Part 3 / Final Part
June 4th (Monday)
This day needs two 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 extraordinary. 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… 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 doctor’s 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. We had 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 take from now on.
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 also find 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 caravan 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. After a while 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 tomorrow 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 arrange wonderful programs for the students of my university. I 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 resting for the night in a very special place in the Abentheuer-temple, where no MAN dares to sleep…LOL.
So, Gurudeva asked 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 had to 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 ordered us 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 we have 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 an 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.
June 6th (Wednesday)
This morning after breakfast, Govinda prema das promised us to show us the whole company building of Govinda´s, every nook and corner. So we all had breakfast with him and then the whole crew packed their stuff because after the tour of Govinda´s we would drive on to a last darshan of Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan and then onwards to Gaurasundara das´ house to meet with his mothers and some of his children. The tour of the company was totally awesome and Srila Gurudeva wanted to see EVERYTHING. He was very much interested and he really appreciated the cleanliness and the proper setting of the factory.
We also could see where the famous Govinda´s sweets are produced. Gurudeva was in bliss to see all the prasadam packed and stored for sending out. Prema-prasad ki Jayho! Again, Srila Gurudeva had a nice long talk with the chief, Dhanu dd, and we all strolled around, checking stuff out. At the end, it was time to say goodbye and it was heartwarming to see the tears welling up in these senior devotees. „We will see us in Dole this summer!“ This was the echo when we left. Hugs and warm embraces, loving words and big smiles. Everybody of Govinda´s was in ecstasy and Srila Gurudeva too. So on we went for a last darshan of Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan. And beware, „kalo´smi“ Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita and oh yes, He is the time.
When we arrived for darshan, it was just Their Lordships lunchtime and we had to wait for like 10 minutes before the curtain would open. After a beautiful darshan, we were invited to accept Their maha-prasadam. It was as if completely arranged by a divine hand…lol. So, everyone had a very very nice lunch-meal which was not from this world. Gurudeva was very nicely received again and the local devotees fell in love with him. It was wonderful to behold. Everybody fully satisfied, bodily and spiritually, we again said goodbye and whoosh…we were on the way to Schönecken, where Gaurasundara das lives. He was the gentle „big brother“-figure on this tour. NOTHING could shake him. He is the example of wonderful humility. He never spoke a bad word and it was always a complete pleasure to be with him and funnily enough, our humour was on the same wavelength. His wife, our beloved Suniti dd was in complete service-ecstasy. She was always cooking and arranging a wonderful breakfast and she was like a true mother to youngsters. We love her so much and by her gentle nature, she always has a nice word for everyone and boy oh boy, she is fixed in our bhakti-siddhanta. Awesomely so.
So after again something like 90 minutes, we arrived at the wonderfully restored old original German Fachwerk-house of Gaurasundara das. Jahnava dd with René and Annapurna dd, Govinda priya dd and me, Gaurasundara das and Suniti dd with our beloved Gurudeva. This afternoon was the afternoon of our staunch anti-sect-man, René. Jahnava dd told me that since days he only speaks about Gurudeva. In Abentheuer, on the last evening, René told Gurudeva that he accepted him as his teacher. That alone was extremely wonderful. Now Jahnava dd was telling us that he is even contemplating to take harinam-initiation. We were blown away. Srila Gurudeva stole his heart in the most beautiful and most magical way. When we arrived at the house, Gurudeva decided to sleep for 45 minutes. He laid down on a bed and we, Jahnava dd, Annapurna dd, René, Govinda priya dd and me, chilled out on a big mattress in front of Gurudeva´s sleeping place, separated by a thick curtain. And really, René told me that he wants to take initiation. But he said since he loves me and trusts me, I should „convince“ him a „little bit“ more…and I am a good convincer…lol So I preached to him about the glories of the Holy Name and the effect on our soul. About the glories of Gurudeva I didn´t need to say anything more. René had this justified fear that he would „enter a cult or a sect“. He therefore didn´t want a spiritual name so that everyone can see that he is a Krishna-devotee. So he first wanted initiation without a name. Then, after my „treatment“, he chose to receive a spiritual name from Gurudeva. After about 50 minutes I crawled to Srila Gurudeva and told him about René´s decision. And Gurudeva was SO happy. He immediately agreed to initiate him right now , right here. So René gathered a new tulasi-neckbead and a new japa-mala from Suniti dd and then we went into the chamber where Gurudeva rested. It was very sweet and very intimate. Gurudeva took his hands, put the mala in the hands, covered it with his hands and told me to also put my hand on top. In this way, Gurudeva chanted the maha-mantra 4-5 times and we all repeated with René. Then Gurudeva revealed a far-out name: He named René „Bali das“. Gurudeva told us, that one of Sri Balarama´s nicknames is „Bali“. And again Gurudeva proved to us that he can read minds easily. This name will make nobody suspicious. Not many know this intimate nickname of Sri Balarama. And no, it is NOT for Bali Maharaja. René, now called Bali Baba sweetly, was completely happy. And we again stared in wonder about the great magician, Srila Gurudeva. What an afternoon.
Then Gurudeva went down to talk to the family members of Gaurasundara das. His mother and two of his daughters came. We stayed upstairs, completely stoned in spiritual bliss. At about 18:30h, we left for the next program at Madhuri das´ soundstudio in Embken, near Cologne. So after another hour, we reached our destination and the studio was full of excited souls, some of them seeing Gurudeva for the first time. After some very sweet bhajans Gurudeva decided to begin the evening with some questions & answers. And immediately some questions came up:
What is real „satsang“? Gurudeva said, that „sat“ here actually means „true“, „real“. So „satsanga“ means to be always in contact, in „sanga“ with the truth. First we have to know what is the truth, what is the reality. When we know this, we are always in „satsang“. On the bodily platform of course it means to be in the association of true and real people who have the same mood and the same goal.
What is the meaning of samadhi? True samadhi means to be always in the consciousness that my ishtadeva is with me. Everywhere I go, where I look, what I do, I am always together with my Gurudeva and my worshipable deity. I can see and feel Sri Sri Radha Mohan in every human being and in every living entity.
Many more questions have been asked and Srila Gurudeva answered them all in a very wonderful way. He always knows what the audience needs to hear and how. This time he strongly spoke about demigod-worship and that not all worship is the „same“. It is not the same if you worship Krishna or Shiva. The results will be different. It was very convincing and inspiring to hear him speak with such powerful siddhanta (philosophical conclusions).
Afterwards we had some more bhajans and then Madhuri das and his wife served a fantastic meal of Krishna prasadam. It was very late when we had to leave and drive to our last stop on this first part of the German tour. We left at about 23:00h and we arrived at Sadhu Ma´s (formerly known as Asanga dd) place late in the night at about 0:45h. When we arrived there, Sadhu Ma dd and her life-partner Sudevi dd were in full ecstasy. They welcomed us cordially and immediately we felt like home in such a nice atmosphere. We were shown our room and I went with Gurudeva´s luggage to his room. „Where are you sleeping?“ he asked me. „In the other room. We all sleep there, Gurudeva. It´s fine.“ „No. You sleep here. Stay with me. They will arrange mattress for you.“ And so it happened that again I was blessed with another night in Gurudeva´s room. Again we talked a little and I asked him some private questions concerning his answers this evening. But private questions need to stay private…
June 7th (Thursday)
Today would be the last day of the first part in Gurudeva´s German tour. After a wonderful breakfast from Suniti dd and her ladies-team, we had a beautiful walk around the premises. Sadhu Ma dd and Sudevi dd life in the house of Ma´s parents in a wonderfully scenic village. The village is very old and small. In the heart of it is a former monastery-building-complex. This former monastery serves now as an old-age-home and also as a building where you can rent rooms for classes, yoga-lessons, seminars or workshops. We walked around for quite some time until we arrived at the rented room for the evening program. It was a beautiful baroque-ish room with chairs and mirrors on the wall, like a ball-room in old Vienna.
Srila Gurudeva expertly advised us on how to place all the chairs for the guests. He really „saw“ everything already in his mind and instructed us accordingly. At least that was my humble impression. And at the end, the room looked ready for a wonderful evening. The prasadam for the evening Ma ordered from the ISKCON-temple in Cologne. That was a brilliant idea. So everyone had time enough to be ready for the evevning. And boy oh boy, what an evening it was about to become… When we returned from the monastery to Ma´s house, more and more guests were coming. Many people from around the area and some from a little further. Some of them know Gurudeva from Dole, some have heard in Dole from him. Gurudeva´s friend Radha Krishna das and his girlfriend came from near Cologne. Isvari dd, Karuna dd came with a friend from Aschaffenburg, Mohini priya dd decided to celebrate her birthday with her family right here, so she brought delicious prasadam with her. And still more and more people were arriving during the afternoon. Dandadhrik das and his wife from Cologne came, and slowly slowly it was time to start the program with bhajans. Gurudeva decided to join the bhajans a little later so that he could still sit with the guests who loved to see him in the frontyard of Ma´s house. So, many of us walked to the rented room and there Suniti dd and some devotees decorated the room nicely. Her deities had been set up and so was my Mohanji Giridhari. It was a very festive atmosphere, visually and vibration-wise.
Suniti dd started with „Krishna deva bhavantam vande“. Soon the room filled up with many guests. Jahnava dd´s mum and friend arrived, Amala das came with his girlfriend and kid. Pretty soon, Srila Gurudeva entered the room and the atmosphere gained in spiritual „weight“ and „density“. He sat down on one of the two prepared and nicely flower-wise decorated tables (one was for the translator, me). No, I didn´t want to boost my ego. Gurudeva ordered it like that. 😀 I told Srila Gurudeva that with Dandadhrik das we have another fantastic bhajan/kirtan-singer when I told Gurudeva that he just came in, Gurudeva ordered him to sing. And Dandadhrik das led two extremely wonderful bhajans and soon everybody was dancing. Awesome! Then during the second bhajan, Tirthanga das arrived and Gurudeva was so happy to see him. Still, more and more guests arrived to the program.
Gurudeva was overwhelmed when he saw that again, the whole „family“ was together, also now on this last day. Jaga Mohan das came, Jay Govinda das and his girlfriend Lalita dd arrived and immediately she joined the bhajan-group, playing the violine. Soon Jahnava dd sang, then Tirthanga das and again the last bhajan ended in a tumultous dancing session where even Gurudeva joined in. Slowly nearly all the guests were dancing. I played the mrdanga-drum and watched in pure amazement. Sril Gurudeva danced with at least 50 people in a baroque-like room and everyone was singing and jumping in pure happiness.
After these ecstatic singing and dancing, Srila Gurudeva ordered first Sudevi dd to say something and to announce the sequence of the evening and after that he ordered Sadhu Ma dd to speak to her guests. It was very heart-touching how happy both of them had been to be able to host Gurudeva and to organize such a fantastic program. In the meantime nearly all of the people from Madhuri das´ place yesterday arrived and now the room really was full. Srila Gurudeva started the philosophical part by telling that he would like to have another „Question & Answers“-discussion. Everybody liked that idea and like yesterday, Sril Gurudeva answered all of them like a true sad-guru, always completely in empathy with the one who asked, always perfectly in-tune. He also told the audience of his trip to the USA.
One lady asked what his view was of the Buddhistic philosophy. Gurudeva said that he was in America in one wonderful Buddhistic temple. There he observed the different rituals and their chantings. Afterwards he had a discussion with the main monk there and he asked what their siddhanta is. The monk told Gurudeva that like a glass is full of water, the aim is to empty the glass and drink the water. So, similarly, we all should be empty like a glass. We should make our Selves empty. Gurudeva told us then that he liked that example very much. „Yes. We all should become empty. Empty of our bad habits, empty of our false ego, pride and possessiveness. But we will not leave our Selves empty. No. We fill our Selves with pure love, with prema.“ Everyone liked that example.
Also he again refererred to the gospel of Maria Magdalena and the concept of the soul being the female bride and God being the groom. Gurudeva spoke for about 60 minutes and afterwards we had some more kirtan and then a delicious prasadam feasts. The audience was completely happy and having seen now many programs with Gurudeva, I safely can say that this was one of the best programs and really a dignified ending of the first part of his German tour. It was like a family reunion and more. Many people today came forward and asked him for initiation. So the candidates and Gurudeva and a few of us walked over to Ma´s house and Gurudeva blessed some wonderful and happy souls with harinama-initiation and diksha-initiation. I was especially happy for Madhuri das, now VRAJA Madhuri das and his wife Vandana dd, now Shiva Vandana dd and some of their regular guests like now Ragini dd and Keshava priya dd and some others more. Gurudeva was extremely happy with the whole event.
Soon after, Jay Govinda das and Lalita dd came in after the initiations and checked on Gurudeva´s health. Then they had to leave for their home. After that, we just sat in Gurudeva´s room and had a pleasant conversation. Suniti dd and Gaurasundara das gave Gurudeva a comfortable foot and body massage. We all sat there nicely resting and talking with him. Together we waited for Kalindi dd to arrive. She was scheduled to come by train at about 22:45h, but her train got delayed and so she arrived at about 23:40h. When she arrived it was a very wonderful reunion with her since she left our house days before which seemed like weeks…We sat there with Gurudeva and then the moment came where we had to tell Gurudeva, that we must leave now tonight, because we need some days in our house where we have to prepare ourselves for the starting of school next week. “How can you leave before I leave. Impossible.” Half joking, half serious…”Dear Gurudeva, I know it is very bad, but we really have to leave.” So after some small verbal battle, he accepted that we leave. It was very hard and I again felt my heart breaking, but I told myself to be strong and to be tough. We see him soon anyway, I told my longing soul. With a heavy heart, we hugged our beloved Gurudeva and we promised to meet up with him in Wahlwies on July 20th. He was happy to hear that and with last hug and his benevolent blessings, he said “good-bye and take care”. “See you soon!” And with his smile in our mind, we walked to our car and drove off.
What a fantastic spiritual “ride”, what a blessing to have been so close with our beloved Srila BV Sadhu Maharaja, AGAIN. If you want to know what I realized about his glory, check these verses and you know everything about him. He LIVES and BREATHES these ultimative verses. And if someone would ask me to describe Gurudeva, I would show him these verses and tell him or her, that Gurudeva EMBODIES them. Now. Here on this planet. Go see him! Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.29.12
mām eva sarva-bhūteṣu
bahir antar apāvṛtam
yathā kham amalāśayaḥ
With a pure heart (Gurudeva) one should see Me, the Supreme Soul within all beings and also within oneself, to be both unblemished by anything material and also present everywhere, both externally and internally, just like the omnipresent sky. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.29.13-14
iti sarvāṇi bhūtāni
jñānaḿ kevalam āśritaḥ
brāhmaṇe pukkase stene
brahmaṇye ‘rke sphulińgake
akrūre krūrake caiva
sama-dṛk paṇḍito mataḥ
O brilliant Uddhava, one (Gurudeva) who thus views all living entities with the idea that I am present within each of them, and who (Gurudeva) by taking shelter of this divine knowledge offers due respect to everyone, is considered actually wise. Such a man (Gurudeva) sees equally the brāhmaṇa and the outcaste, the thief and the charitable promoter of brahminical culture, the sun and the tiny sparks of fire, the gentle and the cruel. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.29.15
nareṣv abhīkṣṇaḿ mad-bhāvaḿ
puḿso bhāvayato ‘cirāt
sāhańkārā viyanti hi
For him (Gurudeva) who constantly meditates upon My presence within all persons, the bad tendencies of rivalry, envy and abusiveness, along with false ego, are very quickly destroyed.
Dear Gurudeva! Thank you for tolerating this fool here for nearly 12 days in your presence. Thank you for your unlimited kindness. With a heart full of love and affection, Tarun Govinda das