This 2012 Saragrahi Festival was an inspiring success! As last year, the festival was held in the southern village of Czarnow, but in a beautiful new venue that allowed us to consolidate the retreat into one building. All of the bhaktas expressed feeling an enhanced mood of intimacy and service within in the new facility.
Swami Tripurari arrived in the evening on Friday and, after a good night’s sleep, gave an inaugural address on Saturday morning, speaking on the importance of Vaishnava sanga and urging the attendees to be affectionate toward each other and take advantage of the retreat. With the exception of one post-wedding lecture and one initiation lecture, the mornings were dedicated to discussing Sri Brahma Samhita. Building primarily on Jiva Goswami’s commentary, Tripurari Maharaja spent four days delving into just the first verse of the text. Needless to say, the series did not get too far into the book, but everyone was contented nonetheless. As with last year, the evening lectures were in question-and-answer format, and there was no dearth of either.
The festival also involved a number of initiations. Maharaja spoke about receiving different initiations from different gurus, reinitiation, and the way the subject matter is addressed in the scripture.
Ramana-reti dasi, Sammohini dasi, and Makhancora dasa received nama and Krishna mantras. Lila-smrti dasi received nama mantra, and Gopananda dasa, Mathuranatha dasa, and Udarani dasi received Krishna mantra.
Aside from the change in the facility, the retreat had some other inspiring additions as well. This year’s festivities were presided over by Sri Nathji and Gaura-Nitai, and the facilities allowed for morning and evening aratis and kirtan, a component that last year’s attendees were longing for. On Sunday, Guru-vakya dasa, the festival’s translator as well as the translator for Swami Tripurari’s Polish publications, and his fiance, Aleksandra, were wedded. Bhrigupada dasa happily performed the homa for this occasion and Swami Tripurari spoke on the role of marriage in the life of bhakti. Other activities included Krisangi and Kamalaksa’s photo presentation on Audarya and Madhuvan ashramas, Bhrigupada’s three part “Arcana for Beginners” workshop, a lesson in sourdough breadmaking from local devotees, and an impromptu but much appreciated lecture by Tadiya dasi. It seems that the festival’s organizers, Nava-yauvana and his wife, Ramana-reti, are determined to take the event to a new level year after year. Plans are already percolating for extending the length of next year’s festival.
Upon departing this year, Tripurari Maharaja stated that this visit had been his best to Europe ever. With the growing number of devotees and level of dedication, Maharaja is feeling quite inspired to push forward and continue developing the Polish sanga. With these developments and the ongoing translation and publications of his books in Polish, Maharaja feels more and more confident that his current and future students in Poland will have strong support to maintain their practice, something he is always concerned in the places that he does not frequently visit. There is even talk that part of his next visit to Poland may include looking at some properties with hopes of acquiring land and developing an ashram and community as time goes on! Saragrahi Vaishnavas ki jaya!
We will Progress By Sangha