train to Lugansk to visit the devotees for Balarama's Appearance.
Even though I am giving my main energy and attention to the Kharkov yatra,
I had nevertheless decided to also visit every year a couple of other yatra's
within Ukraine. As the saying goes: "A rolling stone doesn't gather any moss..."
I am not quite willing to completely give up my aloof position as traveling
preacher simply to become part of one yatra..... Too easily overfamiliarity
sneaks in which affects any relationship in a negative way and thus spoils
our abilities to serve each other. It is a matter of finding the right balance....
Thus I felt it to be appropriate to spend one of the Vaisnava festivals
in another yatra.
Bhaktin Lena came along to translate for me. It had been six years since I
visited here last, and I was excited to see the devotees and their beautiful
marble Gaur Nitai after such a long time...
Over the last years many new devotees have taken up the process of Krsna
consciousness in this city, and they were eager to associate and hear.
We met for an evening program hearing about Prabhupada's very confidential
pastimes - before he had left India to preach in the West. How Srila Prabhupada
prepared himself to fulfill this impossible mission of bringing Krsna consciousness
to the Western world.... After all we have to become Prabhupada conscious in
order to be Krsna conscious. And since Lord Balarama's appearance was
approaching Who is the original Guru, I thought it to be appropriate to hear
about Srila Prabhupada, the siksa Guru for one and all.
We had a nice little festival for Balarama's appearance, following the standard
program of abhisheka, lecture, kirtan and feast.
I was carrying with me the beautiful book by Mahanidhi Swami "Appreciating Sri
Vrindavana Dhama", and during the lecture I was reading sweet details from
the chapter about Lord Balarama, which increased everyone's meditation and
absorption in remembering the Lord. After a lively kirtan we took a nice feast
together, and the Varuni juice made everybody rolling their eyes with
intoxication - just like Lord Balarama .....
On the next day devotees were visiting us in order to take association, inquiring
on various Krsna conscious topics. Srila Prabhupada defines the loving
exchange "guyam akyati pricchati" - revealing one's mind in confidence,
and hearing confidential subject matters as follows: "a more experienced devotee
explains, and a less experienced devotee learns from him". This is a most
important loving exchange, besides giving and accepting prasadam. It is the
way how to truly take advantage of senior association: by inquiry. If we are not
eager to inquire and hear, and we are not eager to share uplifting katha,
then no nectar will flow....
But on our visit to Lugansk lots of nectar was flowing.....
On the 4th of August we returned to Kharkov to welcome Yadubara Prabhu.....
Your servant, Devaki dd