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Monday, April 28th, 2003

Return To India
Reflections on the Russian tour

Goswami Maharaj and I return to India today. Goswami Maharaj has been here in Russia for six weeks; I have been here for three.

This has been a wonderful experience for me. Less than three weeks after taking sannyas from Srila Govinda Maharaj, I joined Sripad Goswami Maharaj on his preaching tour of Russia, visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the Siberian cities of Novosibirsk, and Tomsk.

I have had to preach almost every day: at big public programs, at weekly temple programs, and at cozy little "home" gatherings. I even got to do some preaching when the Russian TV station, STS TV, interviewed me for their evening program, "Details."

If you don't count the two occasions when I gave a talk at the Mahila Sakha Ashram in San Jose in the two weeks before I left to take sannyas in India, the last time I did any serious preaching was in the "jungles" of South Africa — way back in 1984. Nelson Mandela was still in prison for "anti-apartheid activities"; Ronald Reagan was still in his first-year term as President of the United States!

I have had to come up to speed very quickly. You know the feeling you get when you accelerate from 0-60 (mph) in six seconds? Well, this feels faster — a lot faster!
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