Chinmaya Mission Gokul, in Bakersfield, California hosted Swami Ramakrishnananda, Acharya of CM, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India, from October 30th to November 3rd, 2018. It was indeed a blessed and an enjoyable event for the devotees.
Swamiji conducted two lectures per day. In the afternoon, he conducted a one-hour course on Easy Sanskrit-The Basics of Sanskrit Reading, Writing and Grammar. His inimitable style of teaching, with patience and humor, made the learning process very enjoyable. Those of us who were learning Sanskrit for the first time, went from absolute novices to being able to read, speak and write simple sentences in Sanskrit by the end of five classes.
In the evenings, Swamiji’s yagna was on the subject, ” How to be Successful in Life-Sri Krishna Shows the Way”. These lectures were based on stories of Sri Krishna from the Bhagwatam. Swamiji explained how we have come to know Lord Krishna in four ways: as Brahman, as Ishwara, as Avatara and as a Man. The stories were all related to the Man aspect of the Lord.
During these lectures also, Swamjij regaled us with his dramatic and funny way of retelling the Bhagwatam stories. Sri Krishna faced many difficulties from Asuras like Kalayavana, whom he killed with the help of Muchukunda. He also had personal/family problems when his own uncle Kamsa made innumerable attempts to take his life. Krishna also had to deal with the insults and enmity from the Kauravas. But through it all, Krishna faced his challenges with cheerfulness, and dynamic participation. He accepted every situation, but was unaffected by his surroundings and remained unattached to people, places and things. This was the secret of success and leadership, according to Swamiji.
Gokul devotees were inspired by Swamiji’s simplicity, depth of knowledge and humorous presentation. We look forward eagerly to Swami Ramakrishnanandaji’s next visit to Bakersfield, CA. Our mission was truly blessed by his visit.