Swarupananda Prabhu arrives at the temple here in Saint Petersburg this morning. I am very glad to see him. He will spend at least ten days of his school vacation doing some service here at the temple.
Swarupananda Prabhu — formerly Sergei — is the intense young eighteen-year-old university student from Zaporizhzhya whom I met in the Ukraine during my last lecture tour of that country in November. You may remember him as the boy who had wanted to know, "How can I love God?"
Exactly one month after I talked to him in Zaporizhzhya, Swarupananda Prabhu received harinama ritvik initiation from Srila Gurudeva when Sripad Avadhut Maharaj did a follow-up lecture tour of the Ukraine at the beginning of December.
Swarupananda Prabhu and I have been corresponding by email. I think that he is a sincere devotee and that he has a lot of potential. When Srutasrava Prabhu visited the Ukraine last week, I particularly asked him to spend some time with this bright young man.
It will be good to spend some one-on-one time with Swarupananda Prabhu here in Saint Petersburg. He does have to return to the Ukraine for a mid-year university examination around the middle of this month, but we may be able to travel together, since I am scheduled for another lecture tour of Zaporizhzhya, Kiev, and Odessa at about the same time.