Today the manager of the house project where our newly inaugurated Sri Chaitanya Sridhar Govinda Ashram stands came with an offering of fruits and flowers for Srila Gurudev Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. He paid his respects and gave his offerings to His Divine Grace without knowing that today is Lord Balaram's appearance day, and without fully knowing how auspicious it is to satisfy the Vaisnava. But he did so, and by Srila Gurudev's mercy he had the rare opportunity to meet him and affectionately offer his obeisances.
On Friday, 24th August, Ekadasi tithi, Srila Gurudev gave his first initiation in Thailand: to Krishna Priya Devi Dasi, who has done so much service and has extended all her kindness to His Divine Grace and the devotees. Along with Sripad Paramananda Prabhu they our now the pillars of our mission in Bangkok.
Again and again Srila Gurudev has mentioned how pious this country is, everywhere people offer pranams, and they are very respectful towards the monks and religious persons.
But truly beauty and piousness are in his vision. He is mercy personified, so wherever he goes he sees good qualities in everybody, and now he has mercifully established his Srila Guru Maharaj's mission in Thailand, and by placing his beautiful lotus feet here he has made this ashram a place of pilgrimage.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam (1:13:10), after the saintly Vidura returns from visiting places of pilgrimage, Yudhisthir Maharaj says:
tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho
"Wherever you go becomes a place of pilgrimage, because saints like you (bhavad-vidha bhagavatas) are personified holy places of pilgrimage (artha-bhutah svayam). Even the places of pilgrimage [which become inundated with the sins of those who go there to be decontaminated] are purified by pure devotees like you (tirthi-kurvanti tirthani), because you carry the Supreme Personality of Godhead always in your heart (svantah-sthena gada-bhrita)."
Srila Gurudev by his mercy has extended the opportunity to us, a very rare opportunity to be connected with him, to have a loving connection with Reality the Beautiful, and to place our energy and our efforts at his beautiful service world. And beauty, Srila Gurudev says, comes through affection.
Your aspiring servant
Vrinda Devi Dasi
Vrinda Devi Dasi's earlier Tour report:
"Srila Govinda Maharaj arrives in Bangkok"