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Saturday, July 26th, 2003

Ankara, Turkey

More Initiations

And some unusual questions

All day yesterday and today there has been a constant flow of people in and out of the Sri Govinda Math Yoga Center here in Ankara as Paramahamsa Maharaj has been unrestrainedly performing ritvik initiations on behalf of Srila Gurudeva.

As the torrent of people lining up for initiation overflows into the corridor, many of the aspiring initiates have some last-minute questions to ask and Ramaray Prabhu (the director of our Yoga Center) and I try to take up some of the slack.

Because Turkey is an almost exclusively Muslim country, our Krishna consciousness mission here, under the aegis of Sripad Ramaray Prabhu, is perforce low key, and is presented through the medium of hatha-yoga and meditation classes, so the questions are somewhat different from those typically asked in the West:

"When I chant my japa, I feel the ksetrams of the chakras, like sahasrara, anahata and ajna, but sometimes I also feel svadishtana and manipura very strongly. Is it normal to let myself feel different chakras, or should I try to concentrate on one chakra?"

"As good Muslims and believers in the Koran, we have been taught all our lives that God is formless. Now, in Krishna consciousness, we hear that God does have form. Should we imagine some form on Krishna?"

Srimati Priya Devi Dasi (Ramaray's wife), Radhika Devi Dasi (Ramaray's daughter), Phanibhusan Prabhu (a government surveyor), Vishaka Devi Dasi (a psychiatrist), and Nanda Priya Devi Dasi (a university activist) are amongst the newest disciples of Srila Govinda Maharaj.

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