and Acyuta Priya matajis as my assistants.
The brahmacaris from Odessa temple had strongly requested me to come for a
visit. It had been three years ago that I visited here last, and I remembered
how eager and appreciative they had been of our discussions on previous visits.
two SB classes and the Sunday feast lecture, and one matajis' program in
a private home.
For the evening classes I read from Mahanidhi Swami's book "Appreciating
Vrindavan Dhama". If we want to develop our personal relationship with Krsna
it is so important to hear about His abode, His associates and His activities.
How else to gain attraction for the spiritual world....?!
The scriptures are like the advertisement catalogue of the spiritual world,
and the more we absorb ourselves in hearing about this transcendental abode
the more we develop a taste and attraction to one day go there. It is very natural.
An ignorant person who does not know anything about other countries in this
world will think that his home country is the best place to be. But a person
in knowledge will desire to go and visit other countries, because he has
heard so much about life in those places. At the time of death it will be very
natural for us to want to leave, if we have filled our minds with thoughts and
informations of Krsna's abode.
The devotees attending the programs were very eager to hear and discuss,
and we had a wonderful time together, mainly with the boys living in the temple.
They seemed almost starving for association, sometimes exclaiming: "Mataji,
who else should we ask all these questions....!?"
Odessa had gone through similar changes like our Kharkov yatra: the previous
and first temple president had stepped aside, and now it is up to the next
generation of devotees to come forward and take the lead.
And they were eager for advice and guidance.....
On Saturday evening we went on a wonderful harinam around the city of
Odessa. So many people were out there looking for some enjoyment - Odessa is
a big city and a very popular holiday area with a large port on the Black
Sea, which brings about a Mediterranian atmosphere and spirit of relaxation
On our Harinam around the City Mall and further down to the Beach Promenade
we met a variety of musicians and Pantomime artists who were standing like
statues - with colored faces and extravagant costumes. One fellow was
dressed up like a golden angel, standing high up on some wooden boxes hidden
underneath his long and beautiful angel's dress, with wings on his back and
golden colored hair.
He was pretty cool - I liked to watch him, and he enjoyed our harinam party.
He had seen the devotees many times, and every time he had accepted some
little packet of prasadam and was quickly getting some money from his pocket
in his jeans, which he was wearing underneath his angel's dress. This time
he even accepted one of Srila Prabhupada's books aswell and quickly hid it
underneath his dress to continue with his artistic performance of being an angel....
The temple devotees were treating me like their mother, and their eagerness
for association touched my heart - so much so that I decided to regularly
visit here in Odessa in the future. As a preacher we are equal to all, but wherever
our humble attempts of giving inspiration fall on fertile grounds we are inspired to
give more.... I invited two of the boys Namacharya and Parama Karuna Prabhus
Bangladesh at the end of October, together with two of our Kharkov
brahmacaris and Sahasrajit Prabhu with his son Visvambhara.
And they happily accepted my invitation.
Bangladesh is a wonderful place for brahmacaris to visit. There are
hundreds of brahmacaris - it is 'brahmacari loka'....Recently I heard the saying:
"Mayapur is not a place for brahmacaris...." Unfortunately it has become like
this, and I am trying my best to preserve and protect the pure atmosphere of
Bangladesh...... Brahmacaris need special care and protection - they are an
almost extinct species in the Western world....
On the 21st of August I took an overnight train to Kiev.....
Your servant, Devaki dd