After an intense period of retreats here in Pandavas Paradise, we planned a trip to the Brazilian State of Bahia, with some rest and relaxation by the ocean.
We arrived in Salvador, the State capital, on the 25th of March. Salvador is a 472 year old city, with beautiful baroque churches and a very colorful, historic city center.
The local ISKCON devotees asked me to lecture on the “Citra Kavitvani”, Rupa Goswami’s beautiful poems.
After the lecture we had an aratik for the most famous resident of Salvador – Lord Jagannatha! Carana Renu lead the singing with a sweet kirtan.
Following the aratik I did a presentation on the administrative structure of ISKCON. We had decided, at the last meeting of the Brazilian National Council (CGB), that members of the Executive Committee should travel and explain to the devotees in general about ISKCON, the GBC, the National Council, and the different services we offer, in other words, how we can help the different temples and the individual members. The lecture is also a call for devotees to get more engaged in management roles in ISKCON.
I was invited to be the speaker at the Sunday Program. I gave one of my favorite classes, on conscious and unconscious desires, and how they affect our bhakti.
The next day we set off to the beautiful region of Barra Grande. We stayed in a house on the beach of Taipus de Fora, considered one of the six most beautiful beaches in Brasil. A real tropical paradise!
In Barra Grande, a friend of ours, a yoga teacher who has participated in a retreat here in Pandavas Paradise, organized for me to give a lecture.
Barra Grande is practically a little village and the roads are only sand. So, I was very surprised at the turnout with nearly 40 people in attendance. Barra Grande is one of those places where intelligent people, from all over Brazil and even abroad, come to live an alternative lifestyle, rejecting the rat race of the big cities.
I did my “Karma – What It Is and How to Get Rid of It” lecture.
Back on the beach…here I am exploring the natural beauty of the coral reefs of Taipus de Fora. When the tide goes down, the coral reefs form a natural pool and you can swim around with beautiful tropical fish in waist deep water (we even saw an octopus!). Oh, and did I mention the water temperature is amazing and we practically had the whole beach to ourselves?
Here are some pictures we took of the fish!
The trip rekindled a desire my wife and I have of setting up a beachside yoga retreat center in the Northeast of Brazil… In every town and village, right?