From there I made my way to Loi Bazar to purchase a nice set of Radha Krsna festival Deities for the Kharkov devotees in Ukraine. We had discussed with the senior devotees of the yatra that it would enhance our festivals of Janmastami and Radhastami if we had festival Deities, and we could even introduce Jhulan Yatra and swing the Deities every evening for four days - another reason for devotees to come together in kirtan and giving pleasure to the Lord.
And indeed Krsna was reciprocating with my desire and sent very beautiful Deities along my way which I felt would be just right for our Kharkov devotees to increase the flow of bhakti coming from their hearts.....
On the 16th of October I embarked on a preaching tour around India - for the first time. I was scheduled to give the course "Women in Spiritual Culture" in several yatras, and Ujjain was my first destination. HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja had welcomed me to visit his temple, and I was excited to explore a new preaching field.
I flew to Indore and was received by Yamuna Priya Mataji, wife of one of the Co-Presidents. We immediately connected well and revealed our minds by sharing views and experiences. She had spent several years with her husband at Bhaktivedanta Manor in England and thus has a broad experience of life within ISKCON.
On my arrival at the Ujjain temple I settled into a comfortable room in the ISKCON Guest House, and Yamuna Priya Mataji was eager to take care of me and see to all my needs.
The temple complex is practical and yet very attractive, and the mood is very sweet and devotional. Beautiful Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohan, Krsna Balarama and Gaur Nitai are the Lords of the abode. I could immediately perceive that Maharaja is spending considerable time here in order to give training and association to the devotees. Also now, on my arrival he was here, undergoing Ayurvedic treatments.
We moved on to a temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva - where He had washed His hands after killing Hiranyakasipu. The Deity of Lord Nrsimhadev is self-manifested and cannot be moved.
We also visited one of the main 84 Siva temples within India. I was allowed to enter, and we had to go through long corridors in a slowly moving queue underneath the ground, until we finally came to the place of the Siva linga, where many Siva bhaktas took darshan and offered their worship with milk, flowers and other items. It was quite an intense mood, and guards were ushering us to move on in order to allow others to get into the narrow puja area. I was reminded of my visit to Tirupati a couple of years ago....
Yamuna Priya Mataji described it as the most amazing course she had ever participated in....
On Saturday the 25th I went to Indore for two days - the devotees had arranged some house programs. I was welcomed by a very nice grhastha family with two teenage children, who also hosted the programs. Many eager devotees and guests assembled on both evenings, and I discussed the topic of death, giving the urgency for developing our relationship with Krsna through chanting His holy name in a deep and attentive way. We spent a wonderful time together, and the devotees were very enthusiastic and inquisitive, and requesting me to visit again soon.
I returned to Ujjain in the early morning of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance and joined the program there. Devotees invited me to also speak something for Prabhupada's glorification, and in the afternoon I offered Prabhupada Katha in HH Bhakti Charu Swami's quarters, focussing on the deeper meaning of Prabhupada being the Founder Acarya. In the evening we had a nice ceremony of offering lamps to Srila Prabhupada, and I was invited to lead the Damodarastaka.
On the following two evenings I offered a little seminar on deepening our relationship with the holy name. Once again, this discussion was eye-opening to the participating devotees.....
When ringing my mother I got to know that she was in very bad condition, suffering under a heavy virus which had affected her lungs and voice. It almost seemed like she was heading towards leaving her body, and I was contemplating to cancel my further travels and immediately fly back to Germany to be with her. So I rang her every single day, trying to assess whether she was getting better or worse. And finally she managed to overcome her serious condition and gradually get better, after taking strong antibiotics.
She felt very encouraged and reassured about the fact that I was ready to cancel my plans to be with her. She laughingly exclaimed: "But we don't want you to come for nother - what about if I get better again, and you are coming all the way....!"
On the 30th of October I flew on to Coimbatore in South India.....
Your servant, Devaki dd