All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Srila Gurudev's Departure from London

at the conclusion of his 22nd World Tour

09 November 2006

Web-page, captions and short report by Malini Devi Dasi of Malta
The moment came that all the devotees were reluctant to accept: Srila Gurudev's departure from the London Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math to return to India. There had been talk of a possible extension to his stay, but Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj finally expressed his holy decision that he should return to India as originally planned.
The devotees gathered early morning at arati time, distracted by the idea that their beloved Guru would soon be physically leaving them. His bright smile as he sat in the car reminded them that he lives in their hearts always.
Srila Gurudev is happy with the camera "forcefully" given to Him by Sripad Janardan Maharaj. In return for all the flashes from the devotees' cameras, he snapped a few pictures of them.
At the airport a whole section was taken up by the devotees who sat around Srila Gurudev as they waited for the time to approach when he and his entourage would head off to the plane.
Sripad Nyasi Maharaj (back), Sripad Bharati Maharaj (front) and Sripad Narayan Maharaj (far right) were among those present to see Him off.
At the airport it was a nice opportunity for the devotees to sit for darshan of Srila Gurudev in a totally informal setting. At least forty devotees showed up, including a busload in the London Math's minibus. Everyone had a time to savour the last moments of Srila Gurudev's visit to London.
Some devotees served refreshments and handed out sandwiches to the travellers. Srila Gurudev accepted the goodies graciously.
The devotees wore smiles... until they realised that the moment had come when this beautiful time in the physical presence of Srila Gurudev had come to an end - for the time being.
An airport employee arrived with a wheelchair to assist Srila Gurudev get to the departures gate. The devotees followed faithfully, singing "Jaya jaya Gurudev" softly to the sounds of the mrdanga, with faces that were that bit more solemn.

It has gone all quiet here at the London Math now. Srila Gurudev and his entourage are gone. Most of the devotees that flew in from all parts of the world have returned to their homes. Friday signifies the departure of the rest of the foreign devotees who came to visit, except for a couple - including myself.

It has been sweet to see Gurudev after so long, because it had been just over a year for me. His presence allowed me to re-assess my devotional life, and rekindled the flame that is constantly quivering from the lack of association and service opportunity in my island home of Malta. Because in truth the real connection with Guru is indeed through service and the devotees.

It is through service that Guru lives with the devotee constantly in one's heart. When will that day come that in total saranagati (surrender) I could devote myself to 24/7 service to Sri Guru and Vaishnava?

With obeisances to all the devotee readers,
~Malini Devi Dasi


Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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