On the 31st of May I arrived at the Rupanuga Vedic College in Kansas City - it was my first visit to this community established by HH Danavir Goswami in 1996. Sri Sri Gaur Nitai are now residing in this former Christian church building, worshiped by a dedicated group of temple residents and brahmacaris, and a small congregation of sweet devotees of various national backgrounds. It is one of the few temples in the US that has a brahmacari ashrama with young and mainly Western bodied devotees regularly offering a bhakta program. The mood is hospitable and personal - devotees don't receive so many visiting preachers here and are thus keen for association.
The highlight of my tour around the United States was the Sadhu Sanga Retreat in Dallas over the last weekend in May - coordinated by HH Indradyumna Swami and his disciples. Many great souls of our society were gracing the event: HH Radhanath Swami, HH Giriraja Maharaja, HH Sacinandana Maharaja, HH Jayapataka Maharaja, HG Vaisesika Prabhu, Mahatma Prabhu, Madhava Prabhu and others; and the entire occasion was attended by around 3,000 devotees! It took place in the fancy Marriott Dallas Allen Hotel & Convention Center, and I was comfortably accomodated in a nice room. We had the standard morning program, and throughout the entire day devotees were immersed in blissful kirtans.
In mid of May I visited ISKCON Baltimore for one week, meeting every day with the devotees in various programs - at the temple and in devotees' homes. We dedicated the entire Saturday afternoon to deepening our relationship with the holy name - something we should be doing regularly: putting everything else aside and focusing entirely on chanting the holy name, in japa as well as in kirtan.
My tour around the US began with a visit to Chicago - a dynamic Vaishnava community established by Srila Prabhupada himself, who personally installed beautiful Sri Sri Kishore Kishori as the main Deities. The temple building was formerly a Christian church, now turned into Their Lordship's abode
Simhachalam in Germany is for me the BEST place to be for Nrsimha Caturdasi - a MUST in my yearly schedule. Even Mayapur can not compare to this....!
After spending one week visiting Cologne in Germany (which serves as my home base in Europe) and enjoying life churning various topics in the association of nice devotees, I flew to Ljubljana in Slovenia on the 26th of April. It was my first visit after five years, and it was wonderful to meet all the devotees again.
On the 11th of April I traveled to Radhadesh in Belgium to visit this wonderful community for one week. It is one of the main projects within Europe, with around 150 devotees living around the temple. They own quite a substantial amount of land and forests and also have a goshala. The beautiful nineteenth-century chateau near the historic town in the Belgian Ardennes attracts many tourists all around the year, and devotees give guided tours where the visitors also take darshan of the magnificent Deities of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai and engage in a short kirtan. Powerful preaching...!
Govardhanadesh outside of Bad Oeynhausen in Germany is a rather unique project. Some years ago, a family from Russia bought this Hotel near the forest and turned it into a temple, while at the same time continuing to run it as their family business. Now many devotees from Ukraine have taken shelter here and live in the nearby township or in the hotel. It has almost become like a little Ukrainian colony...
I had been regularly visiting Kishinev in Moldova for the last 23 years - until the pandemic came. Being a neighboring country of Ukraine, the devotees have the same fresh and enthusiastic spirit and eagerness for Krishna consciousness as in Ukraine.
Now, during the first week of April, I finally had an opportunity to visit once again - after a long five years had passed. And it was such a joyful reunion - full of sweet and affectionate exchanges...!
I enjoyed the fact that the pandemic was over, and I finally could travel again to all the different places which I had not been able to visit for the last few years. One of those communities was Sofia in Bulgaria which I visited during the last week of March.
Devaki Devi Dasi's Travel Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary.Welcome to relish this nectar!