Foster City, California — Sunday, October 9th

Reaching out

There is very little active preaching here in the United States, especially when compared to Russia and the Ukraine where Sripad Avadhut Maharaj organizes grand tours and festivals from Saint Petersburg in the west to Vladivostok in the east, and from Murmansk in the north to Odessa in the south... but that appears to be changing.

A few weeks ago, when I returned to California after a four-month lecture tour of Russia and the Ukraine, I was invited to speak to a small gathering of devotees at the home of Para Devi Dasi in Berkeley. At that meeting it was decided to form a Berkeley nama-sangha and meet on the last Friday of every month. Anupama Devi Dasi subsequently offered to host the nama-sangha at her apartment on the other Fridays of the month, so now we can have regular weekly programs on the other side of the bay.

And now that Sarvabhavana Prabhu has revitalized the Thursday evening program at the Veteran's Memorial Hall right here in downtown Santa Cruz with the dynamic presentation of a class on Bhakti Yoga, the attendance has improved dramatically.

Today Sripad Parvat Maharaj and I drive up to Foster City (between Oakland and San Jose) for a midday engagement at the Harbor Cove Apartments Club House, to give a talk (according to the flyer) about Happiness of the Soul — The Heart's Inner Satisfaction.

This is our first public program in Foster City. Sriman Rajesh and Srimati Mita Poddar (who regularly attend the Saturday evening program at the Ladies Ashram in San Jose) have advertised the program widely, and many of the devotees from San Jose have come up to help to prepare the hall, to cook and distribute the prasadam, and to ensure the success of the program.

It's a mostly white-collar crowd of about twenty computer engineers and graphic designers (and their families) and they listen attentively to our brief presentation on the nature of reality and the subjective evolution of consciousness, and afterwards we informally answer some of their questions over a delicious lunch.

I am very encouraged to be asked to participate in these sincere efforts by our devotees to spread Krishna consciousness locally, because these little nama-sangha (spiritual outreach) programs provide a cozy setting to enliven and be enlivened by the disciples and supporters of Srila Gurudeva here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Layout by iMonk — October 9th, 2005.