Chandramukha Swami returned to Pandavas Paradise to celebrate with us the appearance day of Sri Nrsimhadeva and perform initiations. Our retreat was from the 13-15th of May, with the festival for the initiations and Nrsimhadeva happening on Saturday the 14th. We had a full house with 22 guests spending the weekend here, mostly congregation members from Brasilia (capital of Brazil, some 250km from us), plus nearly 60 locals from Alto Paraíso (the small town nearest to the farm) coming for the festival.
We had our morning aratiks and japa sessions, with beautiful sunrises. A group of 7 people had their first experience of japa meditation.
Chandramukha Maharaja arrived full of energy and enthusiasm. He’s well known for his easygoing style, making our philosophy easily comprehensible to any and all.
On Saturday morning we went on a hike to one of our waterfalls. Maharaja stayed in his room working and resting.
The major focus of the retreat was the Nrsimhadeva Festival on Saturday night. We started with an hour-long kirtan to “warm up” the guests who were arriving from Alto Paraíso.
Then it was the turn for Roseleile (Bn. Rukmini) from Brasilia to make her vows and get initiated! She received the spiritual name Rasa-lila Devi Dasi. Rasa-lila is an intelligent retired Ministry of Education worker and journalist. She brought family members from far away to witness her initiation, including her daughter and granddaughter!
Taking advantage of the event, two disciples of Srila Hridayananda Das Goswami Acharyadeva received 2nd initiation: Raghu-vira Das from Brasilia and Rasanandi Devi Dasi from Rio de Janeiro. Chandramukha Swami is a disciple of Srila Acharyadeva.
Then began the agni-hotra (fire sacrifice) to consecrate the initiations and the festival.
Maharaja ended the agni-hotra and immediately started an ecstatic kirtan! Driven by the enthusiasm of the crowd, Maharaja couldn’t be stopped! We had to begin serving the prasad outside the temple, while the kirtan was still rolling to make sure no one walked away without prasad.
The delicious prasad for the retreat and the festival was prepared by Carana Renu and was greatly appreciated by all.
Bk. Raphael from Brasília commented: “Saturday was one of the most amazing days of my life.”
Others talked about how much they loved the weekend, the festival, the prasad, the association of the devotees, etc. It was a very inspiring and blissful weekend.
See more photos of the retreat here!