All glories to Parama Karuna Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurachandra

Venezuela: the Last Day

of Srila Govinda Maharaj's visit to Caracas, November 2004

Web-page by Vaidehi Devi Dasi

Here is the Sri Chaitanya Sridhar Govinda Seva Ashram from a distance. While the devotees in Purujit Prabhu's house are quietly going about their Seva, the Parama Karuna Ashram is glistening in the center of the city.

Parama Karuna Sri Sri Nitai Gaurachandra looking as resplendent and alive as ever. The devotees dress the deities so that they look as if They are dancing by suspending different parts of their dress. Their feet are decorated with small jewels, and little birds rest in the vines around the altar.

Today is the very last day before Srila Gurudev leaves Caracas. On this last day Brahman initiations took place.

There were twenty-six men waiting for the fire sacrifice to begin. This is the first time I had seen so many Brahmans at once chanting all of the many different mantras.

His Divine Grace had given second initiation to twenty ladies and twenty-six men after the first initiations. He was now resting in his room while the devotees prepared the paraphernalia for the fire sacrifice.

There were so many devotees at Purujit Prabhu's house chanting japa, talking, asking the swamis questions, and helping out in the kitchen. It was very intense and fun to be there because there was so much going on.

Purujit Prabhu has stolen Srila Gurudev's heart and has made him so happy. Srila Govinda Maharaj cannot stop praising his service. He has organized everything so nicely for the pleasure of His Divine Grace and has more hopes and plans for the future. Already there is a new temple being built on a new land a few hours away from Caracas.

Later that afternoon everybody left the house to go to the temple for lunch prasad, and they remained there doing service until the evening.

Madhuripura Devi Dasi preparing some scrumptious Venezuelan delight with organic vegetables brought from the market by Nabadwip Prabhu who is in charge of the bhoga.

Ananta Prabhu will do any kind of service. Today he makes a tomato sauce for lunch.

Nimai and Rohininanda Prabhus. These two are very friendly and humorous devotees.

Triveni Devi Dasi is always in the kitchen helping with whatever is necessary. While staying at Purujit Prabhu's house she was in the kitchen all day.

Rasamoy Devi Dasi is a resident of the Ashram and a spectacular cook.

Laksmi Kanti Devi Dasi, the Parama Karuna Ashram secretary, constantly making sure everybody feels at home.

Kamala and Rukmini Devi Dasis making garlands and the vases for the altar.

Ashapurna Devi Dasi from London always engaged in seva.

Madangopal Prabhu visiting from Ecuador. He is one of those devotees that can do many different things for the service of Sri Krishna.

Rituraj Prabhu, one of the Venezuelan pujaris, cutting potatoes today.

That night Sripad Siddhanti Maharaja gave class at the Ashram while His Divine Grace took rest before His departure early the next day. Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj talked a lot about Nabadwip and was inviting everybody to go there for Gaura-Purnima.

He told us the story about the first time he went on Parikrama during the Gaura-Purnima festival. He had decided not to go at all on the first morning but that would still get up for mangal aroti. He got to the mandir and saw hundreds of devotees chanting and ready to go on the pilgrimage. Even though he had no idea where he was going, what he was doing, or what it would be like, he was inspired to go, thus he spent the whole day visiting amazing temples and seeing where Sriman Mahaprabhu had some of His pastimes. Chanting all day and listening to stories was a great way to spend the day.

By the time he would return it was late at night so he would take prasad, go to sleep, and wait for the next day so he could go all over again. The kirtans were very divine and lasted all day because the Bengali devotees liked to sing so much. Many Venezuelan devotees were enchanted by this and hope to go to Nabadwip.

All glories to Srila Govinda Maharaj and His enthusiastic devotees!

Vaidehi Devi Dasi


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