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Swarupananda Prabhu, the student from Zaporizhzhya, arrives at the temple today.

Monday, January 5th, 2004

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Getting Connected

Loving God through service

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.

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