Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Jayatah
Vol E-20

When his secretary tried to surprise him with the purchase of a new glucose checking device. Srila Govinda Maharaj was a bit displeased because he already had two such devices. He proclaimed, "Nothing in this world can surprise me, except the fact that they are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra in China. That surprises me."

ature vyasane prapte
durbhikshe shatru-sankate
rajadvare smashane ca
yas tisthati sa bandhavah

"That person who is bound to us in all circumstances, when we are in trouble, when we find happiness, during famine and feast, when we are in a palace and when we are being burnt in the crematorium, the one who is always with us is a true friend."
For years I have heard this description of a true friend from Srila Gurudev. He considers Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu, Seva Vikram to be a true friend of his and our Mission and I am so fortunate that they both count me as their friend, though I know I am only their servant. Here Sripad Yudhyamanyu Prabhu presents Srila Gurudev with gifts from the Chinese students.

parimala vasita bhuvanam
giridhara-carana-bhojam kah
khalu rasikah samihate hatum

"Sri Krishna, having filled the world with the sweet aroma of his lotus feet, and having intoxicated his devotees with the madness of his rasa, is the only refuge for those devotees always seeking the aroma of that rasa. Who in their right mind would try to give up the nectar of that rasa?"
While comtemplating the situation of the devotees and Mission of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, this verse, which was composed by Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami came to his lips.

dharah projjhita-kaitavo'tra paramo
nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra shivadam
srimad-bhagavate mahamuni-krite
kim va parair ishvarah
sadyo hridyavarudhyate' tra kritibhih
shushushubhis tat kshanat

"Dharma‑projjhita‑kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmat­saranam satam (the religion of the Srimad‑Bhagavatam is free from the deceptions of the four ends of humanity, and it is the religion of the true saints). Nirmatsara means 'an impartial mentality,' and matsara refers to the jealous. 'So far, I have given advices to that particular section which is not free from egoistic thinking. I have dealt with them. But now I shall deal with the normal-­thinking - the good‑hearted people. I shall now advise them.' Because it will be difficult to dissuade the people from the path taught by you, I have therefore come to you. Only through you can the higher, developed con­ception be given to them. This is the only way."
Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj.

This verse of the Srimad Bhagavatam is the constant theme of his message of Srila Gurudev and his Mission and he is showing the living example of these high principles. By his grace and the incomparable, tireless work of Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu, this conception has now piereed the Great Wall of China.

tadejati tan naijati
tad dure tadvantike
tad antarasya sarvasya
tad u sarvasyasya bayatah

This verse of the Ishopanishad gives us the hint how to find the Supreme Lord and Srila Gurudev used this to explain the Search for Sri Krishna, while he was in Soquel.

"The Lord is moving very swiftly and at the same time he is very still. He is very near to us and at the same time he is very far from us. He is within everything and he is outside of everything."

Srila Govinda Maharaj explained that there is no contradiction in this verse. He is moving, but it is not necessary to run after him. In that way, we cannot catch him. We have to have the guidance and service of a his devotee, then he will wait for us. He is near, but we can't feel him on our own, so although near, he remains far from us, without the connection of a Vaishnava. He is within everything and his presence will be detected when we have devotion, otherwise, he is undetectable to our ordinary eye.

Fortunately for us, he was near and arranged for the meeting of Srimati Durga Madala M.D., just when it was necessary to recuperate the health of his dear one, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. We may try to give all credit to Krishna, and he deserves it, but he is always sending it back to us and that is the unlimited good fortune of Doctor Madala. We are all indebted to her.

As the mercury drops to -16 Celsius in Moscow, we are happy to remember the wonderful and incredibly long, recent visit to California by our illustrious Acharya, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj and we are definitely "California Dreamin"