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Prema devi dasi
| Re: World Tour
« Reply #21 on: Aug 12th,
2002, 2:48pm »
All Glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga!!!!
Dandavats to all the sweet devotees. Again I am so grateful
for this nice forum. Divya Shakti Didi and I just traveled
on the bus to the internet cafe here in St. Petersburg.
I have been anxious the last few days to get here to write
something. It seems that every day I think, 'It can't
get better than this.' However every day gets better and
better. I am still in complete awe and amazement over
the enthusiasm and dedication of the devotees here. It
is really amazing. Last night was Sunday and the Temple
was packed. The evening kirttan was ecstatic, led by Sripad
Acharya Maharaj (Sripad Tirtha Maharaj has lost his voice
-- so much kirttan!). Then Chidananda Prabhu led the most
incredible sankirttana through the neighborhood and parikrama
around the Temple. He is truly an amazing devotee. I honestly
thought he was going to go on all night, like a 'marathon
kirttana.' I could not stop smiling. Everyone was dancing
and chanting and at one moment I looked over and saw the
pujari jumping so high in the air with the most blissful
smile. It was really sweet. Yesterday was also Gayatri
initiation. Over 30 devotees took part! Sripad Tirtha
Maharaj and Sripad Acharya Maharaj led the fire sacrifice.
It is a double blessing having them here. The fire sacrifice
was held on the verandah outside the temple room overlooking
the Baltic Sea. So amazing!
Srila Gurudeva said yesterday that He is very happy in
St. Petersburg. He has continually praised all the
Russian devotees and invited them all to India.
The day before yesterday we
went to the famous Hermitage Museum. It is quite grand
-- so many rooms. Some of us took the metro in the morning
and then Srila Gurudeva and some other devotees came later.
Srila Gurudeva seemed to really like it there. One lady
approached our group and Divya Shakti Didi used her 'shakti'
and was preaching to her. The lady ended up handing Gurudeva
This morning there were even some more initiations. I
just can't believe it. Before coming to Russia I really
didn't know what to expect, and the last week and a half
has really blown my mind. The devotees here are sleeping
on the hard floor, not taking prasadam until 10:00 pm
or later but still getting up for early morning darshan,
then doing seva all day long. I walked into the Temple
room yesterday and five women were scrubbing the Temple
room floor, square by square, I mean really scrubbing.
There are two kitchens, one for Gurudeva and then the
big outdoor kitchen. The men and women outside are cooking
by fire and serving so many people.
Muralisvara Prabhu has been doing almost all the translating.
He is incredible. When I woke the other day and exited
my room I looked down and saw that he was also one of
the devotees sleeping on the hard floor. It almost made
me cry, the austerity they all have. I have not heard
one complaint from any of them ever. It is really a big
wake up call. They are not only inspiring but really an
example of humility, tolerance and giving honor to others
-- the three main qualities Gurudeva speaks of.
Srila Gurudeva has been giving darshan every morning in
the Temple room. Last night all the Maharajs took turns
speaking at the evening program. I was in the kitchen
listening with the speaker and it was so nice to hear
from all of them.
I also want to say that the American devotees have also
inspired me too. I really don't know how I got this great
fortune of coming here and being with all of them too.
I can only pray and give thanks for what has been given
to me. I am also grateful to be with the wonderful ladies,
Sureswari D.D., Divya Shakti DD, and Kamala DD We are
all sharing a room and last night as I laid down to take
rest I thought how fortunate I am to be with them. They
have helped me so much and really inspired me in many
Yudhamanyu Prabhu is an expert note-taker and I believe
his notes are being posted
on the Math website so I will not even try to write on
that -- but check it out.
Gurudeva has mentioned traveling to California in November.
He has mentioned it a few times, so be prepared!
We are leaving tomorrow night by train to Moscow. Srila
Gurudeva will leave the following morning by plane.
I will write from Moscow also.
My dandavat pranams to all of you.
I hope everyone is well, in good health and good spirits.
Your aspiring servant,
Tunga Prema devi dasi
|« Last Edit:
12 th, August, 2002, 3:04pm by Premanidhi
19th World Tour dispatches, pictures and a phone interview:
please see the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math World