by Galina Ermolina
May 15 2004
Near Moscow, Russia
Baba Virsa Singh’s long-awaited return visit to Russia has begun.
The reception at the airport was conducted in the customary Russian style with a bread-and-salt welcome, The symbolic gift of bread represents hospitality, and of salt, a lasting friendship. There were children in Russian folk dresses and people sang traditional songs. The welcome ceremony was emotionally heartwarming. All in attendance, both hosts and honored guests, were very touched; some had tears in their eyes.
A group of twenty of Maharaji’s devotees came with Him. From the first moment Maharaji stepped on Russian soil He felt quite at home. On the way to the place of His residence, while passing the old, historical parts of Moscow, he said to his devotees that he felt as if He is back home.
The delegation is in residence at facilities on the Istra River, in wonderful, scenic surroundings.
After Maharaji and all the team were settled, He greeted the Russian friends and expressed His joy to be in Russia. He said that He felt as if He was among his own family.
On May 13 there was a press conference at the prestigious House of Journalists. Babaji was introduced by the leaders of the International Organization for Peace through Culture and also by the famous singer and television personality, Andrei Makarevich. More than thirty mass media representatives attended, including officials from four television stations, many radio stations, and numerous print publications. There were many more who wished to attend, but did not get a chance to be present at the conference.
The next day Maharaji met with Russian people who had been waiting for this visit for years. Maharaji spoke on the importance of awakening the Holy Spirit in each individual.
May 14 was devoted to meditation and it was really very inspiring. A well-known singer and composer, Boris Grebenshikov, came for the program and lovingly sat at Babaji’s feet.
Some groups of people had a chance to have a private audience with Maharaji. Babaji said that Russia was blessed.