I was invited to the small city of Uberaba, in the state of Minas Gerais, to give a weekend 12h course on the Bhagavad-gita, on the 15th and 16th of October.
Uberaba is a peculiar city. I’ve never been in a place before where I’ve been so repeatedly told by the residents how terrible the place is for cultivating higher consciousness. Just about everyone I met there, on different and seperate occasions, would spontaneously tell me this! And I must confess I did also perceive a rather “heavy” mood to the place. Uberaba, amongst other things, is famous as national center for cow slaughter, as well as beer drinking and country music – I’m thinking this has something to do with it! The picture above of the city’s cathedral catches some of this mood.
There is one lone and brave devotee, Yadunatha Das (pictured above next to me), who fixes motors for a living, who tries to keep alive the flame of Krishna consciousness in the city. He is very, very humble and sincere. With the help of only two fixed congregational members, a steel worker and an electrician, they payed for all my travel and lodging expenses and offered the course to the public free of charge. Charging, they all agreed, would be hopeless given the city’s apathy for all things spiritual and uplifting.
Despite all these obstacles we had a group of 10 people, who very attentively heard the necterean teachings of the Gita and highlights of Srila Prabhupada’s brilliant commentary.
We also had a small Sunday Program, with two new guests and some of the guests from the Gita course. We had a lively questions and answers section that went for about an hour. They showed a lot of eagerness in hearing more and more!
Some of the participants sent me some nice feedback, which I post below:
“Thank you for all the instructions and wisdom that you gave us these days. These were very auspicious days… Who knows, maybe the consciousness of this city is changing, and perhaps expanding, as the seeds have been sown.” – Marluce
“Thanks again for all the lessons, good will, love of God and your example. Now I will try harder to change my habits and my mind.” – Fernanda
“For starters I want to thank you for the joy of having participated in the course over the weekend. Benefiting from it all brought me immense joy. The words in our vocabulary cannot clearly express what I felt … Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” -Telma