A day extraordinaire for Team Kallol

Saturday, March 25, 2023 was a special day for the organizing team at Kallol.

For quite some time now, we had been contemplating about getting away from the demands of the day and just having fun, not having to think of organizing events for a change and simply enjoy the company of each other. Tustu suggested that we pay a visit to the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centum in Drenthe. And what a lovely suggestion it turned out to be. What started out as a plan for a picnic eventually turned out to be a walk into the ‘light’!

The Vedanta Centrum is tucked away in a small village called Hoogersmilde in Drenthe, which is a good 2 hours’ drive from Leiden. Even though the drive was long and a tad tiring, what strikes you as soon as you enter the centrum is the embracing warmth of Swami Sunirmalananda. Soft-spoken and erudite as he is, Swami Sunirmalananda makes you feel at home while you settle down with fresh & hot tea, coffee and cakes.

Apart from the rich collection of books that line the shelves in the central meeting room, Swamiji’s real treat are the stories he told us – starting with his own personal journey and how he was able to setup this new place despite all odds and move the centrum from its former location at Amstelveen. Then came the bhog! Simple kichuri and aloo curry, lovingly prepared by Swamiji himself, but the spontaneous feeling of satisfaction and gratitude that came along with it – cannot be described in words.

After lunch and more conversations into a wide range of topics touching upon the science of Vedanta, it was time for the afternoon Aarti in the Prayer Hall. As the chants of Hanuman Chalisa and Asatoma Sadgamaya sank deep into our minds, the ladies in our group joined in chorus, with renditions of Tagore, to add to the sense of oneness and peace within.

Time simply flew, and before we realized it was time to go back home. With mind, body and soul – all nourished, we left with smiles and a promise to be back in summer.

Join us for Kallol Poila Boishakh on Sunday April 16, for sharing your experience.

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