Friday, 3 February 2012

The Importance of the Retreat

Hare Krishna,

I was also thinking that I spoke for about one hour, but what I really wanted to say I didn’t say
that. What I really wanted to say is that I am very happy to be here with you all.
Devotees: “Haribol!” (clapping)
I had been missing you all very much. Actually it has been one of the longest absences from
England last twenty five years. I’ve been coming practically every three months or so, but this
time I have been away for about nine months. Probably you can understand my difficulties and
different responsibilities, different other areas, which didn’t allow me to or enable me to come
earlier. But often I thought of you all and I do miss it very much, especially Bhaktivedanta
Manor, and I feel very happy to be here with you all and I’m very happy to see you all.
Although I couldn’t have much of a personal exchange with most of you but I’m looking forward
to more of personal exchanges.
And in this respect I also wanted to mention that, today I was told that this year the participation
in the Malaga retreat is even lesser than last year. Whereas last year the feeling actually was that
this year there would be more devotees, because devotees were so excited after the retreat that
they felt that many more would come. So in this respect I just want to let you know that this
retreat actually has been designed simply for the sake of your association. Like, when I had the
heart problem two years back I was told by the doctor not to travel so much and I also realized
that I cannot possibly travel very much nowadays.
That’s why I thought that I would spend one week in…, just in one place, away from everything,
where the devotees come and meet me and we can spend the time together. And I also used to
tell them that, all the time, all this years I had been travelling to come to you, now you travel a
little to come to me. So, please consider the importance of this retreat. I need to spend time with
you. I have taken some responsibility for your spiritual life and I feel very guilty that I am not
able to execute it properly; guiding you personally, taking care of your spiritual life personally.
So please make it a point to come to the retreat.
Thank you.

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