Saint Petersburg, Russia — Tuesday, October 31st

Srila Gurudeva gets his wish

Srila Gurudeva has often expressed his desire, on this Russian portion of his tour, to see snow. We were all wondering: would Srila Gurudeva's wish come true — like his desire to see a deer at our Seva Ashram in Soquel, California?

Srila Gurudeva has seen lots and lots of Russian snow, of course — in the thousands of digital photographs that the Russian devotees send to him to view on his computer.

Srila Gurudeva takes great pleasure looking at these pictures, and always marvels at the determination and dedication of the Russian devotees: preaching in subzero temperatures (up to -35°C in Siberia!), going out into the snow to congregationally chant the Holy Name in the streets of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, Novosibirsk (Siberia), Kiev (Ukraine), and even in what Srila Gurudeva calls the "North Pole," Murmansk (the largest city north of the Arctic Circle)...

It was freezing all day yesterday (really freezing, Ramai: 32°F/0°C), and the cold was aggravated by strong gusts of wind blowing off the Gulf of Finland. In the afternoon, it began to snow. It was too cold for Srila Gurudeva to go out, but he enjoyed watching the falling snow from the insulated windows in his room, until our enterprising Madhav Maharaj went out and brought back a giant snowball on a tray, much to Srila Gurudeva's delight.

It did not snow very much, though, and by this morning the harsh wind had blown most of the snow away, leaving just patches of ice off the trampled pathways. There is no wind today, however, and it starts snowing again early in the afternoon and into the evening...

The snow is light and fluffy, and piles up softly against the windows and the doors. It is already about six inches deep, and if it keeps up all night, should be well over a foot deep in the morning...

Now this is snow! Srila Gurudeva is beaming. He says that Sri Sri Radha-Madhavasundar (the presiding deities of this Saint Petersburg temple) sent the snow for him!

And we're all walking around telling each other, "I told you it would snow before Srila Gurudeva left!" :)

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Layout by iMonk — October 31st, 2006.