Part 1 of 3
May, 28th (Monday)
Yesterday, Sunday 27th, our dearest friends Karuna Mohan das and Karuna Mayi dd arrived together with our dear sister Premavati dd. It was a wonderful afternoon and evening to get into the mood of welcoming our beloved Srila Gurudeva, Sripad 108 BV Sadhu Maharaja. It was planned that my wife, Govinda priya dd, Premavati dd and me would drive to the airport in Frankfurt to welcome Srila Gurudeva and bring him to our home. It was also planned since a long time that our dear friends Silke, Franzi and Fritz would prepare a spectacular breakfast/brunch together with the Karunas. Very early in the morning, like about 5:00 am, we started our car for the airport. Srila Gurudeva´s flight was scheduled to land at 7:20am. And after some time of exciting anticipation, the door opened and a radiating Srila Gurudeva came out of the arrival door with a big smile and raised hands, ready for some nice welcome-hugs! So after 5 months, it was a wonderful „seeing-again“ and we took Srila Gurudeva to our car. He was in a very sweet mood and talked about how awesome his US-tour had been. While talking about different things, we drove him to our home where aforementioned people waited with love and an extraordinary breakfast-brunch. As soon as Srila Gurudeva entered our home, a festival of welcome-hugs started and everyone including him was in total bliss. Srila Gurudeva was very happy to meet all of us and he was completely in ecstasy about the wonderful breakfast-brunch which was about to be opened and served. So after some minutes of final preparations, we joyfully ate breakfast in the company of our beloved Srila Gurudeva. After the rich and huge breakfast, Srila Gurudeva needed some rest to cover up the jetlag. So we cleaned up everything and sat together in a very nice spiritual atmosphere to exchange feelings. Many people said that they would come to visit us today. At about 12:00h, Arjuna das and his wife Yashoda dd came with their daughter Violetta. They drove 2,5 hours to see Srila Gurudeva. Also our beloved sister Jahnava dd came with a good friend of her, Nathalie. After Srila Gurudeva had nicely rested, our friends Silke and Franzi decided to ask him for harinama-initiation. Silke´s husband Fritz joined them as a silent observer. Srila Gurudeva spoke to them for a good time and then called me telepathically (NO JOKE!) and I joined them in Gurudevas room. He then initiated them and gave them new names: Krishna priya dd (Franzi) and Gaura priya dd (Silke). Fritz was not really sure about the whole thing, but Gurudeva decided to initiate him anyway, right on the spot. So Fritz happily accepted the offer and was awarded with the name Gauravani das. Then Jahnava dd and her friend Nathalie went inside to speak with Gurudeva, while the rest of us enjoyed a beautiful afternoon outside in the garden, blessed by the rays of the sun. My wife Govinda priya dd acted as a „visiting-co-ordinator“ and after Jahnava dd and her friend, Arjuna das entered with his wife and daughter, together with me as a translator. And here the first miracle of many to come happened: Arjuna das had many questions in his mind, some quite intense in nature. Srila Gurudeva just spoke on the principles of bhakti in a very essential way and unbelievingly so, all of Arjunas questions were answered without him speaking them out loud…Srila Gurudeva masterfully read his mind and gave him answers which Arjuna das loved to hear and promised to set in effect in his life. I was totally stunned about the expertise of our beloved Gurudeva. Later on, our dear friend Dagmar, who edited BOTH books of Gurudeva (German & English) and her son Daniel Finn Govinda were next in line and Srila Gurudeva very warmly welcomed them and talked to them very nicely about who they are and what they do and gave them his heartfelt blessings. We all took prasadam in the afternoon and then we did some wonderful bhajans and Srila Gurudeva spoke some words and again we had some bhajans. The day went on and on until late at night with Srila Gurudeva answering questions and us engaging in bhajans, everything done in our living room. What a wonderful first day with many people and with our beloved Srila Gurudeva as the center of our attraction and love. With a filled heart, the guests left in a loving mood and we all went to bed extremely satisfied and spiritually enriched. It seemed that this day had more than 24 hours in it! May, 29th (Tuesday) After a satisfying night-rest for all of us, especially for Srila Gurudeva, we had a nice healthy breakfast and then some more guests were coming. Jahnava dd decided to stay the whole week, Premavati dd could stay one more day, the Karunas were still here in bliss and at 11:00h, we drove to the nearest train station to welcome our dear sister Shyamali dd from Switzerland who was eager to see her beloved Gurudeva too. Also our brother Tirthanga das, who lives nearby, decided to visit us for breakfast. The plan was, that after breakfast, Tirthanga das would drive Gurudeva to his home for a private time and that we would all come 1 hour later for an evening of bhajans and Gurudeva´s hari-katha. So after breakfast we sang some nice bhajans here and Gurudeva spoke for some time about different themes (Guru-tattva, bhajana-kriya,…) and soon he took off with Tirthanga das and we stayed in our house for a little longer. 1 hour later, we all drove to Tirthanga das´place, where many devotees already gathered for a wonderful session of bhajans and hari-katha. Since many of us were great bhajan-singers, it was like a festival of ecstatic bhajans. One after the other sang from his heart and Srila Gurudeva loved it very much. After we sang „Sri Krishna Caitanya prabhu, daya koro more“, Srila Gurudeva gave a most wonderful explanation of this song. He said: „Why is there the word SRI before Krishna Caitanya?“ The normal meaning would be as an address to Sriman Mahaprabhu, but Gurudeva gave us the deepest meaning of SRI: Here it means Srimati Radhika and then the line means „Sri Krishna Caitanya – Radhika and Krishna are now Caitanya“. Gurudeva very nicely explained then the song fully, line after line, tattva after tattva. Everyone was mesmerized by his wonderful words with deep meaning. The evening ended with a fabulous prasadam cooked by Tirthanga das´wife Ananga Manjari dd and everyone was completely in ecstasy about the stunning taste of this prasadam. After this outerworldly experience, we sang some more bhajans and all devotees felt the immense presence of the love Gurudeva radiates and gives away through his words and gestures. Happily we drove back with Gurudeva to our home and again until late in the night, Srila Gurudeva spoke about very deep aspects of our philosophy and with elefant-ears we listened to every word he said. Again, this day number 2 was absolutely full of love, wisdom and deep inner bliss. Again we felt, that the day had about 30 or more hours in it. May, 30th (Wednesday) After a nice breakfast and some interesting talks, we decided to relax a little bit and then drive to Jahnava dd´s place in the afternoon for lunch. The Karunas and Jahnava dd took off earlier to prepare everything in Jahnava´s home. Srila Gurudeva received some guests this morning: Upaguru das wanted to talk to Gurudeva and for him it was the first time to speak to our beloved Gurudeva. He was „scheduled“ for 10:00 am and he arrived in time and went in to a private talk. Soon also Gauranga das, the brother of Jahnava dd arrived. He too wanted to speak with Gurudeva in private. After some time, Upaguru das came out of the room and he was deeply moved by his encounter with a real sadhu. „He was the first person who accepted me as I am with his whole heart. I have never experienced anything like this.“ Gurudeva promised to him that he would always be there for Upaguru das and needless to say, Upaguru das was very very happy. Next „in line“ was our brother Gauranga das. He waited a long time to be finally able to speak with Gurudeva in private. They had a long and pleasant conversation and after this, Gurudeva drove with Gauranga das to Jahnava dd´s place in Mannheim and we followed right behind, meaning Shyamali dd, Govinda priya dd and me. When we arrived there, prasadam was ready to be served and Karuna Mohan das cooked a wonderful feast and everyone was delighted and fully satisfied. He is such an expert cook and Gurudeva loved his cooking. After lunch, Gurudeva asked Gauranga das to read something from a Christian book. Gauranga das went to the bookshelf which was fully of different philosophical books and came back with „Texte aus Nag Hammadi: Apokryphe Evangelien aus Nag Hammadi“. It can be bought here: http://www.amazon.de/Texte-aus-Nag-Hammadi-Evangelien/dp/3980784738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339437155&sr=8-1 Gauranga das decided to read from the „Gospel of Maria Magdalena“. There he read about how actually the soul is our root. All material things will dissolve but our root, the eternal soul, will always be there. There it is written: „Will matter be redeemed or not?“ The Saviour answered: „All things in nature, every creature and every person exist with and in each other. Everything will be dissolved to their own roots, but not the root. Because all matter can only be dissolved to ist own root. Who has ears may hear!“ Then Peter spoke: „You let us realize everything. Please now tell us this: What is the sin of the world?“ The Saviour said: „In truth, there really exists no sin at all. But you create sin by your actions. Sin is born by the divorce of a marriage (between the soul and God). That is called sin. But therefore all the good came into your midst, to every creature, only to be reinstated in your own root.“ Srila Gurudeva expertly explained to us that everything in this material world will perish and go away, except for the root. He told us that the root here in this metaphor is our eternal soul. Suffering comes into existence when we forget our root, our soul. He said that right now, the soul is living in some kind of „sense-consciousness“, trying to become happy by using all senses. He said that we are divorcing ourselves from our own creator. The soul breaks ist marriage with the creator of all things God. Gurudeva said that the sould is like a bride and God is like our groom. We create our suffering by forgetting our root, our soul and by forgetting our relationship to our root-cause, God. Then we also read from an essay called „About the soul“ from the letters to Reginus. There it is stated that the soul is female in nature and God is the only male. By forgetting our real nature we identify with our bodies and senses and actually divorce ourselves from God. It is written that if the soul looks for satisfaction in the kingdom of the senses then she is like a prostitute, running from man to man. Gurudeva very nicely explained that this is actually Vaishnava-philosophy. The soul is female (prakriti) and God (Krishna) is the male (purusha). He loved that book and from here on he would mention these passages throughout the whole tour. And we loved to him him explain our own Christian heritage! After some hours, the time for the first official evening program was near. So we happily walked from Jahnava dd´s place to the Moksha-yoga centre (15 minutes walking distance). It was wonderful to walk with Gurudeva through the sunny Mannheim and many people watched him with open mouth… At 18:30h we started the program with wonderful bhajans and slowly the room filled up until it really was packed with people. This year, Gurudeva, after having experienced the boom of kirtan in the US, put more emphasis on singing the holy mantras. So we sang beautiful mantras, ending in the Hare-Krishna-maha-mantra and then Gurudeva elaborated more on the subject matter of the afternoon. He talked about the meaning of yoga. He said that yoga means to re-connect with our root, with our soul and to re-establish our relationship with the cause of that root (God). It was a very nice lecture and Gurudeva always knows how much the audience can digest. Everybody was very happy with his discourse and we concluded the evening with some more singing and then Gurudeva distributed some prasadam-cookies. It was wonderful to see the happy faces of so many people. Also, our sister Premavati dd joined our house-team again after some days of working hours in her job. After arriving in our house, Gurudeva was so inspired that he again talked very intimately to us few diciples about deep spiritual themes and when it was midnight, we celebrated the birthday of our beloved sister, Karuna Mayi dd who was very happy with our presents, with the cake and the special gift from her beloved Gurudeva. And again, with a heart filled to the brim, we all went to bed in spiritual bliss, some of us not really able tro sleep. May, 31th (Thursday)How nice it was last night with our sister´s birthday celebration…but today was another day, full of excitement and wonder… Today the schedule was to drive to our sister Premabhakti Yogashakti´s place in Nürtingen (near Stuttgart). She was eagerly waiting for our beloved Gurudeva, since she hasnt seen him for a long time. So after waking up, everybody got ready to leave. Srila Gurudeva drove with the Karunas (it was their last day), Shyamali dd drove with me and Govinda priya dd, Premavati dd and Jahnava dd had their own girlie-car. After noon we arrived at Premabhakti dd´s yoga-centre and we immediately arranged a wonderful brunch in the sunshine with Gurudeva. He was very very happy to see Premabhakti dd and we happily ate and talked very comfortably. Today would arrive many guests. Suniti dd and Gaurasundara das would come and join us for the rest of the tour through Germany with their German wohnwagen (camping-wagon). Also Tulasi dd and Lalita dd from around Passau (South Germany) took a 5-6 hours trip to Nürtingen, having never met Srila Gurudeva. Both lady-devotees had been very excited over the last weeks and they hardly couldn´t wait to meet with Gurudeva. They even called him in Vrindavana. After brunch, Gurudeva decided to take a well-deserved rest and we sat there chillaxing in the sun, just having a most wonderful time. But soon it was time to say goodbye to our dearest family members, Karuna Mohanji and Karuna Mayi dd. It was very unreal and nobody wanted the time to march on. But what can be done? With a heavy heart, but full of experienced bliss we hugged each other warmly and with deep love we separated from them and we wished them a safe journey to their home in South Italy. What wonderful devotees, what a wonderful association we had been lucky to have with them. The are like jewels with hearts of gold. After some cleanup time, I sneaked in Gurudevas room and slept on the floor near to his bed for some time. When I kind of woke up from my light slumber, I heard that more people had arrived. Hamsaduta priya dd brought many devotees with her from her yoga-centre in Wahlwies (Lake Constance) and all were excited to meet with Gurudeva. Slowly, Gurudeva awoke and when he realized that I was sleeping next to him on the floor he smiled and we talked for a little while. I love these intimate moments and so does he. After taking bath, Gurudeva was there for everyone and really, I mean for everyone. All devotees sat together around a big table and slowly slowly more and more guests came in. Gurudeva was already the centre of all attraction. Then I saw Tulasi dd and her sister Lalita dd who had just arrived, completely excited and with tears running from their eyes. I was so happy for them! Finally they had the chance to meet Gurudeva! And up they went and straight into a big welcome-hug of Srila Gurudeva. He was very happy to see them and they were in full ecstasy, not knowing if it is real or just a dream. Srila Gurudeva is the most kind soul here on earth. This is now the 3rd time I am with him for more than 1o days and I am constantly stunned about how much love he is pouring out from his huge heart, drenched in love for Sri Sri Radha Mohan. Everybody, devotee or total stranger is drawn into his love like a little car into the eye of a hurricane. You just have to accept the mighty flow! Also our dear sister Kalindi dd arrived and what a pleasure it was for Gurudeva to meet with her! Soon, everyone went into the big Buddha-room and there we started a nice bhajan. Srila Gurudeva came too, although the official program was scheduled for 18:00h. It was 16:00h and the bhajan went into full ecstasy-mode with everyone chanting from their hearts. Inbetween the bhajan-songs, Srila Gurudeva spoke about the importance of singing these wonderful songs. Every song has deep aspects of the truth in itself and we should always sing these songs to connect ourselves with the Divine Couple. He again spoke strongly about us forgetting our „root“, wandering bewildered through the external world. Weh ave to know about our root, live there and fix our relationship with the creator of our root. This is self-realization, he said. To know these things. Sambandha-jnana, knowledge of our relationship with Krishna. Abhidheya-jnana, knowledge of the way to realize the soul. Prayojana-jnana, knowledge of the highest goal, pure love (prema). Everyone was again listening very carefully to every word Gurudeva said, since everybody felt that these were words of realized wisdom, more valuable than gold. After 2 hours of blissfull sadhu-sanga, we realized that actually NOW the official program should start. I was already in the kitchen cooking the evening prasadam, but I heard that Gurudeva and the devotees decided to have break for 1 hour and then start at 19:00h. Srila Gurudeva had the pleasure to receive a fantastic Hawaiian massage from of the best masseurs of Hawaii. He was a very nice gentleman and the teacher of Premabhakti dd and he felt very honoured to massage our beloved Gurudeva. I heard that Gurudeva loved the fine treatment. So, 19:00h came and the room was nicely decorated and more and more people came in. I think there had been about 40-50 people altogether. We started with wonderful bhajans. Since there were fantastic singers and musicians who wanted to please Gurudeva and Sri Sri Radha Mohan, it is needless to say that the bhajans were not from this world and the atmosphere was filled with divine love, multiplied by the wonderful and loving presence of Srila Gurudeva who was in a very happy mood. He told me during the bhajans that I should organize a Bhagavad-gita and that I should open it on chapter 12, verses 13-14. So I did what I had been told and he had me read the translation:
maitrah karuna eva ca
santustah satatam yogi
yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah
Translation One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me—such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me. And how wonderful he spoke about this verse and how ecstatically he explained it in a very rasika way (the way of a connaisseur). He told us what it means to be free from envy, to not think of anything as a possession. It was spellbinding how everyone in the room was fixed to his mouth with all ears. Gurudeva expertly discussed all the important points in this verse and we could all feel that he spoke from a realized platform. Many people told me afterwards that he touched their hearts very much. And my oh my, pretty soon we realized that it was about 22.30h and we ended the wonderful evening with a beautiful bhajan and everyone left or stayed, overwhelmed with happiness, wisdom and deep gratitude for the experience of being in the presence of such a mahatma (great soul). Srila Gurudeva then went to his room and a few of his disciples (including me) went with him and literally brought him to bed, like actually every evening. These minutes (sometimes more than minutes…LOL) are the most wonderful moments in our spiritual life: when you are close to Gurudeva, when he agrees to let you come close, to let you approach him how happy these moments make him and of course, us. Someone is giving him massages and someone is asking intimate spiritual questions or sometimes he shares from his miraculous realizations. And then, after some extended silence, we know that Gurudeva is asleep. Sometimes he also says: „Schlafens gut (sleep well)!“ And so we know that it is time to leave the room. No money in the world can buy these moments! We are very very lucky, no doubt. June, 1st (Friday) This day was the BIG ekadasi day where one fasts even from water. In the morning, there were two initiations scheduled. Gurudeva agreed to give harinama-initiation to the sisters Tulasi dd and Lalita dd. You can not believe how happy both of them were! They struggle with material life and they opened up their heart and soul during the initiation. Gurudeva asked them many question and seriously wanted to know if they are ready for this step. Since both wanted me there and Gurudeva also ordered me to be there, I could „feel“ the seriousness in the air. Both sisters said they have now suffered enough and they want to give up the straining material life. They told Gurudeva that they never felt like having a real father and with tears in their eyes they begged for his mercy because they had nobody else to turn to. I too had tears in my eyes, but mostly from the mercy Srila Gurudeva showered them with. I have hardly seen him so kind, gentle and merciful but serious nonetheless, like a true sadguru. He said that from now on, he would be their father, that he would take care of them. But he said that they must be ready to accept his mercy by changing their lives for the good. It really was a heart-touching initiation and soon they received their „new“ names, Tulasi priya dd and Lalita priya dd. They shed tears of joy and thankfulness and I witnessed one more miracle from the greatest magician, Srila Gurudeva! After the intiation, I had to cook the evening dinner-prasadam for our next program which would lead us from here to Heidelberg. I brought all my pots and utensils and with the help of many kindhearted souls, I was ready to offer the bhoga to my Mohanji at about 14:00h. Inbetween the cooking some devotees took some fruits and salad and they ate together with Gurudeva. Premavati dd and Zak (a good friend of us) organized a meeting with an eye-doctor who could have a look at Gurudevas eye-illness (a little zyst on the inner eye-lash) in the Heidelberg University-clinic. So Premavati dd drove with Jahnava dd and Gurudeva to the clinic and we drove off to the Heidelberg yoga-centre, where the program was scheduled for about 17:30h. We all thanked Premabhakti Yogashakti dd for her love and hospitality and we promised to meet again soon, maybe in Dole this summer. She was very happy and her heart went out to Gurudeva. The drive was very pleasant and we all met with excitement on the street in front of the yoga-centre in Heidelberg. Srila Gurudeva was with Zak and they had a nice little „fresh-air“ and we met them as soon as I parked the car. They were walking towards the yoga-centre and we mystically met in time…wonderful, right? The eye-doctor confirmed it being a little harmless zyst which should according to his opinion be removed surgically. Gurudeva said that he would think about it and he was very thankful for the consultation. When we arrived in the yoga-centre, Gurudeva took some rest on a yoga-mattress in a special room for him. He received a nice foot massage from a very nice Austrian devotee named Mohan das. It was very nice to see that so many people wanted to take care of Gurudeva. And then came a surprise: Tribhanga das, a beloved disciple of Gurudeva came by after a long time being in Gurudeva´s project-village Jamdaha…the happiness of both was really great! What a nice reunion! Tribhanga das was very moved! At 17.45h we started the evening by serving prasadam. Annapurna dd brought also many nice preparations and so the people could enjoy a huge feast and everybody ate to their full taste! Soon after, we started with bhajans. Now we were really a good bhajan-band: Jahnava dd, Amala das, Tirthanga das, Tribhanga dd, Suniti dd,….lots of ecstatic devotees…and I was the translator, from beginning to end. I loved it very much, by the way! Srila Gurudeva ordered that Tom, the owner, should sing the first bhajan, namely a bhajan for Shiva! Srila Gurudeva spoke this evening about many things concerning yoga and meditation. He explained what real „samadhi“ meant. Samadhi is the highest aspect of deep mediation, the last step of inner thinking, where the mind cannot leave the Divine Couple. Gurudeva said that this state of being means that we see our beloved Sri Sri Radha Mohan everywhere in this world, in every circumstance and in every being we meet. This is real samadhi. And to share your love in this state. He explained what real yoga is and what we can do to re-establish our longlost relationship with God. Similar to the program in Mannheim, he spoke about the female nature of the soul and its actual loving marriage to our eternal groom, God (Krishna). Before he started the lecture, Gurudeva ordered us to dedicate 2 minutes of silence to a devotee who left his body some days ago. He prayed for his soul and everybody was touched by the compassion Srila Gurudeva showed towards the people left behind. The lecture came to an end after some questions have been answered brilliantly and we sang one more bhajan. But Gurudeva was not willing to stop. After my translation work, I had to honour the prasadam and after I came back, he still was talking to the guests. He was so inspired! We all chilled-out a little bit more and the owner, Tom, thanked Gurudeva at the very end for being here and for his beautiful lecture. He was very touched and completely in bliss about the evening in his centre. Back in our house, Srila Gurudeva again shared with us some wonderful insight-realizations and we also had some late-night „fresh-air“. He was completely inspired and not tired at all…full of energy after 2 such very long days. We all could see that he was fully on the spiritual platform whereas many of us were fighting brother sleep…what a wonderful day. Again. (to be continued soon)
Kamayani · June 13, 2012 at 12:26 am
I really enjoyed reading your diary. Please keep it up. We are so blessed to have this type of close association with such a great soul. Can you please tell me which
program you are using to make your slide shows. I like it better than the one I used. thanks and Haribol!
Tarun Govinda das · June 13, 2012 at 8:57 am
I used Ashampoo HD Slideshowstudio.