Japa workshop at Barsana 2012


Hare Krishna.

This was last year winter, japa retreat 2012, Barsana, 1st December.

I was told very highly about this retreat by HG Vrajamohan Prabhu, my inquisitiveness got better of me and I went to attend the first two days. The whole retreat was managed very professionally and, surprisingly, most of the participants were foreigners.

I was told that if I attend this retreat then atleast for few months my japa will improve.

I had no idea who HH Sacinandana Swami and HG Bhurijan Prabhu were.

In the first Session HH Sacinandan maharaj introduced everyone and then the session started. In that closed hall, with Deities, maharaj, and all the other devotees, knowing that we were in Barsana, it took Maharaj just few hours to take us deep within the spiritual sea. It was transcendental. After 3 sessions it was like a transcendental deluge and a competition on who will shower more mercy on us, HG Bhurijana Prabhu or HH Sacinandan Maharaj.

I called up home on the second day and told my wife that I am not coming back for the next 6 days. I had just one set of clothes to wear and no warm clothes,which actually helped.

What they both spoke was pure nectar. The whole atmosphere in the retreat was so pure. I never knew such purity was possible in the material world. But then it was Barsana, Radha Rani’s place and who better to ask for Her mercy then HH Sacinandan Maharaj.

One session after another they made us drink nectar of Krishna’s Name, pastimes and qualities.

One day we had 12 hour continuous Kirtan where the star attraction was HH Indradyumna Swami Maharaj. I heard him for the first time, his kirtan took us to another realm altogether. Another surprise was Kirtan by HG Prasanta Mataji, she was so intense while singing and such purity. I immediately fell in love with her. My ideal Gurumata. I confessed it to her the last day also accepting that I was a gate crasher.

I did not know how those 12 hours of continuous kirtan passed, local ladies joined in as so many devotees danced in spiritual ecstasy outside the hall. We also had kirtan by local Vaishanava babaji, a wonderful style of kirtan. As a surprise, in the end, we had Braja children dressed as Radha, Krishna and gopis. They looked so beautiful, danced graciously, for those few moments I could imagine how young Krishna would be.

Then we had a 64 round day session at `Ter Kadamb’. Most of us did much more than that by 4pm. It gave me tremendous confidence to chant more rounds.

The retreat also brought another change within me. Each night the dinner we got was like a small portion of an appetizer or even less. Infact the first night I thought it was just a dry starter before the sumptuous dinner would be served. I was in for a mild shock when I found that it was the only dinner we will be served. I was told that a light dinner helps us get up early. Well, it indeed helped to get up early every morning. When I came back home I changed my dinner pattern to a very light dinner. It helps me get up early and also reduces my longing for food in general, not that I have conquered it.

I would strongly suggest that any one who is serious about his devotional journey should attend Maharaj’s retreat on japa and then Govardhan Parikarma. It is coming up again this winter, organised by VIHE, one can send a mail to vihe@pamho.net for more details.

My realisations from the retreat

1. I never knew what the taste or `ruchi’ in the Holy Name, the retreat let me taste it. I was always told that `ruchi’ only comes at a very later stage or once I get initiated but Maharaj made me taste it. I knew what to hanker for while doing my japa.

2. Our consciousness while doing the japa should be that of begging or praying to the Lord.

3. All offenses come from false ego and false ego can be dissolved by humility. Humility comes when soul cries from Krishna.

4.  I could never could never visualise how should I look up to Srimati Radharani,  I got a definition : `Karunamayi’.

(Karuna is something which falls on undeserving.)

This retreat was one of the best thing that happened in spiritual journey, and even today when I read my notes I can taste it in my heart. It was an amazing experience and I came back super charged with devotional energy.

All glories to HH Sacinandan Maharaj.

All glories to HG Bhurijan Prabhuji.

All glories to the Holy Name.

All glories to Karunamayi Radharani.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Please write your comments on this blog post

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.