Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On the train from the Ukraine border to Kiev

Notes on Niranjana Swami (lecture#4 on the best of Niranjana Swami CD)
Apparently Reagan was one of the candidates for president while Prabhupada was present, and when Prabhupada heard that a movie actor with no political training was running for the office of the U.S. President, he found it very hard to believe.
There is only one political party in the universal government, the servants of the Supreme Lord. Because the universal government is actually qualified, the suffering of the people is due to their own sinful activities. Persons are meant to perform sacrifice to please the Supreme Lord, and when they do not do that, there are so many anomalies (Bg. 3.9-16).

I see some cows out the window of the train, grazing in back of some houses. Cows were always special, but as devotees we remember their connection to Krishna and it makes them even more special. There are also small plots of vegetables as well. The trees vary from green, to yellow, and to orange in this autumn season. It is a peaceful, rural scene.
This is the first unheated train I have been on recently. The other Russian and Ukrainian trains were sometimes even too hot. I pointed to the radiator and said to the conductor lady, zimno, the Polish word for cold, hoping it bares some resemblance to the Ukrainian or Russian words for cold and is thus understandable. The first lady didn't help me, but the second escorted me to berth X, which has a working heater. A nice feature of the Ukrainian and Russian trains is that the 1 st class compartments have a 220-volt outlet to plug in electric shavers, which can be used for computers. I am not sure how authorized it is so I keep the door locked and cover the computer with a jacket when I use the bathroom. It is only $15 from Chop, the border of Ukraine, 16 hours to Kiev. I hope to get completely caught up on my journal, so I can meditate on serving Niranjana Swami, who connected me to this Krishna consciousness movement 27 years ago, and who arrives in Kiev today by plane.
The Kiev devotees kindly picked me up at the train station. By Krishna's grace, they were waiting in front of my wagon (as they call them in Ukraine) as I stepped out of the train. The driver of our car kindly stopped at his house on the way to the temple and gave me some new shoes to make up for the ones I lost on the Hungarian train, and some socks to go with them as well. That was so thoughtful of him. The devotees gave me a nice big plate of prasadam, which was refreshing after eating bread on the train for two days, especially since the next day was a fast day, Ekadasi. I am relieved to be back at the Kiev temple in the care of such friendly devotees for my fourth visit.