radhanath swamiOver one hundred participants from five yoga and kirtan groups joined the Bhakti Immersion Retreat held at Govardhan Eco Village (GEV), near Mumbai, from January 25 to January 29, 2016. In the words of Vishvambhar Sheth, who headed one of the groups, the retreat consisted of “Bhakti teachings, yoga asana classes, Ayurveda and of course dancing and chanting!”

Another group leader John Smritic shared on social media a picture of Radhanath Swami addressing the participants of the retreat (John included) and texted his experience, “360° mountain surround, golden setting sun, warm Indian countryside air… A talk on the very essence of Bhakti Yoga and Bhakti philosophy. The satsang gave way to ecstatic kirtan as day turned dusk turned the most transcendental starlight sky I have ever seen. Humbled, honored and grateful beyond words.” Yoga teacher Gopi Kinnicut posted a similar picture on the internet and added, “What a heart filled evening!”

After three days at the retreat, Vishvambhar posted on Facebook, “We’ve only been at the Govardhan Eco Village for less than 3 days, but we feel completely at home…our eternal home, GolokaVrindavan, planet of cows. The spiritual vibrations of this place is beyond this world in all aspects.”

At the end of the retreat, Gaura Vani, leader of the kirtan group Hanumen, said “We gathered this year – 108 enthusiastic friends – at the Govardhan Eco Village. We brought our students, guests, pilgrims and even our families and children. We studied yoga, Mantra Music, sacred stories, ayurveda. We ate together, sang and danced, served with local villagers. It was a beautiful home-coming. Like friends and relatives who didn’t know each other were being introduced for the first time. Under the guidance of the beautiful and dedicated devotees at GEV a home is being created for all of us. For the animals. For the environment. For the monks and villagers. A place where sincere spiritual seekers can go to find their inner holy land. Their inner Vrindavan. That’s why we all return each year to this village deep in the drought-stricken Maharastrian countryside. To learn how to harvest the rain and fill our thirsty heart-wells with sweet sacred water.”