June 16, 1995
By Indradyumna Swami
I awoke exhausted with a bad headache and didn’t know how I was going to do any service today. I considered taking some aspirin. I don’t generally do it, unless my headache is really bad, so after a little reﬂection I decided not to. But all I could do was lie in bed.
Sri Prahlada brought me some juice. I drank it, but complained to him that the juice tasted terrible and he should be more selective in what juices he gives me. There are some horrific brands on the market in Russia. On the way to an initiation ceremony I was to do in Almaty that morning, I mentioned to Sri Prahlada that I felt better, but a little groggy. He smiled and said that he had put aspirin in my juice because he couldn’t stand to see me suffering. He knew I had a big day ahead of me. When I realized that was why the juice had tasted so bad, we started laughing together uncontrollably.
The initiation ceremony was held in a public park. It appeared we might have to cancel it due to rain, but the skies cleared long enough to have the four-hour program. As soon as we finished, it showered again. I initiated a girl, Vrnda devi dasi, who has a severe heart problem and may not live much longer.
Immediately after the initiation, I went for a television interview with Govinda Maharaja. We spoke for about twenty minutes on national television to an audience estimated at one million.
After the interview we held a public program. As in Bishkek, Govinda Maharaja had me give the talk, and then we answered the questions together for more than an hour.
This evening we were entertained again by the Almaty gurukula’s bhajanas and dances. I could easily understand how in Vedic culture, families in villages would come together for such evening programs after a hard day’s work. The mind is stimulated to higher thoughts, and the soul is enlivened. Nowadays, families gather in front of the television to watch horrible programs that do their thinking for them and pollute their hearts.
Before taking rest I went on checked my e-mail and received news from Moscow that an FSK agent, who had been planted in a temple, had became a real devotee through association. He admitted he had been placed in the temple to oversee our activities, but the life and philosophy of the movement had changed him. The day after he made his confession, there was an attempt to assassinate him, no doubt by the FSK. He’s in the hospital but more determined than ever to become a devotee.
He confirmed our suspicion that a crackdown on our movement is coming, although he said there are definitely people in important positions within the government who support us. I sometimes wonder if the FSK would make an attempt on the life of a foreign preacher like me or arrange for an “accident.” It’s certainly not impossible and is a sobering thought. But they should take into consideration the following verse from the Sri Nrsimha Kavaca of the Brahma Samhita: Trailokyavijaya:
Ugram viram maha visnum jvalantam sarvato-mukham nrsimham bhisanam bhadram mrty-mrtyum namamy aham
“I bow down before the all-powerful, frightening, auspicious, sublimely ferocious Lord Nrsimha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, who burns like fire, whose faces are everywhere, and who is the death of death.”
I also heard that as part of the World Children’ s Day celebration in Moscow’s Red Square, the devotees brought a two-ton cake to feed the city’s hungry children who were attending the celebration. Many important groups and dignitaries were there, and we received favorable coverage on television and in the newspapers. Top officials from the Russian Orthodox Church were invited, but many refused to come when they heard the Hare Krsnas were going to be there. When those who did come saw the cake, they declared that the whole function had become polluted.