On October 15th, we were graced by a visit from HH Mahavisnu Swami and the Harinam Ruci team. Maharaja spent almost the entire day with us, giving the Srimad Bhagavatam class in the morning, going out on campus and doing kirtan during Krishna Lunch hours, leading a popping stand-up-and-dance kirtan at the Friday program, and then going downtown with devotees for an ecstatic maha-harinam that went until midnight! We wondered how it was possible for a 76-year-old to have the energy to do all that in one day, but it seems this is just a typical day in the life of Mahavisnu Swami. Maharaja is definitely running on spiritual energy!

And that’s not all – the next day, everyone piled into cars and went to Jacksonville beach for more harinam. Chanting and dancing up and down the beach for several hours, we built up a momentum of enthusiasm that was contagious. Many people joined in the chanting, and Maharaja unabashedly invited one random person after another to lead the kirtan by chanting one maha-mantra into the microphone to which we would respond. In this way, hundreds of people got the mercy of the holy names by the mercy of His devotees.

Wherever Maharaja went, people would marvel over his transcendental hat, which is like a mobile altar-slash-changing bodies exhibit. This one-of-a-kind hat, together with his accordion decorated with colorful cloths, reflective bands and jingling cowbells, make Maharaja look and sound like a walking festival, putting everyone in a light and joyful mood – just the right mood to chant the holy names!

Maharaja enjoyed his visit to Gainesville so much that he decided to extend his stay to take part in another day of Krishna Lunch on Monday. Starting from the Plaza of the Americas, he led the harinam all over campus and circled back to the Plaza for the grand finale with Krishna House devotees and guests.

Maharaja expressed his appreciation for the great service the devotees are doing in Gainesville. He was very impressed with the program on campus, as well as our outreach programs at the house, and the general Krishna conscious enthusiasm and cooperative spirit of the Krishna House devotees. We hope he comes back again soon!