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Voice Mini Japa Retreat

Posted by iskconklnews on February 26, 2009

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By Srivas Caitanya Das

Mini-Japa Retreat 2009
Vedic Oasis for Inspiration Culture and Education, (VOICE)
Malaysia

The Vedic Oasis for Inspiration Culture and Education (VOICE) ?
Malaysia, held its 2nd Japa Retreat late January on a modest scale,
accommodating 11 prabhus. Of the participants, many had attended the
previous year-end Japa Retreat held at Sungai Gabai. The event took place from Friday night, 30th January 2009 through to Sunday morning, 2nd February 2009; concluding at the Sri Jagannatha Mandir, ISKCON Kuala Lumpur.
30th January 2009, Friday ? The invited participants stayed over for the night at the Bhaktivedanta Center for Arts and Culture (BACE) in Balakong, Selangor. Considering the participants? late arrival on Friday evening, no structured activity could be held but for the sharing of Srila Prabhupad?s Lila and Krishna Katha among the devotees. The following day?s program commenced with Mangala Arthi at 7am; the timing was delayed, pending the arrival of certain VVIPs.
31st January 2009, Saturday ? The day?s program commenced at 6am with an individual chanting session. At around 7am, the VVIPs arrived, none other than, their Lordships Sri Sri Dayalnitai Gaurahari. It was a wonderful moment as this was the first time that BACE was being blessed by the presence of their Lordships. After concluding Mangala Arthi, HG Srivas prabhu, along with the program coordinator Srimen Sv. Navin Raja stayed back to cook breakfast while the rest of the devotees were taken for a short morning japa walk around the colony led by HG Rasika Murari dasa.
Later while honoring breakfast prasadam, we were greeted by HG Jagannath Priya dasa, a bramhacari from ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai. It was indeed a rewarding day of association with seniors which has left a tremendous impact among the participants. Jagannath Priya prabhu, gave a short class on chanting japa, the mood, benefits and acharya reference on the subject matter. His Grace also led an amazing sensuous kirtan, after which each participant took turns asking prabhu various questions pertaining to the mood of chanting, focus and mindset. Around 11.30am, prabhuji took his leave but was kind enough to provide us his contact details, opening an avenue for us to keep in touch. His simple and short visit was extremely inspirational as prabhuji is armed with an engineering degree and is clearly successful, both in material and spiritual life; something we boys hope to accomplish.
The program continued with a discussion session by HG Rasika prabhu, who shared The Art of Chanting Hare Krsna Maha Mantra by HH Mahanidhi Swami. This session covered topics like how one could best focus when chanting the holy names and to set the correct ambiance for achieving better satisfaction, amongst others. The session concluded around 1.30pm, in time for lunch prasad, which prepared by Srimen Navin Raja with the help of Srimen Sathish. The mini japa retreat officially ended at noon, but with the new found enthusiasm, a visit to the ghosala in Kajang, was quickly agreed upon. Unfortunately it began to rain heavily and our plan had to be cancelled. The objective of the program was more to inculcate the benefits and substance of chanting 16 rounds.  Some of the participants had to return home later that evening.

1st February 2009, Sunday ? It was the VOICE boys? turn to cook for the Sunday Feast at Sri Jaganath Mandir, Kuala Lumpur (SJMKL) and it may be considered the quickest ever reunion after a program, where all the young adults who participated, met again. This time, it was to cook for the guests of their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath Baladev and Subhadra Mayi.This mini japa retreat which is normally organized between the yearly japa retreats emphasizes the essence and quality of chanting, while the main larger scale japa retreat focuses more on the structure of chanting itself, namely the number of rounds, continual chanting, and congregational chanting.
We would love to thank, HG Jagannath priya, HG Rasika Murari dasa, HG Srivas Caitanya dasa, our coordinator Srimen Navin Raja and all the VOICE boys who participated and made this event a rewarding experience. We are confident that it has been beneficial in the service of Guru and Gauranga.

Haribol.

VOICE Japa Retreat Picture Link:
http://picasaweb.google.com/dr.srivas/MiniJapaRetreat2009?authkey=Rl3VsalavSU
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