Subhag Swami’s visit to UK after 42 years

Event Date
October 16, 2016

Subhag Swami was a bright student during his school days. He completed his intermediate studies from the Scottish Churches' College, Kolkata, where Srila Prabhupada had studied previously. Thereafter in November 1965, he was sent to London to study higher engineering.

During the course of his studies, in 1969 he met His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He was formally initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1970. After serving at Bury Place, Bhaktivedanta Manor and various places around the UK, he returned to India in 1974 upon the request of the GBC to help in writing and translating Bengali literature. And he never returned again...

...Until the 15th of October 2016. After repeated requests from many devotees in the UK, Maharaj decided to grace us with his presence, 42 years later! He arrived at Stanstead airport at around 11pm from Bulgaria and went to East London where he was staying at one devotee's residence. Immediately he took rest.

The 16th of October was a very auspicious day as it was the first day of the month of Kartik. Maharaj barely took 3 hour rest but was up and off to Bhaktivedanta Manor where he would give class. In Maharaj's own words, 'So much change had taken place.' Of course the main building is intact but there has been numerous adjustments that has taken place over four decades. Maharaj was greeted by the temple president, Sruti Dharma das and after preparing some final notes he proceed to the temple room. And the temple room was packed. Not only being the first day of Kartik, it was also a Sunday and the Manor was celebrating Dushera on this day. After paying his obeisances to Srila Prabhupada Maharaj proceeded to give a wonderful class which inspired all the devotees present. He finished with a short kirtan that touched everyone's heart. After catching up with some Godbrothers he left back to East London. Shortly after taking rest and lunch prasad, Maharaj was on his way to deliver another lecture, this time at Soho Street, London. The class was well attended and the audience appreciated the presenatation very much. It was a amazing to see Maharaj again reunited with Radha Londonisvara, the first deities he saw in ISKCON. Thereafter he visited 7 Bury Place, the temple he first joined and had a wonderful time with the devotees serving Srila Prabhupada.

At the request of others, he stayed in one devotee's house in Slough. In the afternoon, Maharaj returned to East London where he spoke at Krishna Avanti School. The audience included students, teachers and congregation members. After the class Maharaj was given a tour of some of the classrooms. He appreciated the efforts of the school in trying to teach Krishna Consciousness to the 'future of ISKCON'.

On the 18th Maharaj spoke at Bhaktivedanta Manor on his ' Early day experiences in London' and pastimes with Srila Prabhupada. Devotees were overjoyed with Maharaj's humour. A short tour of the Manor led us to the Gurukula. Maharaj spoke to around 30 students inspiring them to take to Krishna Consciousness with all sincerity and seriousness. Cookies were distributed to all the students.

After taking some rest, Maharaj addressed some devotees at a congregation member's house. It was a small but intimate gathering. Special guests attending were: Sambhunath das (ACBSP), Kishor das (ACBSP) and Yasisvini devi dasi (ACBSP). The highlight of the program was when Sambhunath prabhu tried to wash Maharaj's feet but ended up in having his feet nearly washed by Maharaj! After the program Maharaj travelled to South London where he addressed the congregation mainly consisting of disciples of the lately departed HH Krishna das Swami. Maharaj used to share a room with Krishna das Swami while they were living in Bury Place many years back.

He was supposed to leave in the late afternoon and thus there were no programs booked. After returning to East London and taking some rest he left for Standstead airport. Shortly after he was checked in and on his way to Latvia.

We are extremely grateful that Maharaj visited the UK and inspired all the devotees. We pray that he is merciful towards us and returns very soon.


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