The college had its first Bhakti-yoga Retreat (Oct-Nov 2009), with six students from Belgium, Spain, Slovakia, Finland, and the US. Although called a retreat, it became an intensive course, owing to the students’ eagerness to absorb as much as possible in three months. Theoretical and practical classes, spread throughout the day, inspired them. Most of them now wish to enroll at the college, so we are preparing a Foundation Course in Bhakti Yoga for them, starting in March.
Bhaktin Blanca (Spain) said: “The retreat is an excellent introduction, not only theoretically but practically. It provides a lot of opportunities to associate with devotees. I am glad I followed the advice of mataji Jaya Bhadra, an advanced devotee who has lived in Radhadesh for twenty years, to take the course (we met in Barcelona). Every class was a fantastic contribution to my limited knowledge. The theoretical classes were the most exciting for me, surely because of the high standard of the teachers (Dinadayal, Ramakeshava, Mangala Candrika, Anupama, Sudevi, Tivra Bhakti and others).
This is the aspect I would underline the most in terms of the success of the retreat; not that someone comes to relax and enjoy a holiday in the peaceful countryside. One very memorable college class that we got to attend was the seminar about Srila Prabhupada; we heard from Visakha Dasi and Dhananjaya Dasa, well-known, widely respected and much loved disciples of Srila Prabhupada in the Vaishnava community. The interest and kindness of the teachers and the coordinator was perfect. The morning program in the temple, the lively kirtans, the powerful energy of the place, the association with others on the retreat, the college students and teachers, and the other devotees all contributed to our experiencing a unique feeling. These are important assets that other retreats do not have. The place and the living conditions were more than sufficient even for the most demanding. Even a person not used to a Vaishnava ashram can be fully satisfied. The natural surroundings induce a peaceful mood of silent, untouched rural conditions, which are rare in the modern world.”
Written by: Blanca Iturriagagoitia