All Glories to Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari

An Afternoon of Magic

Soquel Seva Ashram

By Vaidehi devi dasi, November 2004

I had heard several times before that Srila Govinda Maharaj liked magicians. Different devotees would bring him videos of magic shows, books, and things like that. But they had never brought him a real life magician to perform for His pleasure. This is when Kalindi Devi Dasi from Venezuela suggested that we hire a magician. I asked Srila Gurudev if it was okay for someone to come and perform a magic show for him. He told me it would be okay for him to come on Saturday. The magician asked us several questions about Gurudev: Would he be allowed to use cards? What would it be like?

I tried to explain to him as best as I could that this was a very special person. "It's like you're doing a show for God." My mom then informed him: "You are a magician, but Gurudev knows the Supreme Magician." He laughed and the show was ready to begin. There wasn't a single person around from where we were standing and then suddenly we saw a huge crowd of people approaching with Gurudev leading this way. Everybody sat outside under the tents in the backyard. His Divine Grace sat at the very center with the devotees around Him and the magician in the very front.

He began with poetry and began to show different kinds of tricks: card tricks, tricks with ropes that became one piece after being cut apart, etc. We were all interested in the tricks, but kept glancing at Gurudev to see what his facial expressions were like.

His Divine Grace made no comments but His face was very animated. He continued to watch the show as Steve the magician expertly made different colored handkerchiefs come out of his hand.

Many young devotee children were present. The mood was so sweet with so much laughter and fun.

Sita Devi Dasi and Bhanavi Devi Dasi watching the show.

We were surprised and a little shocked when the magician stepped closer to Srila Gurudev to interact with him. He handed him a card and asked him to mark it. Gurudev smiled and wrote something on the card. The magician showed the audience: "This in the only card in the universe that has this mark!"

After the magic show I learned something very strange. After the magician had given the card back to Gurudev, after he had finished the show and returned home, he opened his briefcase. He found in one of his pockets the card that Gurudev marked. Who put it there? The suitcase was closed the whole time and only Gurudev had the card. The only thing I could tell him was: "There you have it. He is a very special person." Gurudev seems to have played a trick on the magician.

The show ended after one hour. It seems that our attempt to get a smile out of Gurudev worked!

Steve Blancoe hugging Srila Govinda Maharaj for the photo. How fortunate for this magician to come in contact with Srila Gurudev. As he was leaving Gurudev kept saying "Thank you." He gave him a thumbs up sign.

World Tour information plus dispatches and pictures from London, USA and Venezuela.