June 20, 1995
By Indradyumna Swami
Today we ﬂew from Siberia to Chelyabinsk in central Russia. The devotee who drove us to the airport late in the night was speeding and taking risks by weaving in and out of the traffic. He was breaking one of my cardinal rules to my disciples: to drive safely and cautiously under all circumstances. We never think about how dangerous it is to ride in a moving vehicle. Even if we are driving carefully, there are always many people on the road who are not.
Therefore, I forbid my disciples to chant japa, eat, or engage in extended conversations while driving. They should concentrate on the road as their immediate devotional service and observe the speed limit. And if they get tired, they should pull over and take some rest. Although I asked the devotee several times to slow down and take it easy, he didn’t heed my instructions. We arrived at the airport on time, but I was counting my blessings.
We had an evening program in Chelyabinsk in a rented hall. I was exhausted from the travel but tried to remain fresh and alert because I knew many of my disciples were seeing me for the one and only time this year. As Krsna’s representative, I had to speak and present the Absolute Truth to insure their faith in guru and Krsna and give them strength for the many months that we would be separated. There was no time for being tired. We had kirtana, and Govinda Maharaja and I spoke. I lectured for more than an hour, elaborating on Srila Prabhupada’s perfect formula for expanding this movement:
“Preaching is the essence, books are the basis, utility is the principle, and purity is the force.”