July 11

I set off early for Heathrow, expecting a lot of traffic on the M25, the London ring road. But I had a clear run and after taking the car back, I had four hours to kill before the flight. I don’t mind being early. Traveling is enough anxiety and stress without the tension of being late.

I bought another set of Bose headphones, the in-ear variety. The on-ear are great, but still a bit bulky to put in your pocket when you are flying. The in-ear buds are excellent and the sound quality is brilliant.

I also bought a 600 page biography of Harry Houdini.

Houdini Houdini in the can Houdini in chains hanging houdini

I like biographies, its interesting to see what motivates the famous people of the world. Houdini’s life interests me because apart from being the world’s best escapologist, magician and the first person to fly an airplane in Australia, he spent a good deal of the latter part of it attacking fake Spiritualists.

In the 1920s Spiritualism, where mediums would claim to contact the dead and would apparently produce manifestations of ‘ectoplasm’ and the like, claimed over half a million followers just in America. It had ardent believers among the rich, famous and powerful, like President Coolidge and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Houdini exposed most of it to be fakery. Should be an interesting read.

The flight was uneventful (I wonder what an eventful one would be like?) and I arrived at Arlanda airport in mid-afternoon. Atmavan prabhu from Almviks Gaard picked me up and took me to the farm.

Saturday July 12

We had the Stockholm Rathayatra today. It was excellent. About 200 devotees attended including Smita Krishna, Mahavishnu and Kadamba Kanan Swamis, and of course the wonderful Parasurama prabhu and his wife Moksha Laksmi who constantly travel preaching the glories of the Lord with their portable ratha cart.

Parasurama was recently given a prestigious national award in Britain for his innovative use of rejected but still good veges and fruits from the supermarkets in his decades long Foor for Life program. The man deserves a medal…


Moksha Lakshmi 

The route was better than last year. It went through all the main tourist areas in the city

 main street


and ended up at the King’s palace, and opposite the Parliament house. The royal standard was flying, indicating the King was in residence. I wonder if he heard the kirtan?


All the King’s horses….


Ratha what? Ratha what?Finally, a sight worth seeing (if you are one of the seers) …


The only thing missing was a festival at the destination. Some sweets were handed out to the passersby and we had kirtan for an hour and that was it. Considering this was only their third Rathayatra though, it was a great event.

Then we moved over to Govinda’s restaurant and preaching center for a feast. After prasadam I gave an hour’s talk on Srila Prabhupada at the Melbourne Rathayatra in 1974 and New York in 1976.

July 13

Back in Almviks. I gave the Sunday feast talk and tomorrow we begin five days of summer festival and seminars.

July 14-18

I have been presenting my seminar on Deities every afternoon. Attendance is good with about 40-50 devotees. Kadamba Kanan Swami is also here and he does the morning sessions. The weather has been good and Almviks is a beautiful place in the summer. There’s about 20 houses on a hundred acres surrounding one of Sweden’s thousands of lakes.

Almiviks went through a bit of a rough time a few years back but has had a bit of a revival in the last few years. A few new families have moved on, and a lot of kids have been born. They have 22 children under the age of five. Noisy, but enlivening to see so many little Vaisnavas running around. Certainly brings a lot of life into the community.

Friday July 18

My seminars concluded this morning and I wrapped a pleasant stay. The Swedish devotees are unfailingly polite and excellent hosts. The only mar on the visit was the water supply, which was non-existent in the house I was staying and most of the farm, for the last two days. The devotees aren’t sure why. They have bore wells and huge lake to draw from and still they couldn’ t figure it out.

 In the afternoon I set off on the second part of my Swedish tour–a visit to my cousin Alfie and his partner Christine on the other side of the country.

We were brought up in the same village of Gunness and when I emigrated to Australia in 1971 he moved to Sweden. We hadn’t been in touch since then until last year when I made my first visit to Sweden. I spent a couple of days with him then and this year I decided to go over for the weekend.

I did something I don’t normally do. I left my deity of Srila Prabhupada with Yogindra prabhu to be worshiped by him while I visited Alf. Yogindra is one of the few disciples of Srila Prabhupada in Sweden and one of the most sincere devotees you could hope to meet.

An American, he was once kidnaped by his family to be deprogrammed but he survived that and he’s been settled in Sweden for many years. He was keen to do the worship and I thought that Srila Prabhupada would be pleased to receive it.

I took a fast train from a station nearby Almviks and after just over two hours arrived at Herrljunga station on the west side of the country. Alf picked me up and we drove to his home in a small community not far from Trollhatten.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Footer Line
Home  |  Blog  |  Books  |  Audio  |  Video  |   Photos  |  Links  |  Contact