Bring Your Dancing Shoes!

This past week, Indradyumna Swami returned to Vrindavan after the Mayapur Parikrama finished. There, he attended the wedding of Ananda Mohan das and Varsana-rani devi dasi. He had asked Sacinandana Swami to speak at the wedding, and in return agreed to lead a kirtan at the Govardhana Retreat that Sacinandana Swami leads on an annual basis.

So just a few days ago, Indradyumna Swami spoke about the Holy Name at the retreat. In a short and sweet talk, he recalled how he had first met Sacinandana Swami. He said that their first meeting occurred when Srila Prabhupada visited Paris in the early 70s. There, the French devotees convened and he said that a group of German devotees also came and were chanting very enthusiastically. He mentioned that he saw Sacinandana Swami, then a brahmacari, and that Sacinandana Swami was a very effulgent personality even then. So Indradyumna Swami approached him and that started their lifelong friendship.

He described how Sacinandana Swami is even more effulgent, jolly, happy, and charismatic now and that through the years, he has always found an excuse to go to Germany to visit with Sacinandana Swami and the stalwart German devotees. “Love is reciprocal,” Indradyumna Swami said. “It means to give more than you take.” Ultimately, he mentioned, in Vraja bhakti, love means to give everything and expect nothing in return. On a yearly basis, he said that the two of them always call one another up with invites to the Berlin Ratha Yatra and to the Woodstock Festival in Poland.

After this sweet introduction, Indradyumna Swami discussed the importance of and potency of chanting the Holy Names. He mentioned that Srila Prabhupada said that chanting one’s sixteen rounds is the most important instruction of the Spiritual Master. Srila Prabhupada also described that when one chants, Krsna dances on one’s tongue. This was the first very poetic metaphor Indradyumna Swami encountered in Krsna Consciousness, and it left an impression on him. In his talk, he stressed that chanting japa is therefore very important, but chanting in the association of others, as in kirtan, is even more potent. But finally, he said:

The full potential of the Holy Name is there when we share the Holy Name with others.

He gave the example that Namacarya Srila Haridas Thakur chanted 300,000 rounds daily. The first 100,000 were chanted silently, the second 100,000 names were chanted aloud but quietly, and the final set of 100,000 names were chanted at the top of his lungs. In this way, all the living entities around Srila Haridas Thakur could benefit from hearing the chanting. So Indradyumna Swami encouraged everyone to return to their homes after the Govardhana Retreat and share the Holy Name with others.

He wrapped up his talk by announcing that he hoped the devotees had brought their dancing shoes to the kirtan. He then proceeded to lead one of the most energetic, blissful kirtans, right at the foot of Govardhana Hill.

This article, written by Gandharvika keli devi dasi, was based on Indradyumna Swami’s talk at the 2018 Govardhana Retreat.


His Holiness Indradyumna Swami is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, who brought Bhakti Yoga to the western world in 1965. Indradyumna Swami is a spiritual leader, traveling monk, public speaker, writer, photographer, and Kirtan leader. He has been traveling the world spreading the peaceful teachings of Bhakti Yoga and running large-scale festival programs which feature kirtan (mantra meditation set to music), theatrical presentations of Vedic texts, and prasadam (vegetarian food that has been offered to the Lord). For updates on his travels and activities, follow Indradyumna Swami on his Facebook and Twitter pages, and listen to his kirtans and lectures on his official Youtube channel and on his lecture archive website, Narottam.