Soquel, California — Tuesday, March 8th

One last time

And so, finally, that dreadful day has arrived: after an unprecedented six month stay at our beautiful Seva Ashram here in Soquel, His Divine Grace will leave California this morning to return to India.

One last time, Sureshwari Devi Dasi brings Srila Gurudeva his breakfast at six o' clock.

One last time, Srila Gurudeva comes down the stairs of his cottage, and walks over to the temple room to pay his obeisance to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridari Jiu.

One last time, Srila Gurudeva takes my arm to steady himself as he gets into the white Mercedes Benz.

One last time, Srutasrava Prabhu gets ready to drive Srila Gurudeva to the San Francisco airport.

All the devotees surround the car, forcing a smile to their lips and blinking their eyes furiously lest their faces reflect their breaking hearts, as they gather to wave goodbye to Srila Gurudeva, one last time.

And as the car rolls down the driveway one last time — like Akrura's chariot carrying Lord Krishna away from Vrindavan — one last cry is wrenched from anguished devotees' lips:

"Jai Gurudeva!"

Now we can only hope that Srila Gurudeva will return to California... just one last time.

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Layout by iMonk — March 8th, 2005.