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Friday, August 8th, 2003

St. Petersburg, Russia

Home At Last

At Srila Gurudeva's lotus feet

Siddhanti Maharaj and I are on the overnight train, on our way from Moscow to Saint Petersburg to see Srila Gurudeva. I awake at six o' clock, just as it is getting light, four hours after leaving Moscow. We are due to arrive in Saint Petersburg at ten o' clock, so half the journey is done.

It is ekadasi, and I don't feel hungry, so I don't have anything for breakfast. I stare sightlessly at the rural Russian landscape rushing by the window.

rushing down the track
drawing ever closer to
srila gurudev

The last time I was in the presence of Srila Gurudeva was three continents ago, in Kolkata, India. On Srila Gurudeva's order, I left Asia for Africa, Europe, and now, crossing Eastern Europe, I am just hours away from getting his darshan, from offering myself to his lotus feet again.

etam sa asthaya paratma-nistam
adhyasitam purvatamair maharsibhih
aham tarisyami duranta-param
tamo mukundanghri-nisevayaiva

"I shall cross over the unconquerable ocean of ignorance by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Mukunda, the Lord of liberation. This was approved by the previous acharyas, who were fixed in firm devotion to the Lord."

When we arrive at the beautiful Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math on the shore of the Baltic Sea, we go up immediately to see Srila Gurudeva. I offer my full dandavat pranam. Srila Gurudeva says: "Long time, Maharaj."

It's good to be home.

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