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Aug 17th, 2002, 6:07am

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Tunga Prema Devi Dasi's 19th World Tour Dispatches:
[6th August] [9th August] [12th August] [16th August] [22nd August]
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   Author  Topic: World Tour News
Tunga Prema devi dasi

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Re: World Tour News Please
« Reply #24 on: Aug 16th, 2002, 10:33pm »
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All Glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga!!!

Dandavats to all the Vaisnavas around the world!! Somehow I have been given this fortunate writing service opportunity and I am trying to do my best at it and to allow you all to be here in spirit, mood and heart. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I definitely know how difficult it is to be apart 'in body' from Srila Gurudeva but I know in heart and spirit you are ALL here. And all of you are in my thoughts and prayers, whatever it is worth. Believe me, I understand how difficult it is to be away. I have not been to Nabadwip in five years and not one day passes that I do not think of the most holy dham in the world. I think of the amazing fact that I am actually here in Russia with Srila Govinda Maharaj and all the devotees and I give thanks every minute for this opportunity.

Well, here it goes....

Dates and days have become one big blur. It was a few days ago that approximately sixty devotees all took the trek from St. Petersburg to Moscow by train. Boarding with all the luggage was a humorous sitcom event. The Russian devotees must think us American devotees are crazy -- will we ever learn to travel light?! We had four person cars with bunk beds, another hilarious event. We were all happy and smiling and graced with the presence of Sripad Acharya Maharaj and Sripad Tirtha Maharaj. Don't worry, many photos will eventually surface. The countryside resembled so closely to India. It felt like we were on the train to Jagannath Puri (There were even voices of "chai chai" coming from someone.) Srila Gurudeva traveled the next morning by flight and actually arrived before us train folks.

The place we are staying is quite tranquil: woods and a big lake. The Russian devotees devised another large outdoor kitchen and a pandal (tented) area with a stage. The kids played with kittens and soccer balls.

St. Petersburg Deities
(Click for full, larger picture)

The last two evenings were public programs. Although Gurudeva did not attend, His presence was most definitely felt as the Maharajs spoke so excellently and gave very nice answers. The programs both ended in ecstatic kirttana led by Acharyya Maharaj and Tirtha Maharaj. It's amazing that the energy level is still so high. In the retreat centre, they set up an altar for darshan and put a photo

of the deities from St Petersburg. I definitely miss the Temple there and the beloved Deities. Srila Gurudeva has been giving morning darshan and answering so many questions. I hope the notes are posted that Yudhamanyu Prabhu has been taking. He just left today and we will miss him and his excellent notes. One answer Gurudeva gave regarding marriage was to have love, affection, tolerance and chastity ... to help each other in spiritual life. Jaya!! He also spoke about the rules and regulations and said we must simply chant the Holy Name and not give up. We must not allow ourselves to become discouraged if we cannot do something. Keep chanting the Holy Name. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krishna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!!!!!

Yesterday Srila Gurudeva took a drive to the Jagannath Express Restaurant. Only two car loads of VERY fortunate souls accompanied Him. The report was of course all very exciting: that Gurudeva really liked everything. He seems so very happy here in Moscow too and has been talking about the expansion of everything here and the expansion in St. Petersburg -- more accommodations, bigger prasadam facility, etc., etc. We cannot even conceive of what Srila Gurudeva has planned but we know in fact by seeing everything here that EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING is possible by the will of our sweet Gurudeva and beloved Lord Krsna.

Today about fifteen of us came early into Moscow city. We just toured Kremlin square. It's weird because when I was a child I envisioned Russia to be very cold (in weather and spirit) and everyone dressed in black and grey, eating only bread. But it is quite the opposite: colourful, fashionable and delicious sweets (especially at Jagannath Express). Jagannath Express is even more incredible than the photos I previously had seen. Two floors of gift shops, sweet table, salad bar, teas, goods, two restaurant rooms and the most delicious foodstuffs!!! They treated us all today to anything we wanted! Of course I must say the ice cream ranked on top! Tonight one program next door will happen from 7 p.m. to midnight!! I actually am on my way now so I hope to report about the program in the next day or so. It is in conjunction with the celebration of India's independence and they are expecting many people.

Moscow: Gurudev with devotees
(Click for full, larger picture)

Myself, Sureswari D.D. and Divya Shakti D.D. have also been given some great fortune of having our room directly across from Gurudeva. We can walk outside our room and there is Gurudeva in His chair talking and giving some darshan. How cool is that?! This morning when we were outside waving good-bye to Yudhamanyu Prabhu, Gurudeva walked out on His balcony and waved to everyone with a big smile! What a treat! A photographer from National Geographic came and took some photos of Gurudeva and then with all the devotees. Gurudeva said he really liked photos with the devotees. How sweet!!

Well, the news is Srila Gurudeva has arrived to the program so I must go. I will write soon.

I hope and pray this news will refresh, enliven and encourage everyone to keep on trekking. Many times I feel it is so difficult but with the association of our Gurudeva and of each other we can do it. It is our life, our only life. Never give up. Keep chanting. Keep in association. Keep serving. You all inspire me to aspire to do those things!!

Much dandavats to everyone.

~ Tunga Prema devi dasi

« Last Edit: 126th, August, 2002, 12:34am » Logged

Tunga Prema Devi Dasi's 19th World Tour Dispatches:
[6th August] [9th August] [12th August] [16th August] [22nd August]

19th World Tour dispatches, pictures and a phone interview:
please see the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math World Tour Index

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