Soquel, California — Tuesday, September 28th

A fortnight of fresh air

Two weeks ago, Srila Gurudeva arrived here at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram in Soquel, California, on the second part of his 21st World Tour.

When Srila Gurudeva first arrived at San Francisco international airport, he looked wan and drawn; the long flight across the Atlantic, from London, was evidently quite grueling. When I last saw Srila Gurudeva, at the beginning of his World Tour at the Calcutta airport earlier this month, he looked so much better.

Naturally, everybody was concerned about Srila Gurudeva's health, but since the first few nights when Srila Gurudeva was unable to rest properly, his health has improved considerably, so it seems fairly obvious that it is the rigors of travel that have an adverse effect on Srila Gurudeva.

Of course, the whole environment here at the Seva Ashram is so much better than that of Calcutta. The rustic setting is quite tranquil and the air is so much fresher here in the quiet rolling hills of Soquel, just a few miles south of the Santa Cruz beach resort.

Srila Gurudeva's picturesque cottage, Sri Govinda Seva Kunja, nestles against the side of the hill below a grove of tall eucalyptus trees, and Srila Gurudeva often sits quietly in the shade on the deck or stands at the top of the stairs, taking in the serene redwood forest on the other side of the road that runs along the riparian corridor that divides our twenty-eight acre ashram.

Every day, Srila Gurudeva gets a little stronger, walking around the property, conversing with the devotees, visiting the beach, breathing in the fresh sea air, eating fruit from the orchard above the temple...

Still, we are conscious that Srila Gurudeva is here primarily to convalesce — that he has come to California for a "change of climate," to recuperate from some of the accumulatively enervating illnesses that he has been pestered with over the past few years, so we try not to impose on him too much, and are grateful for the opportunity to try serve him in the association of his senior devotees.

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Layout by iMonk — September 28th, 2004.