September 8, 2002 VNN7545 This story URL: http://www.vnn.org/europe/EU0209/EU08-7545.html
Govinda Maharaj World Tour News
BY TUNGA PREMA DEVI DASI
RUSSIA, Sep 8 (VNN) All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!
Dandavats to all the dear devotees around the world.
Well, saddenly, this is my last official Russia posting. We are actually on the plane en route to San Francisco. I am already missing Srila Gurudeva and all the Maharajas and all the devotees. However, I can only count my blessings for the wonderful opportunity I did have. Extreme fortune. We must take it no matter how undeserving we feel because it is all great mercy.
I think I left off on my way to the grand India Festival program. It turned out that I got there just in time. A lot of devotees had just sat down at the Jagannath Express Restaurant to take prasadam with Gurudeva and they were saving me a seat. Jai!! The prasadam there is incredible. They had breads and appetizers and teas and drinks -- then all of a sudden came the main course! We couldn't believe all the never-ending scrumptious treats that kept filling our plates.
We then went into the main program room to a stage filled with devotees chanting and dancing in front of a crowd of hundreds of people. Sripad Acharyya Maharaja and Sripad Tirtha Maharaja were leading the way once again. The kirttan kept going and going. There were booths and tables set up everywhere with lots of people coming and going. It was definitely a huge success. There were probably about 2,000 people that came to the festival.
That was the last official public program but of course not the end. Many people came to the resort we were staying at by Moscow and there were kirttans and darshans outside, inside, and all around. More initiations, both first and second. Tabulations say there were well over 100 total initiations in Russia!
Srila Gurudeva continued to give the most amazing darshans and answering so many questions putting smiles on everyone's faces. Chidananda Prabhu led one kirttan at the resort until midnight! A handful of the Russian devotees left a few days early to travel to Siberia for preaching at a Rainbow gathering there. They were going to spend three days on the train -- again, absolutely austere!
The last few days Srila Gurudeva spent out in the country at Alankar Kaustubha Prabhu's house. Us Americans somehow were graced with more mercy and stayed there too. There were only about 30 people and the darshans were small and intimate. Sureswari Devi Dasi took notes so I will try and put them together and post them soon.
Please forgive me for my inadequate writing abilities -- we are on the long haul back. Tomorrow we will be celebrating Lord Balaram's Appearance Day in Soquel (Observed on 22nd in Nabadwip and India - Ed.). It will be really nice to see all the devotees there.
Dandavat pranams to everyone,
Tunga Prema devi dasi
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