Swami Tripurari arrived in North Carolina and began his programs in Sandy Ridge at the home of Karnamrita and Arcana-siddhi, who seven years ago first invited him to the state. The welcome was exceptionally warm. Seven years of teaching has not gone in vain. The morning and evening programs in Sandy Ridge, which would continue for the entire week throughout the state, were well attended, and Swami Tripurari remarked that his visit felt more like a homecoming. In Sandy Ridge, Swami spoke on the spirit of the contribution of Sri Jiva Goswami with lucid examples of how our successive acaryas, while differing in the form of their outreach, continued in the same essential spirit that we must embrace to live an experiential spiritual life.
From Sandy Ridge the party went to Winston-Salem, where we were hosted by Dulal Candra and Bhakti-rasa. As with the programs in Sandy Ridge, many devotees from various sects attended with the addition of many seekers unfamiliar with Gaudiya-siddhanta. A mixed audience is a challenge. As Swami often says, “Too high for some; too low for others.” As it turned out, it was more than enough for everyone. Swami wove between notions of cutting-edge modern science, environmental wisdom, and deep Gaudiya philosophy, and the spellbound audience burst into spontaneous applause as Swami’s discourse came to a close.
From Winston-Salem, Swami proceeded to Hillsboro and the home of Gaurangi-priya and Madan Gopala. Devotees packed the meeting facility morning and evening for three days to hear Swami speak on Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja’s explanation of his opening words to Sri Caitanya-caritamrita: vande gurun. As with all of Swami’s talks during this tour, his lectures were interspersed with interjections of spontaneous kirtana lead by Agnideva, who thereby assisted the devotees in expressing their emotional response through song that corresponded with the philosophical points Swami raised. The guru-tattva discussions concluded with the initiation of several devotees and that evening Swami spoke at Madhava dasa’s home to an interfaith audience.
After the programs, Swami spent three days viewing properties near Asheville in the western part of the state. His plan to begin a sustainable spiritual community there, which was hatched seven years ago in Karnamrita and Arcana-siddhi’s home, now has overwhelming support. A beautiful property has been located and Sri Caitanya Sangha is negotiating to purchase it.