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It's another big weekend like last weekend, with back-to-back celebrations in two major cities.

Saturday, October 25th, 2003

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Govardhan Puja

In the Saint Petersburg snow

It's another big weekend like last weekend, with back-to-back celebrations in two major cities — only this time we are celebrating Govardhan puja: the festival commemorating Lord Krishna's pastime of lifting Govardhan Hill.

It snows all day here in Saint Petersburg, but despite the snow, we have a good turnout: about sixty devotees and guests.

Earlier in the week, with the help of Ashutosha Krishna Prabhu, I put together a slide show presentation with pictures of our Math in Govardhan, and some pictures scanned from various books. I begin the afternoon public program with the slide show, which I use to illustrate my talk about Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill. (I really need to get one of those laser pointers.)

How can Krishna, a mere boy, lift Govardhan Hill?

Well, Krishna not only lifts Govardhan Hill, but He lifts it with one hand; not with His right hand, but with His left (weaker) hand; not His whole hand, but with just one finger; and not His index, middle, or ring fingers, but with His smallest finger. And not for a few seconds either, but for a whole week!

And why not? If Krishna is God, nothing is impossible for Him, right?

After the arati, the talented Mathura Transcendental Theater troupe puts on a brand new play featuring Gopal Krishna lifting of Govardhan Hill. This is their best play by far: the costumes are superb (especially the cow and calf) and the lines are funny, but serious when they need to be. The scene where Subal pretends to be Putana is hilarious.

I help to serve a large multi-course prasadam feast — which includes a nicely decorated "Govardhan Hill" made of halavah — then catch the midnight express train to Moscow so that I can help Bharati Maharaj present the Govardhan puja program in downtown Moscow on Sunday evening.

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Layout by imonk — October 25th, 2003.