I spent November 11-15th in Nova Gokula, the most famous rural temple in ISKCON Brazil. Two important events took place there during this holiday weekend: the national meetings of the ISKCON Brazil leaders and a 48h Kirtan.
Nova Gokula is a very special place with an authentic “dhama vibe” as a result of the intense devotion that has been cultivated there for over three decades, the passage of thousands of devotees and pilgrims and, of course, the presence of the Divine Couple in the temple in the form of Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda .
The focus of the meetings of the National Council (CGB) was a leadership course taught by Hanuman Prabhu. The highlight of the course was Devamrta Maharaja’s daily talk on leadership, the GBC’s strategic planning innovations and devotee care. Devamrta Maharaja is the GBC for Brazil and has, in his own subtle and cautious way, brought about important changes to ISKCON Brazil.
One of the important decisions that came about was the appointment of three new Zonal secretaries: Dhanvantari Swami , Yamunacarya Prabhu and me. Hanuman Prabhu continues as Zonal Secretary, so now we have four working together in Brazil. Being the youngest and least experienced next to these three great Vaishnavas, I was appointed Zonal Secretary “candidate”, which means I have to “prove myself” on the job in the next 18-24 months. I ask for the blessings of the Vaishnavas in this regard!
Devamrta Maharaja gave a brilliant Srimad Bhagavatam class on Saturday, speaking on how sad it is to grow old without spiritual advancement, where desires continue piling up, but the senses are no longer able to act, death is approaching and everything is lost.
The 48h Kirtan started on Saturday. This great event was organized by Vaikuntha Murti Prabhu, who has proved himself time and time again as very competent in organizing tours and events. We had 48 hours non-stop chanting of the maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare! World renowned kirtaneers came from the US, Argentina and India: Amala Kirtan, Amala Harinam (pictured above), Ajamil Prabhus and Gunagrahi Maharaja. Hundreds of participants swam in an ocean of nectar of the holy names of Krishna in great bliss!
Great association, great kirtans, beautiful Deities and a chance to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission: what else could one ask for?