Soquel, California — Thursday, December 16th


Wow! I received so much mail in response to my A strong recovery blog. In two years of blogging the trials and tribulations of the iMonk, this is the biggest response ever.

Here is a sample of some of the mail I received. The first email came from India:

The best blog ever! Great stuff! You have brought us back to life... The most needed nourishment at the most needed time... With much appreciation and lots of sincere obeisances to your seva-soaked feet...

This email came from England:

We are so grateful to read your news of Maharaj's recovery in your light, loving expression. Please convey our happiness [to Srila Gurudeva]. We love him and pray that our love becomes unadulterated and true. Much affection and respect to you and the iMonk...

From Mexico, some concern for my poor old aching back:

...I hope your lower back is getting better, or at least improving, but after this help you gave to Gurudeva, nothing can wreck your back...

This from Hawaii:

We just want to tell you how much we appreciate your daily logs. They are actually quite humorous and entertaining, and full of substance. Keep 'em coming, please...

In one of the emails (from California) that I responded to, I mentioned how much email I had already received in response to this blog, and I got this reply:

...Yes, I can understand why you got so much mail — it was irresistible. We needed news, yet [Srila Gurudeva's] operation was really too much for many to digest, so it was good to have a way to hear about it almost indirectly, yet so affectionately...

And that very nicely sums up the sentiment of the "A strong recovery" blog. Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!

Soquel, California — Sunday, December 19th

Job offer — from Russia

Whew! For a while, I thought this poor South African swami was going to have to wear one of those "Will work for food" signs around his neck while begging for handouts on street corners, but after my recent Unemployed! blog, offers of help have been pouring in.

The best offer came in this email from Sripad Avadhut Maharaj, the dynamic leader of our mission in Russia and the Ukraine:

Dear Sripad Akinchan Maharaj,

Please accept my dandavat pranam.

We are greatly inspired by your writings in your blog, and were almost prepared to send a donation to the poor, homeless, unemployed swami at, but anyone who has ever had to deal with bums knows that the best way to help them is to engage them in some kind of service.

Because we are so spiritually poor, we feel ourselves to be bums, and we pray that you will come to Russia to engage us in devotional service. We ask you to please remember that many Russian devotees have so much love and affection for you, and have been waiting for almost one year to see you again. We hope that you will come to Russia to share with us some of the nectar that you have received from Srila Gurudeva.

I think it would be a good idea for you to come to Russia before you go to India, and after Gaura Purnima you can come back for a grand preaching tour that we have planned for you, in an RV, throughout the Ukraine and Crimea.

Please send us some news about yourself. Looking forward to your association, and always your servant,

Best regards,

Bhakti Bimal Avadhut

I discussed this proposition with Srila Gurudeva, and His Divine Grace agrees that it is an excellent idea to go to Russia to try to help Sripad Avadhut Maharaj with his multifarious preaching activities.

So thanks for all your kind offers, folks, but it looks like I will once again be gainfully employed in Russia early in the new year, soon after Srila Gurudeva's Vyasa Puja celebration here in Soquel.

I had better get myself some warm woollies; it's going to be pretty cold traipsing around Moscow and Saint Petersburg in the middle of the harsh Russian winter. I suppose I should count my blessings; I could have been offered employment in the frozen tundra of Siberia...

Saaayyy... you don't think that this could be a changeup, do you? Nah. Avadhut Maharaj is not like that... is he?

Avadhut Maharaj! You wouldn't... !?

Heh heh heh heh heh!

Why, you— !

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Layout by iMonk — December 19th, 2004.