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The theater is packed... I don't even want to try to guess how many people are in the audience.

Sunday, October 26th, 2003

Moscow, Russian Federation

Govardhan Puja

Big turnout in Moscow

We have a full house for the Sunday Govardhan Puja program. It is obvious that the little theater that we have hired for the Govardhan puja festival and play is going to be much too small.

I suppose we should have anticipated such a huge crowd: the festival has been extremely well publicized with large color posters of Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill, and the program features a lecture, a slide show, bharat-natyam dancing, a transcendental play, and a 100 kilogram (!) cake in the shape of Govardhan Hill.

I mean, what more could anyone want? And all this entertainment is free, takes place conveniently in the heart of downtown Moscow — just a stone's throw from Red Square — and includes dessert!

Fifteen minutes before the show is due to begin, the entrance hall outside the theater is packed; Sripad Bharati Maharaj and I have to squeeze to get by. I don't even want to try to guess how many people are in the audience.

By the time I begin the program with the slide show of Govardhan Hill, all the seats are taken and people are standing in the back of the theater, in the aisles, and in a group by the entrance. Bharati Maharaj has a lively question-and-answer session with the audience, the young Nimaiyapriya Devi Dasi performs her exquisite bharat-natyam routine, and the audience just loves the Mathura Transcendental Theater troupe's newest play.

After a rousing kirtan at the end of the three-hour program, everyone throngs the hall outside to get a large slice of the phenomenally huge 220lb cake, and gathers in animated groups to eat and discuss the evening's events.

All in all, an excellent preaching engagement — and a wonderful evening of entertainment!

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Layout by imonk — October 26th, 2003.