On the 12th of March I flew from Delhi to Cologne/Germany, and immediately upon my arrival the news came out that Trump had closed the borders to the US because of the Corona virus. I was scheduled to be in Germany only for the weekend, and on the 17th I had a flight to New York to visit Central New Jersey, Brooklyn and the Bhakti Center, Hartford, Chicago and Dallas, to return to Cologne on the 14th of April. But very soon it became clear to me that I had to cancel this trip and stay in Germany for the time being.
Now I am glad to be here and not in the US....
Krishna once again arranged things perfectly....
I also offered the Sunday feast lecture - Cologne was the very last temple in Germany to implement the restrictions not to conduct public programs and gatherings. I also offered 4 SB classes over the following week, and on Sat the 21st of March I participated in a get-together with a 5-hour kirtan and little katha on the occasion of the first birthday of a heavily handicapped child who will probably leave her body within this year. Around 35 congregational members had assembled for this program, ending in a lasagne-feast! We barely escaped the checks and penalties from the security guards of the municipality office who started patrolling along the streets to urge everyone to follow the restrictions given! It was the very last bigger program we could conduct....!
I was tossing up how to proceed further - whether to stay in Cologne or go somewhere else to hide from the Corona Virus. There was a nice mood in the Cologne temple, with quite a few devotees taking shelter there. Devotees were so eager for association, requesting me to stay longer. And I could clearly perceive the good effect this crisis had on the mood of the devotees: we were coming closer, taking more tightly shelter of each other!
Last week Tue, 24th I took an early morning train from Cologne to Passau - a 6-hour journey. It was the most comfortable train ride I ever experienced in Germany - the train was completely empty due to the restrictions on traveling. I had prepared myself for getting checked by police and questioned on the purpose of my journey. I felt I had good grounds, since I have not lived in Germany for the last 35 years and thus had no actual home where to stay. And I could simply explain my situation, being stranded in Germany and now on the way to a community who was willing to receive me.
And nobody checked up on me...
On my arrival it was very cold here - minus 7 degrees, and some snow! In fact, the Bavarian Forest is also a skiing resort, so it is not surprising to find wintery temperatures during this time of the year. Within the last few days however it has become milder, and the snow has melted away which is a relief.
I have been offering SB classes, and over the next week I am requested to give the Vanaprastha course here in German language, as morning and evening program. We announced it to all temples around the German speaking countries, so people can join online. Now everybody is sitting at home, which is a good opportunity to preach through internet.
Ananda Krishna Prabhu, who has a popular youtube channel with German videos, is making interviews with me on all kinds of topics related to my humble preaching mission. So I can use my time here effectively.
Then Yadubara Prabhu sent me two links. Watching these two films put things in a clearer perspective, making me understand that it may be Krishna's ways of making the present system collapse, so we get down to earth and back to a more simply and natural life style, which is more conducive for the Golden Age to set in.
Here are the two links - it may also give you a clearer and sobering perspective on what is going on in the world at present....!
Please stay alert and safe.....!
With greetings from Simhachalam - at Nrsimhadeva's Lotus Feet....,
your servant, Devaki dd