On the Road with His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami – Durban, South-Africa

On the Road with His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami – Durban, South-Africa

30th December, 2011,

It was now time to say bye to Llandudno (Cape Town). We were expected to leave from Llandudno by 8:00 AM.

His Grace Shyamananda Krsna Prabhu, His Grace Harishchandra Prabhu and their wives Her Grace Prema Mataji and Her Grace Mamata Mataji were there at Raghavan Prabhu’s house taking care of Gurudev’s breakfast, where as I was taking care of Srila Gurudev’s luggage and clothes. After everything was done we left from the house at 8:15 AM. As we came down through the lift it was Raghavan Prabhu’s Silver Rolls Royce Phantom again, waiting for us.

The scheduled departure of our flight, British Airways BA 6311, was 9:15 AM. The flight took off from Cape Town, which is at the coast of Atlantic
Ocean, to reach to Durban, which is at the coast of Indian Ocean. The flight landed at Durban Airport at 11:10 AM. As we came out of the gate I
saw an escort greeting Srila Gurudeva, “Hare Krsna Maharaja !” and showing us the way to exit. Later, I could learn that she was a devotee, named Her Grace Ashapurna Radhika Dasi, from South-African Airways Durban. She helped me a lot in clearing the luggage and within no time, with all the baggage, I was out and went straight with Srila Gurudeva. **

Srila Gurudeva, His Grace Krsnacaran, His Grace Sahadeva Prabhu and me got inside a car and what I saw next was something unbelievable. There were two police men on bike escorting us in front of our car and helping us move quickly by clearing the traffic. We did not stop at any signal. And there were two at the rear of the car. It looked like I was travelling with some ‘State Vip’,but I knew that my Guru-Maharaja is much more than any State Vip’s  in this material world. The sound of siren on the police vehicles created a different ambience and I think it was unpredictable for the crowd outside to guess that there was a ‘Sadhu’ sitting inside the car.

Shortly we reached His Grace Krsnacharana prabhu’s house and there were more than 100 devotees performing Harinam Sankirtana for the pleasure of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. With the permission of Srila Gurudeva, H G Krsna-charana Prabhu, Jagadananda Pandita Prabhu removed His socks and then began washing His lotus feet and then they did Guru-puja. Amid Guru-Puja, Srila Gurudev saw His Grace Shyamlal Prabhu standing in front of Him. He then asked His Grace Shyamlal prabhu to sit next to Him. Later, after Guru-Puja, Srila Gurudeva asked His Grace Shyamlal prabhu to speak something. After His Grace Shyamlal Prabhu spoke for a few minutes, Srila Gurudeva very wonderfully inspired everyone by addressing His arrival. *He mentioned about the significance of relationship with the devotees and how important it is to have a proper relationship among devotees.* Later He was expressing His heart felt emotions that He was feeling guilty for not being able to respond to the offerings made by various devotees for Vyasa Puja celebration. Finally Srila Gurudeva concluded that   *Srila Prabhupada used to say that ISKCON is the only personal movement when the whole world is becoming impersonalistic. ISKCON is actually allowing people, reminding people and facilitating people to develop personal relationships. So it is very painful that instead of being aware of the fact that we have to become personal, we are becoming impersonal. That relationship is lacking. Those who are representing Krsna, they must remind everybody, through their behavior that how personal Krsna is,*

Further He told to everyone that *the World is unpredictable and now we are also getting old and this ability to travel may not be there then how
do we maintain relationships?* Answering this Srila Gurudeva said *“the best and most effective way is to become Krsna Conscious. We are all part and
parcel of Krsna and when we develop our relationship with Krsna then this relationship with Krishna in the center will continue. How it will continue
we don’t know but the most possible way is probably that we will be there with Krishna in the spiritual sky, that’s how I used to console myself after Srila Prabhupada left. I used to think that someday if I can go back to spiritual sky then there I can find Srila Prabhupada and in a way I used to feel that this is the impetus for becoming more fixed up in spiritual life.  Our love for Srila Prabhupada is kind of forcing us to become serious in
our spiritual lives and feel Srila Prabhupada or rather associate with Srila Prabhupada. That’s why we have to go back to the Spiritual sky and
that’s why you have to get out of this material world.”*

Then Srila Gurudeva concluded “anyways, we will be discussing all this in retreats and let’s try to make a best use out of it. I am here for few
days.”

He finally gave an example of the Chowpatty temple of Bombay, India. He said that *His Holiness Radhanatha Swami Maharaja* had set up a very effective system known as the Counselor-Council system. They started it about 15 years back and that system is simple yet so effective. Guru-Maharaja then continued explaining about that system .. and I was relating it to a concept known as ‘span of Management’ from HR Management.

*‘Span of Management’ refers to the number of subordinates, known as span, which a manager can effectively manage. Fewer the number of subordinates (span) reporting to a manager, more the number of managers are required.  Therefore span for control should be fixed.*

He was then inspiring everyone to take responsibility a big responsibility.. *“it is a responsibility to become servants”*. Leader .What does leader in Krsna Consciousness mean?   *To be a servant ..(*he replied)

Thus, after giving such crystal clear understanding of Krsna consciousness in our lives, Srila Gurudeva went to honor prasadam. Srila Gurudeva requested His Grace Krsnacharan prabhu to make arrangements for His Grace Shyamlal prabhu to take prasadam with Him. After honoring prasadam, Srila Gurudeva went to take some rest.

Later at 6:00 PM we went for a walk at Umhlanga (Um-s-langa ) Rocks beach
with His Grace Krsnacharan Prabhu , Hemanga Prabhu , Jagadananda Pandita Prabhu and Shailendra prabhu. Umhlanga rocks is an upmarket resort style suburb situated under prestine beach surrounded by 5* Star Hotels and tall modern skyscrapers housing multi-million dollar apartments, it’s packed at this time of the year with both international and local holiday makers.
Breathing the fresh clean sea breeze touching the Lotus feet of Guru-
Maharaj, just behind Him, was purifying from within.

Finally we came back home and Srila Gurudeva soon went to take rest after
accepting a glass of milk.

Sent by His Grace Pankajalochan Krishna Dasa

For all pictures : click  herea