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of a Travelling Preacher, Chapter 8
our flight arrived so late in Vladivostok, I didn't actually take rest
until 6am. I laid on my bed and dozed off for a few hours, waking to the
sound of men at work fixing the apartment above us. When I sat up I
couldn't figure out where I was. It happens to me from time to time when
I'm traveling and staying in a different place every night. Unable to get
my bearings, I called out to Uttamasloka, who didn't respond. He was fast
asleep in the next room. I grabbed my bag and took out my boarding pass
from the flight last night. It read "Vladivostok," and I
everything came back. I was at the end of the world.
I was preparing to go to the temple in the late afternoon to give class, I
decided to call Nandini and Radha Sakhi Vrnda in Poland. I was anxious for
news about their trip to the north of Poland to secure schools for bases
for our summer tour. I had a premonition that after the recent problems
they had encountered in reserving a single school in Zary for the
Woodstock festival in August, they may encounter similar problems in the
northern coastal area as well. I was right.
informed me that all but one school in the north refused to work with us.
Everywhere they went they received the same cold treatment. Finally, one
sympathetic director of a school confirmed that only two days earlier the
Catholic Church had sent its representatives throughout the entire coastal
area, threatening that any school director who cooperates with the Hare
Krishna movement will lose their job. Although a number of directors were
sympathetic to our cause, they weren't prepared to take the risk. The
single school that agreed to accept us was in Gryfice, our first base each
summer. The director is our long-time friend and has the courage to stand
up to the Church.
is clear to me now that the Church has a strategy to try to stop us this
summer. It is a well-coordinated scheme that is already in action. I doubt
that it is limited to just scaring school directors into not helping us. I
feel that we will soon be confronted by many obstacles they have planned.
only one base out of our normal three poses many problems for us. The
Baltic Sea coast is long and we cannot reach all areas from one base. I'll
have to rethink our own strategy. We may have to revert to camping, but I
know the Church will approach camp grounds as well. One school director
offered to contact her sister, who owns a farm halfway along the coast.
She suggested that we could stay there. Living in tents will be austere
for devotees, but it may be the only option.
discussed with Nandini about bringing the situation to the attention of
the public. Many people love our festivals and they should know how the
Church is scheming against us. One of my disciples in Poland recently
wrote me a letter attesting to the fact that our festivals have made a big
impact in the country:
accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
the moment, I am traveling and distributing prasadam in the Silesia area.
the December Marathon I was distributing books. I met many people who had
visited your summer festivals last year. From those festivals, they
received a very good impression of Krishna consciousness. As a result,
most of them happily bought books from me. From this I could see potency
of your programs.
today, a girl in a shop said that she knows what prasadam is. I asked
where she learned this and she replied that she was at your festival in
Pobierowo. She even showed me photos! In them I saw her dressed in a sari
together with a devotee. She said she cannot forget the festival. As a
result of your festivals we book distributors are finding people more and
more enthusiastic, tolerant and well-wishing to devotees.
servant, Sri Ram dasa.
said that she and Radha Saki Vrnda would be meeting the ISKCON
Communication (Poland) devotees to inform them of the situation and ask
that we make a plan together. I have some apprehension that the ICP
devotees may not want to raise a fuss. Often their strategy is that
diplomacy means to cool things down, not heat them up. But I will insist
that we bring this issue to the public, if only because the future of the
tour depends on it.
blood was boiling as I put the phone down. The most frustrating thing is
to fight an evasive enemy. It is obvious that the Church is trying impede
our preaching, but who do we attack and where?
couldn't calm down all the way to the temple for the evening program. Even
as I sat giving Bhagavad-gita class, my mind was distracted by the recent
events in Poland. Several times I lost my train of thought. So as to make
some sense of the class, by incorporating my mood I gradually developed
the theme into Krishna fighting the demons. I mentioned that demoniac
forces also attack the Lord's sankirtan movement in Kali-yuga and that we
have to call upon Lord Nrsimhadeva to protect us. With great enthusiasm I
chanted several slokas that are one with my heart after many years of
diknurdhvam adhau samantad
Maharaja loudly chanted the holy name of Lord Nrsimhadeva. May Lord
Nrsimhadeva, roaring for His devotee Prahlada Maharaja, protect us from
all fear of dangers created by stalwart leaders in all directions through
poison, weapons, water, fire, air and so on. May the Lord cover their
influence by His own transcendental influence. May Nrsimhadeva protect us
in all directions and in all corners, above, below, within and
Lord Nrsimhadeva, who appeared as the enemy of Hiranyakasipu, protect me
in all directions. His loud laughing vibrated in all directions and caused
the pregnant wives of the asuras to have miscarriages. May that Lord be
kind enough to protect me in difficult places like the forest and
Nrsimhadeva, You appeared to protect your devotee, Prahlad Maharaja.
Please help us, who are serving his desires to deliver all fallen souls
rotting in this material existence. Alone we are helpless against the
demoniac who aspire to stop Your sankirtan movement. Please give us the
courage, strength and inspiration to be successful in Your service!
© CHAKRA 27 April 2001
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