25 Jul 2015

Darshan in Mannheim, Germany

Last Wednesday’s Darshan in Mannheim, Germany was complete with excitement as dozens of devotees and over one hundred people new to Swami filled the Darshan hall.

Not only local Mannheim guests arrived, but more than two full buses of residents and community members came to support the event.

Swamiji started the Darshan with a satsang

Sri Swami Vishwananda asked, “Why are you here in this world? Answer me! Anything!”
We heard three answers from the audience: "Love," "To find God," and "To learn." Swamiji responded:

"Different people have different aims, different views of what one has to achieve. But all these achievements are right. But to achieve it there is one most important thing: to attain God you need to love. To learn, you need to love what you are learning. Otherwise you will not learn anything. So, love is what connects everybody and this is the dharma of humans; it's to love each another.”

A short note should be mentioned that this Darshan had some of its best livestreamed results yet!  The Periscope application has had some of its largest use to date with over 350 viewers watching the livestreamed event! Follow @BhaktiMarga108 to get updates about the next Periscope livestream.

Street Kirtan

Soon after arrival, devotees went en masse on a sankirtan voyage through the city. The kirtan-goers created a passion-filled wake that drew in people of all sorts to join the mobile concert. The party attracted interested citizens to follow back to the hall and receive Darshan from Sri Swami Vishwananda.

 As one of the devotees recalls:

“The kirtan actually started in the buses, as excitement grew and devotees warmed up to the day’s festivities. Around 20-30 people started with a circular formation invoking the grace of the masters as they took off to the streets. We headed to a popular park nearby and we encountered many people. Lots of private videos and photos were taken from houses and balconies. The group was joyful. We were there to support Sri Swami Vishwananda.”

The devotee noted that he felt that “if we get one person to come to Swami, we are successful. We gave away fliers for Darshan and it was a great experience when we got to the water fountain…so beautiful—Hari Nam, Gauranga, we chanted these repeatedly when we arrived.

"At that moment a group of people arrived and joined. They were interested in the collective happiness. As I like to call ‘Mahaprasad of the Name of Gauranga.’ At that point, I stopped the playing to explain what the day was about for the kirtan group.”

As the kirtan group had been dancing, soaking, and playing in the water fountain, he noted that the water got charged with the name of Gauranga. The curious people too, dipped in the fountain and tried singing. The group taught them to sing “Swami Vishwananda” and thus they were blessed through the water both the name of God and Guru.
“I was so happy because our purpose was to share Name of God and Guruji and sing and be happy and spread that happiness to people not in the kirtan. I feel we were very successful. People smiled, waved and danced. Music from beginning to end was really rocking, and created a joyful energy that carried even in the buses [driving back to SPN] until 1 a.m.”

The devotee remembers around eight curious people that day who came off the street to join the experience of Darshan and had the opportunity to go straight to the front of the line to meet Sri Swami Vishwananda.

“It was obvious” the devotee mentions, “that the music sustained the devotees until late, no fatigue. We left at 1 p.m. and arrived at 1 a.m.—roughly twelve hours of continuous singing…that was really beautiful.”

“In general,” he said, “really great experiences come from street kirtan, many people we have brought to ashram and Guruji. But more important to distract the mind, to plant seeds of Hari Nam. People feel the Love and bhakti we carry. Then people get interested. People wave back, kids join in to dance, people clap. They see just a gang of happy people showing love for God! In that way, we reach many people, many different age, background, nationalities.”

Due to the numbers, many devotees were required to wait outside the hall. Inspired by the previous successful kirtan, a second wave of music developed and another kirtan took off to the streets of Mannheim. The enthusiastic singers and musicians attracted several more curious citizens to follow back to the hall to receive Darshan from Swamiji. Many of these new to Darshan with Sri Swami Vishwananda were anxious for the next big event at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Gurupurnima.

OM Healing and Mantra Project Satsang with Swami Kuru

Swami Kuru had the opportunity to share OM Healing and the Mantra Project with a local yoga studio (Bala Shanti Yoga Zentrum). The people enjoyed it very much and had great questions to ask about Bhakti Marga, OM Healing, and the practice of the Mantra Project.

All in all, Darshan in Mannheim was a blast. Packed full of singing, music, and fun, Mannheim provided lots of special experiences to be remembered!