An enlivening report about the blissful atmosphere created during the Holy Name Retreat with Sacinandana Swami in New Govardhan, Australia.
By Antony Brennan
The Holy Name retreat culminated in a 12 hour Kirtan. We had 12 solid hours of soulful kirtan, electrifying kirtan, we had big sounding kirtan with thunderous bass lines and howling guitar licks, we had rock´n´roll kirtan, classic harmonium led kartal kirtan; we sang, we clapped, we swayed, we tapped, we danced wild with our hands reaching for the sky. We called out from our hearts for Sri Nam: “Please Accept Me!” We offered our bodies, minds and hearts in the service of Japa and Kirtan.
We tripped and fell into the strong current in a sea of Caitanya lila; we were tricked by Sacinandana Swami into coming close to the edge. “Come closer my dear devotees, a little closer, a bit more, just another step, see what´s there, lean over and look my dears…” Then he tripped us and pushed us in. He danced and laughed as we were dragged along in the beautiful current of the holy name. And then… Madman that he is… he jumped in with us- laughing and splashing in the waves, letting himself be dragged along in the same current.
We came expecting a festival, nice talks, delicious vegetarian food, nice music. But, the transcedental professor pulled out his notes and whilst the kirtan drew us closer he hunted us down with Japa Seva and Kirtan Seva, he roped us in with the guile of Sri Radha, he tied us up with Caitanya lila and dragged us along with promises. And we fell for every minute of it, as he taught us.. We ran to Krishna – “take me… take me… accept me…” And in the swirling ocean of kirtan, and japa, in the crashing waves that poured over us and pushed us under, instead of drowning…. we came to life!
I warn you, Sacinandana Swami, who is a lover of the holy name, said “don´t get out, don´t get out.” The bad news is if you get out – you´ll dry off.
All glories to Sacinandana Swami and his associates, and the devotees at New Govardhana that made this ocean of chanting the holy names appear.
If you get the opportunity to dive in…don´t hesitate. Don´t hesitate.