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I'm flabbergasted that somebody so young can express such a naked sentiment.

Sunday, November 2nd, 2003

Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine


How can I love God?

I wake up to a dull, cold day; the decrepit radiator crepitates as it labors to keep the room warm. My cloth, which I washed and hung out on the line to dry on the balcony outside my room last night, is still drip-dripping water.

At the program yesterday, we handed out flyers inviting everyone to come to our apartment if they were interested in hearing more about Krishna consciousness.

Just before lunch, Sergei, an intense young eighteen-year-old university student arrives. I remember him from the public program yesterday. He sat in the front row and although he did not ask any questions, he scowled all the while in intense concentration.

Muralishwar Prabhu, my interpreter, has gone for a walk, so in halting English Sergei asks, "How can I love God?"

I don't know about you, but I'm flabbergasted that somebody so young can express such a naked sentiment.

But this is what I have come here for. I am not "a fanatical monk, wandering from one Russian monastery to another, continually seeking 'a peaceful life, free from sin,' and not finding it," like the character in Dreams, the short story by the great Russian storyteller, Anton Chekhov.

Why have I come to Russia, to the Ukraine, to Zaporizhzhya? On the order of Srila Gurudeva, to try to help people just like this. I have come to show how we can practically apply Krishna conscious philosophy to our daily lives.

Slowly and carefully — meditating on the lotus feet of my gurudevas — I start to explain the Krishna conception of divinity...

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