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A rare adventure loomed, with twenty Irish pilgrims off to India – our destination, Mayapur, West Bengal. Our first stop in India was Vrindavan, the birth place of Lord Krishna.

It was an emersion in devotion, and often literally so in sacred rivers. Vrindavan is a town of saintly folk, temples, and chanting. So, we prayed, chanted, and prostrated ourselves from morning ‘til night. And then by plane to Calcutta, a train to Krishnanagar, bus to the Ganges (on the roof), a boat to Navadvip, and by foot to Mayapur, nestled in the middle of no where – yet teeming with pilgrims.

I was soon enjoying the grim delights of dysentery, nestled as I was in a room for six but inhabited by twenty. The night before the celebration of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the event we had travelled so far to observe, I went to bed aware that the temple opened at 3am. I awoke at 7am to an empty room.

How had I not heard the clamber of 20 Irish chaps arise, bathe and dress? I jumped up, showered, and raced to the temple to find it practically deserted and decorated with tired flower garlands. I rushed outside and asked the first person I saw where everyone was. He told me they were having the feast. “But it’s a fast day”, I cried. He reassured me that that was yesterday.

Indeed, I had travelled all the way to Mayapur only to sleep right through the festival day and beyond, over 36 hours.

Lord, I dash around with plans and schemes I think are great, but which sometimes go wrong. Although I have no control over my future I will take credit for any good result, which actually comes by your grace. Please help me to wake up. Hare Krishna.

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