Empowered Places and Things > The European Danda

The European Danda


the European Danda
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The European Danda is the Spiritually Empowered Seat of Adi Da's Blessing in Europe. It is located in Maria Hoop, in the south of the Netherlands.

Subsections in this article:


30th Anniversary of Adi Da Samraj at the European Danda
History

the European Danda
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The Danda is a quiet place. It is a former monastery, and a place where Adi Da twice resided.

the European Danda
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In 1986, Adi Da made His first visit to the European community of His devotees. He travelled through England, France and Holland. During His stay in Holland He very much wanted a place where he could meet with all of His European devotees. Devotees looked for an appropriate place that could be acquired as a rural Ashram. In the South of Holland, in the village of Maria Hoop close to the German border, a former Catholic monastery was found which could be rented for a few weeks. The monastery had already been unused for several years. Devotees swiftly cleaned buildings and the grounds.

Adi Da in the European Danda: July 20, 1986
Adi Da in the European Danda: July 20, 1986
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Adi Da was invited to stay in a specially prepared wing of the monastery for several days — an invitation that He accepted. During this time, He granted Darshan and held "Question and Answer" occasions in the chapel (now called Adi Da Kapel) with German, English, Dutch, French and American devotees.

Adi Da speaking to devotees in Adi Da Kapel in 1986
Adi Da speaking to devotees in Adi Da Kapel in 1986
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Adi Da after speaking to devotees in Adi Da Kapel in 1986

Adi Da after speaking to devotees in Adi Da Kapel in 1986
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Adi Da leaving Adi Da Kapel in 1986
Adi Da leaving Adi Da Kapel in 1986
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Adi Da also gave European devotees His Blessing to acquire the property for the purpose of transforming it into an Ashram and retreat centre. However at that time, the community was still small and was not yet able to generate the financial means to buy the buildings. It was not until the end of 1989 that the monastery was purchased, with the collective support of English, Dutch and German devotees.

Adi Da Blessed the new Ashram with a name: "The European Danda". "Danda" means "staff" or "cane" in Sanskrit — and the European Danda was the place where Adi Da Samraj had planted His staff in Europe.

In the beginning, about 25 devotees moved there and started to live Ashram life. During the first year, more devotees moved to the Ashram and the population grew to about 35 devotees. A retreat centre was created in the building, and many people came on retreat, especially during the summer holidays. This had a very inspiring influence and increasingly more people felt attracted to live in this community circumstance.

To be able to house all the people and to accommodate different levels of involvement in Adidam, a plan was developed for building extra small apartments near the Ashram according to the Dutch tradition (dating back to the Middle Ages) of "hofjes": small little houses around a communal garden near a church. A piece of property at the back of the Danda was chosen, and a hofje was built. The Maria Hoop population of devotees grew further as new people moved into it.

the European Danda
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In 1996, Adi Da visited His European devotees for the second time. He stayed for almost a month at the European Danda.

Vegetable Surrender: live at the European Danda
Adi Da's Room at the European Danda
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Adi Da gave Darshan in the garden of the Danda and in the Chapel, and He visited the hofje as well. He gave extensive instructions for the use of the main building. He also travelled to Switzerland during His European visit.

Adi Da at the European Danda
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Also during this time, Adi Da endured an ordeal of penance (for the sake of purifying His devotees and the world altogether), during which He stayed in the woods behind the Danda. A shrine, the Da Peace Site, has since been built to commemorate this period.

the Da Peace Site
the Da Peace Site
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Since Adi Da's visit in 1996, the focus of the European Danda has shifted from being a living circumstance for devotees to use as a retreat centre (see below).


The Bright Room Gallery

The European Danda houses the the largest collection in the world of Adi Das Transcendental Realist Art, and art tours and presentations can be arranged.





Devotees in the largest gallery
devotees in the Bright Room Gallery
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Devotee in the largest gallery
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Adi Da's Art
photo © Hans Mahler
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Concert in the "Bright" Room Gallery
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Public Retreats

Retreats for the public are held regularly. Filled with Adi Das Presence, the European Danda is a perfect location to retire from worldly stress and distraction, to take contemplative walks in the Danda's private forest, and to sink into the deepest feeling of Reality Itself.



the European Danda
in the private forest of the European Danda
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April 2013 Retreat at the European Danda
a retreat presentation
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April 2013 Retreat at the European Danda
retreatants at a presentation
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April 2013 Retreat at the European Danda
break time
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gift table
gift table
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April 2013 Retreat at the European Danda
a delicious vegetarian meal
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Community Life

Even though the focus of the European Danda is on public retreats, the devotees residing at the Danda participate together in a rich community life that is centered on their shared practice of the Way of Adidam.

August 2011 Retreat at the European Danda
devotees on the front lawn of the European Danda
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August 2011 Retreat at the European Danda
devotees eating together on the lawn of the European Danda
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<span class=caption>devotees in consideration together  at the European Danda
devotees in consideration together at the European Danda
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Vegetable Surrender: live at the European Danda
children playing characters from Adi Da's book, Vegetable Surrender
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Consideration on the lawn of the European Danda
consideration on the lawn of the European Danda
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Retreatants in front of the European Danda
Retreatants in front of the European Danda
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Devotees odalesquing together
Devotees "odalesquing" (relaxing) together
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Da Peace Site
a puja being performed by Ruchiradama Nadikanta at the Da Peace Site
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<SPAN STYLE="font-size=9px;font-weight=bold;">Tree trimming at the European Danda, Maria Hoop, The  Netherlands, 2012
Tree trimming for the Celebration of Danavira Mela at the European Danda
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Cookie decorating at the European Danda, Maria Hoop, The Netherlands, December, 2012
Cookie decorating for the Celebration of Danavira Mela
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Cookie decorating at the European Danda, Maria Hoop, The Netherlands, December, 2012
Cookie decorating for the Celebration of Danavira Mela
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Da Jayanthi Celebration in the European Danda, 2012
Celebration of Adi Da's Birthday in the European Danda
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The Ashvamedha Horse begins its wandering at the European Danda (January 8, 2012)
The Ashvamedha Horse begins its wandering
for the Celebration of the Divine Avataric Self-"Emergence"
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The Celebration of Da Purnima (start of the Fire Puja), July 2013
The Celebration of Da Purnima (start of the Fire Puja), July 2013
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devotees working in the Danda garden
devotees working in the Danda garden
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from the Danda's apple trees
from the Danda's apple trees
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resident alpaca, Desperado (freshly shorn)
resident alpaca, Desperado (freshly shorn)
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concert in the "Bright" Room Gallery
concert in the "Bright" Room Gallery
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New Year's concert, January, 2016
New Year's concert, January, 2016
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meeting in the Danda
meeting
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State-of-the-art screen and HD projector in the main presentation room
State-of-the-art screen and HD projector in the main presentation room
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The Natural Beauty of the European Danda


the European Danda
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the European Danda
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August 2011 Retreat at the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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the European Danda
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Da Peace Site
the Da Peace Site
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Da Peace Site
the Da Peace Site
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Da Peace Site
the Da Peace Site
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Da Peace Site
the Da Peace Site
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Da Peace Site
the Da Peace Site
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For more about the European Danda, click here.


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Quotations from and/or photographs of Avatar Adi Da Samraj used by permission of the copyright owner:
Copyrighted materials used with the permission of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. None of these materials may be disseminated or otherwise used for any non-personal purpose without the prior agreement of the copyright owner. ADIDAM is a trademark of The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as Trustee for the Avataric Samrajya of Adidam.

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