We have left Puri and are now at the Bubanshwar airport. We are quite sad to have left Puri. We fell in love with it more than we ever expected. Puri is actually quite a small conservative and cast conscious town. The other day when I was at the beach I changed my gumcha and had my brahminical thread wrapped around my ear when a local gentleman asked me in a kind of amused tone if I was a brahmin. I said yes and he eventually said something like good or ok.
I unfortunately missed the preaching opportunity of telling him the verse from the Gita "catur varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah" etc., namely that we are brahmin, ksatriya etc. by karma and guna, i.e. by the particular mode of nature we are situated in and by our practical engagement. Krishna never says by 'janma' or by birth.
Varshana Kishori mataji is typing this on the airport's free computer. When we left Puri the waves of the Indian Ocean were even higher than when we arrived. It is almost impossible to take a bath now. Yesterday all roads into the centre of Puri were closed because it was the last day of Laxmi Puja. There was live music and a procession through town. It was almost impossible to get a rickshaw, however, we managed to find our way to the Grand Restaurant for our last meal in Puri.
Samir got very much attached to taking darshan of Lord Jagannath. We all will miss our japa walks along the beautiful beach of Puri, where the wind blows so gently and where the waves crush unto the sea shore with a thundering noise spreading a fine salty spray everywhere. O Purusottama Ksetra we love you dearly and hope to be back some time in the future. Please grant us this desire. We pray to Lord Jagannatha for all those who asked us to pray for. Please be merciful to Your devotees so they can always remember Your lotus feet. Please give your full protection to all of them!