Padayatra America Report 8/1
Posted August 5, 2003
June 29, 2003
Sunday afternoon Mrs. Lee returns from Iowa (visiting family). We have been here at her small farm 1 1/2 miles off of route 522 @ SR 605 for a few days now with her mother (Ruby); sister (Judy) and husband (John). In honor of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura we prepared a feast, and when Mrs. Lee returned we distributed prasadam and everyone was fully satisfied. Mrs. Judy even took some home for her family.
Temperature 95 degrees....poison ivy everywhere. Candrabhaga is afflicted pretty badly. She has some realization about austerity, surrender, dependence of Krsna; at the same time her conditional state has to fight against the "austerities" of the program as she said.....this body is a bad bargain, as far as able to, tolerate the so called uncomforts of living in Padayatra.
"This is the worst case of poison ivy I've ever had, and it was unavoidable because on the road we use the forest for everything - shelter, bathroom, shower, hitch horses, etc. So without knowing it, I kept coming in contact with it. Especially in the west, we may have the tendency to take for granted the many facilities the temples have to offer which are provided to be peaceful to the community, serve the spiritual master. Even with two years training of simple living - no electricity, running water or bathroom - I am seeing how intense, that the program itself forces you to be at the mercy of the elements (so to speak) and dependent on Krsna. As conditioned souls (especially in female body) we have the tendency to depend on comfort, but out here devotional service and preaching must go on, no matter what the circumstances are."
This is not new, the senior Vaisnavas we have been working with have agreed and expressed concern that the program is austere and is not easy for matajis. My Guru Maharaj has been very merciful towards Candrabhaga d. giving blessings and praising her determination and desire to assist in this mission. She is a humble devotee, when I hear her talk about her limitations and women in general without being attached to the false designation of being a "man" or "woman" it makes me feel respectful towards her. She is looking inside; otherwise she would not be able to say these things. Mosquitoes - flies - poison ivy - showers with bucket (no hot water until the afternoon when it's 90 degrees) - tons of service - no privacy; and still she loves to be here.
She gets nectar by serving Guru and Gauranga. She assists me in every
department....with cooking, offerings, preaching, secretary work, with the
horses and wagon. She sleeps little in comparison to what she needs. I just
pray to Jahnavi devi to bless the sincerity of Candrabhaga d. and help her
desire to enter in a steady life of Padayatra.