On the 24th I flew on to Chennai - it was my very first visit to this yatra. ISKCON has a big and beautiful temple in the green and peaceful outskirts of the city. HH Bhanu Maharaja has established this temple some years ago and takes very nicely care of the servants of Sri Sri Radha Krishna with Lalita and Vishaka, Sri Sri Gaur Nitai and Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra.
In Chennai most devotees speak English, which makes preaching for us foreigners easier. I guess the devotees are used to hearing English classes since HH Bhanu Maharaja speaks only English.
Nevertheless, the course was very well received by a nice group of serious and senior devotees, and I felt very satisfied that I had a chance to personally connect with the devotees and build relationships.
I was also invited to offer the SB class on three mornings, and we had lively discussions and uplifting exchanges.
Devotees requested me to come back next year and offer the course to a wider audience - something I would indeed like to do! I was once again surprised how these topics are so extremely relevant even here in South India, which is becoming in many ways almost more materialistic than the Western world.
India has gained a lot of economic development within the last twenty years, and this has definately pushed aside the spiritual culture within the society and has allowed materialism to set in strongly. Even amongst devotees I can observe how people's main focus lies on material progress and advancement: professional career, earning high salaries, material comfort and convenience - in short: striving for material satisfaction. It is still all very new and glossy for everyone here in India! Maybe it will take another generation for a few people to understand, that material progress will not give satisfaction to the soul......
It was a great pleasure and honor for me to be received here as a preacher. Visiting Juhu temple reminded me of a visit to Dvaraka: so majestic and royal - full of oppulence, awe and reverance!
Prabhupada struggled so much in order to establish this project - it must be especially dear to him! He used to call it his office.....
We churned deep and transformational topics in a nice group of serious devotees over 15 hours - the entire Saturday, Sunday and concluding on Tuesday evening. The atmosphere was very warm and personal, and during the break we sat down together and took our lunch prasadam.
One of Krsna's general traffic rules is for the men to be in the front, and the ladies in the back. Of course, needless to say, any traffic rule also has exceptions.
There are three very good reasons why Krsna is giving us this traffic rule. Reason number one is that men are agitated through the eyes (women through the ears), and if the ladies are in the back, the men will get less distracted. Very simple. This is even more relevant in the modern days, where we ladies have lost our shyness and are not in the habit of dressing in such a chaste way, often not covering our head, etc. The second good reason is, that if the men are in the front, it will encourage them to perform their purifying duty of taking charge. And the third reason is that if we ladies are in the background, it will encourage us to accept the subordinate position, since only then we can be the auspicious source of energy and inspiration to men. So Krsna has His good reasons for giving us certain traffic rules. We have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that our modern men-made traffic rules are better than Krsna's! That is actually atheism.
Infact, it can even be seen as a blessing to be more in the background, since it gives us an impetus to connect with Srila Prabhupada on deeper levels.
In the afternoon of the 5th I left Juhu to yet embark on an unexpected adventure....
Your servant, Devaki dd