife. She lovingly talked with the husband and somehow or another, by Gurudeva´s mercy, she inspired him to get up from his bed. And to the surprise of everyone, he actually entered the living room and joined our little satsang. After some more talking, Gurudeva decided to proceed with the initiations. So one lady after the other received the mercy of sadguru in the form of Gurudeva giving them harinam and diksha right there and then. I can´t begin to describe how happy both ladies had been. Krishna priya dd was the Indian lady´s new name and Vishnu priya dd for the German lady. The ceremony was concluded by a feast of prasadam. What an auspicious gathering somewhere in the village of Birkenfeld, in a Reihenhaus-apartment in the middle of big apartment-building-complex. Unbelievable. God´s ways are incredible, right? But the day went even more intense… At 15:00h we arrived at Vrajendra-nandana das´ house and we immediately felt home there. He is a wonderful soul with a wonderful wife and family and they had prepared a fantastic dinner and everything was arranged so festively in the living room. Srila Gurudeva sat down in a nice chair and ordere dus all to start with bhajana. And believe it or not, the house filled up to the brim with hungry devotees from the local community, all very eager to see and hear our beloved Gurudeva! After some time, Tirthanga das with his whole family appeared again…He drove home last night because of his elder daughter and today he came with whole family. Gurudeva gave him a very long hug and we continued singing holy songs. During one bhajan, Gurudeva said into my ears: „Tesam satatam yuktanam…“ I knew at once what he wanted. A Bhagavad-gita. He wanted to explain verse 10 of the 10th chapter called „The Opulence of the Absolute“.
dadāmi buddhi-yogaḿ taḿ
yena mām upayānti te
„To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.“ Srila Gurudeva really went at this verse! He marvellously explained the meaning, especially what it means „to serve with love“ and which „understanding“ Krishna here means. „Priti-purvakam“ means „doing with a loving attitude“. Gurudeva told us that how can we love without a relationship? He emphasised this point very vehemently. We need a relationship. He let Gaurahari das read from Srila Prabhupada´s introduction to the Gita about the relationships the soul can have with Krishna. And since the audience consisted of experiences devotees, Srila Gurudeva really was speaking very strongly and very much according to pure Vaishnava-philosophy. If the audience is very new and unacquainted with Vaishnava-philosophy, Srila Gurudeva speaks more in broader terms which are more easy to understand and to digest. But here, everyone was hungry for his harikatha, full of rasika-explanations. And to have a relationship, we need to know who we truly are. Again he let Gaurahari das quote Srila Prabhupada where he says that every living soul has her eternal form, her eternal svarupa. It is our first goal to awake this svarupa and from there on try to form a loving relationship with Krishna. This is what Krishna means when He talks about „giving the understanding“. Service must be ego-free and done out of love. We can only love Krishna when we start to love our own self and all the others who come into contact with our self. We must start to love here in this world, because if we fail here, what can we expect from loving in the spiritual world. So weh ave to be always in good association. What kind of association? Srila Gurudeva told us about the meeting of Raya Ramananda and Sriman Mahaprabhu. Raya Ramananda met Sriman Mahaprabhu and they fell to the floor in total ecstasy. Why? Because Mahaprabhu was in the mood of Radhika and Raya Ramananda is Vishakha dd in Krishna-lila. So actually, it was like meeting your very best friend. But they had to stop their ecstasy. Why? Because they were not in the proper association. Raya Ramananda was with brahmanas who only love their rituals. They could never understand or feel these deepest emotions which both displayed during their meeting. So Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda scheduled another, more private meeting in the evening, then in proper association. When we are not in the right association, our bhakti can´t grow very far. We need svajati-association. We need to be together with like-minded souls in the same mood. Then real love in action can exist and grow. To serve means „love in action“. Everything we do must be drenched in the consciousness of love. Srila Gurudeva was unstoppable. I rarely heard him go as deep as today. He also spoke about guru-tattva. By serving the guru, who is an expansion of Srimati Radhika, a manjari in his eternal form, we can understand everything. Afterwards, Srila Gurudeva answered many questions and everybody was very happy to have been here in his divine presence. One question was about our eternal form. Srila Gurudeva told us, that first we will know the form of our Guru-manjari, then we will know the form of our Ishta-deva and then we will realize our own true form. All these truths are connected. by serving a real Gurudeva, all will become clear. We ended the afternoon/early evening with more wonderful songs and a tremendous prasadam feast. Thank you, Vrajendra-nandana das and family! It was a beautiful event and and honour to be in your house. Srila Gurudeva loved it very very much. In the evening, we went to Vishvadeva das´ house again for a last night´s sleep. Next day, we had to be on the road to reach our next goal, Gaurasundara das´ house in Schönecken, 90 minutes from here. Again, I had the fortune to sleep with Gurudeva in one room and he told me that today was a very special day. I told him that he transormed the hearts of many sincere devotees today who all went through a very hard time. I again realized that every soul needs the association of such a wonderful person like Srila Sadhu Maharaja. He again demonstrated his glorious expertise by giving his unconditional love to so many different recipients. It was like a miracle to behold…watching hearts melt, tears flow, faces shine and smiles grow bigger…wonderful. “Schlafens gut”, he told me… Part III will follow soon…