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Sunday, August 17th, 2003

St. Petersburg, Russia

Daily Program

Keeping everybody engaged

With hundreds of devotees from all over the world gathered here at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Saint Petersburg, it is necessary to give those devotees who do not have a specific service assignment something to do, or otherwise keep them engaged.

A typical day starts with Srila Gurudeva walking over from his living quarters at five o' clock to give an early morning darshan to the devotees assembled in the temple room.

At six o' clock, the mangala arati begins, followed by circumambulation of the Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Radha-Madhavasundar deities and Srimati Tulasi Devi. Some of the morning kirtans (Sri Guru Arati, Sri Guruvastaka) are then sung, and one of the senior sannyasis talks about Krishna consciousness until about nine o'clock, when everyone breaks for breakfast.

Throughout the day, in one to two-hour shifts, one of the eleven sannyasis accompanying Srila Gurudeva on his 20th World Tour makes himself available in the temple room to lecture about Krishna consciousness or to answer any questions that the devotees or pilgrims may have.

Lunch is served after the noon arati, at one o' clock. Devotees have some time to themselves after lunch, to read, do laundry, nap — whatever — with the next lecture scheduled for four o' clock in the afternoon.

At six o' clock, Srila Gurudeva once again gives darshan in the temple room until seven o' clock, when the evening arati begins. After the arati, the devotees are treated to a slideshow or dramatic performance inculcating spiritual values.

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