Tripurari Swami arrived in Wroclaw on the night of July 29th where devotees greeted him and drove him 3 hours through a thunderstorm to the location for this year’s Poland retreat. Whereas previous retreats have been held in the village of Czarnow, this year the organizers arranged a new facility in Klezca. The location provided a wonderful, newly renovated, antique German building set on 60 hectares of Polish countryside. Arriving late, everyone turned in as the lightning continued throughout the night.
Swami had decided to speak on the Brahma-vimohana lila of Srimad-Bhagavatam in the mornings and entertain questions from the audience in the evenings. After introducing the story of Brahma’s bewilderment, Swami proceeded in the following days to delve into the lila in-depth, elaborating on verses from when Krishna first rises in the morning and is met by his fellow cowherd friends, until when Aghasura appears on the scene and Brahma witnesses his miraculous demise. In the evenings Maharaja fielded questions pertaining to the individuality of the jiva, the role of knowledge in devotional life, socially engaged bhakti, and many more. The standard schedule was interrupted on two occasions: for the initiation lecture and ceremony of Sri Nama dasi and Prema dasa, and to honor the Tirobhava Mahotsava of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhara Deva Goswami.
In addition to daily lectures, informal darshans with Swami Tripurari, and morning and evening arati to Nitai Saci-tanaya, the devotees had plenty of time to spend together and walk or bike the countryside. The organizers scheduled a canoeing day on a local river, as well. The cooks worked tirelessly to ensure everybody had three delicious meals every day, and many others offered their assistance in various services, including the gracious hosts of the facility.
Toward the end of the retreat, Swami took a trip to a local notary to put his name down on documents forming Sri Caitanya Sangha’s first foundation within Poland. This foundation will help the Sangha raise funds and continue developing its publishing and preaching endeavors within the country.
The 2013 retreat was another success that saw the further growth of Sri Caitanya Sangha in Europe, quantitatively and qualitatively. Brainstorming for next year is already underway and everybody looks forward to what will come. In the interim, both Gopala-tapani Upanisad and Joy of Self will soon be published in the Polish language, with Bhagavad-Gita: It’s Feeling and Philosophy being next on the list!
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 1: Introduction
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 2: Krishna Wakes the Cowherd Boys
Q&A: The Role of Knowledge in Bhakti
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 3: The Cowherd Boys Join Krishna in the Morning
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 4: The Sporting of the Cowherd Boys
Q&A: The Individuality of the Jiva
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 5: The Fortune of the Vrajavasis
Q&A: Socially Engaged Bhakti
Q&A: Who Is Bhakti Attracted To?
Krishna-nama Is Independent
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 6: Aghasura Appears
Q&A: Embody the Teaching
Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja Disappearance Day 2013: A Soothing Moon of Siksa
Brahma Vimohan Lila, Talk 7: Kamsa Motivates Aghasura
Q&A: Hold On to a Sadhu and Bear Fruit