Porto Alegre 2 – Gita, Mantras from the Center of the Universe, Book Fair

On Sunday I gave class a Gita class (10.9) at the local restaurant/temple complex, where Their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, and Gaura-Nitai live. At the request of the devotees and leaders, a large portion of the class was dedicated to sharing with them the latest teachings of Srila Hridayananda das Goswami Acharyadeva.

The restaurant/temple attracts about 100 people a day. On top of that, they have a snack bar (burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, samosas, sweets, etc.), that attracts maybe another 100 a day. It’s located in a strategic area, near the city park and on the street that holds a famous handicraft fair and farmer’s market every Sunday. The temple is on the second floor.

In the last years, the entire preaching in the city pretty much centered around this restaurant/snack bar, where Lila Prabhu interacts with the customers. He’s not hidden away in the kitchen or some office, but right there behind the counter! He’s the pioneer and leader of KC in this state and continues to attract excellent devotees to the Movement, due to his mild and charming manner, good intelligence and loving devotion to Krishna and Prabhupada.

He’s just there, available to all, 6 days a week, pretty much all day long. He quickly strikes up a conversation, engages people in talking about themselves and is able to talk on any subject, be it different philosophers, religions, ideas, etc., never trying to push KC, but just presenting it in the course of the friendly exchanges. The maha-prasadam is cheap and good. The friendship and chat are great. A simple winning formula! I was really impressed with how many smart and enthusiastic devotees had joined there, just as a result of this one preaching technique!

On Monday we had a program in Lila Das Prabhu’s home, in a nearby city, Cachoeirinha. I did my “Mantras from the Center of the Universe” workshop. The devotees really loved it – this is a fairly new workshop but it´s turning out to be very popular.

On Tuesday I gave a lecture at the 54th Porto Alegre Book Fair, in a beautiful cultural center, converted from an early 20th century bank. Huge marble halls, stained glass, art exhibits, etc. I did an 80 minute lecture on the Yoga Sutra. Afterwards, I had a book singing session for 30 minutes.

Overall, it was just a wonderful trip in all regards. I thank Krisna and Prabhupada for the opportunity, association and service.


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