In July I spent a week at Pandavas Paradise, a retreat centre/nature reserve/temple in the most beautiful surroundings at Chapada dos Veadeiros, Goias, Brazil. I was helping to teach the JIVA course (Jornada Intensiva de Vaisnavismo), a one-week intensive training course for people who want to learn more about Krishna consciousness and how to practice it at home.
The topics covered included basic philosophy from the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam; how to prepare, offer and honour prasadam; Vaisnava etiquette; temple songs; deity worship etc. The course was the first of its kind here in Brazil.
The participants came from various parts of Brazil, from the very North to the very South, and they were of various ages, from fourteen to almost fifty. They were extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn, and the transformation in them was clear by the end of the week.
Some had not chanted even one round before the course, but, during the week we were there, they chanted 16 rounds every day. Some were eating meat before the course, but they went home not only as vegetarians but as prasadatarians. One of the students had been around devotees, attending Sunday Feast etc., for over 20 years, but somehow had not taken the next step. By the end of the course, she too felt transformed and expressed that she now felt that she was able to practice Krishna consciousness fully.
Click here to see the course photos, including some shots of the beautiful natural environment and wildlife at Pandavas Paradise.
Here is a video (in Portuguese) with some testimonials from the participants, filmed on the final day of the course.
Sign up for next year´s course here (in Portuguese).