I had once before visited Bhaktivedanta Manor outside of London around 30 years ago, when I had just gotten married. We had come for Janmastami and Srila Prabhupada's appearance festival which was indeed memorable, with many disciples of Srila Prabhupada remembering and glorifying their spiritual master. Many visiting devotees attended, and since we did not have a room booked, we had no choice but to sleep in the hay barn...
The gigantic Bhakti Sangam Festival in Ukraine is another highlight of my life - the most amazing and unique event within the three worlds. Nothing compares to this.....!
More than 8.000 devotees came together in Koblevo - a holiday resort on the Black Sea outside of Odessa. We welcomed many Sannyasis and preachers, who offered seminars in six venues parallel throughout the day. And there were so many wonderful kirtaniyas chanting the holy name throughout the evening.
The festival days of Janmastami and Srila Prabhupada's appearance in Kharkov/Ukraine are my most blissful days of the entire year. It is the time when I can taste a different flavor of joy and absorption - not preaching and giving lectures, but creating a Vrindavan panorama on our altar in order to open a window into the spiritual world - Goloka Vrindavan.
On Saturday, the 25th of August we had scheduled our first Children's Day for our Kharkov Community. It had been my spontaneous idea during the children's course in order to move our children into the center of our community. The outing was not only for children and their parents, but anybody who wanted to interact and play with the kids was welcome to participate. And even some of our brahmacaris and young bhaktas joined the fun, eager to give pleasure to the kids....!
On my return to Kharkov/Ukraine on the 29th of July I immediately settled back into my writing retreat and continued working on the draft of my second book in a very disciplined and regulated way. I enjoyed my seclusion and absorption, marveling how Srila Prabhupada performed this herculean task of producing so many volumes of books while traveling and preaching!
And I had to start putting ideas together for the design of the book cover. To produce the second book seemed easier than the first one...
Since I had come to Germany to attend Damodara-priya Mataji's wedding, I decided spontaneously to visit my dear mother for three days, together with Olga. My mother had expressed that she did not feel well, and I would have been very regretful if she was to leave her body in the near future, and I had not taken the opportunity to pay her a visit.
On the 12th of July I flew together with Olga from Kharkov to Germany to attend the wedding of Damodara-priya Mataji and Gopal Sundara Prabhu at Goloka Dham. This event was so important to me, that I decided to interrupt my writing retreat and specially fly to Germany to participate in this wonderful celebration.
Our Holy Name Retreat outside Kharkov/Ukraine gave me the perfect entrance to yet another retreat: a writing retreat....
In the evening of the 20th of June I arrived in Kharkov/Ukraine - after more than 24 hours of travels from Toronto. The devotees gave me a sweet and enthusiastic welcome, and I was distributing maha prasadam from Toronto temple - mangal artik sweets from Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha's plate. It is always a wonderful loving exchange upon arrival, offering me an opportunity to give a token of attention to each and every person while exchanging affectionate smiles.
On the 13th of June I arrived in Toronto/Canada - it was my second visit to this lively community.....
Devaki Devi Dasi's Travel Diary
Devaki Devi Dasi is sharing her realizations and adventures in her Traveling Diary.Welcome to relish this nectar!