Ironically, exactly that morning I woke up having almost lost my voice! For the past few days I had been fighting a cold with a nasty cough sitting deep within my lungs. And exactly on this day of the inauguration I could hardly speak....! Krsna forced me to be a little quieter, which would maybe make the program more auspicious....!
Nevertheless, I was determined to simply make the best out of the situation.
I had a good team of matajis and a group of brahmacaris and students from Bangladesh who were eager to help me with all the necessary preparations.
The Board Members HH Sivarama Swami, HH Niranjana Swami, HH Bhakti Purusottama Maharaja and HH Badrinarayan Goswami (who had taken Sannyas the very same morning) blessed the event with their presence, seated on the raised platform. HH Bhakti Rasamrta Swami was unfortunately not able to participate since he had to attend a program in South India.
The foremost purpose of the Institute for Spiritual Culture is to train and educate our ISKCON devotees in these underlying principles of spiritual culture, which will empower them to consciously choose how much of which culture they want to adopt within their life, and thus facilitate the gradual internal transformation which Krsna consciousness is meant to bring about.
A beautiful plaque for the Institute for Spiritual Culture was unveiled, which was later mounted near the entrance of the Goshala Building, where our ashram is located. Finally several ladies who had taken the course "Exploring the Roots of Spiritual Culture" during January performed a little skit illustrating in a humerous way the different world views and attitudes of young ladies influenced by the two opposing cultures. The skit was well received and brought the audience to laughter while at the same time giving some food for thought.
HH Niranjana Swami lead the final kirtan, and everyone took prasadam - the general devotees at the Pandal, while the Board Members, disciples of Srila Prabhupada and senior devotees were escorted to my place in the Goshala Building to take prasadam there.
Also here we had created a festive mood with flower decorations, and I felt honored to receive the Board Members, guests such as Chandramauli Swami and Smita Krsna Swami and senior devotees from the Mayapur Community for prasadam. We had ordered pizza from Govinda's and had prepared a nice pumkin soup, a salad and vanilla pudding with mango sauce.
The entire atmosphere was surcharged with a festive and auspicious mood, and devotees expressed their appreciation for the program and were pleased with our humble endeavors to serve them in Vaisnava hospitality.
The entire program can be viewed on www.therootsofspiritualculture.net
Our time in Mayapur had come to an end - we were busy preparing for our departure....
On the 15th of March we flew to Delhi and traveled out to Vrindavan, together with my two assistants Dominique and Anna......
Your servant, Devaki dd