In January we receive bad news. Sucirani has cancer, an aggressive kind, which the doctors say is incurable. She is given one year.We are all in shock.

Since we moved here only six months ago with all good intentions, how could such a disaster occur in the life of someone so vibrant and essential to us? Uncertainty enters our thoughts.

Friends visit and offer support.

Elderly Saranagati arrives from Vrindavana. Her presence is calming. She's caring, philosophical and ready to support Suci during the turbulence caused by this news.

Kunja Kishori from Christchurch New Zealand also wants to offer her help. [Seen above with Suci and Lalita] Kunja helps with cooking and also works outside in the garden.

Kunja kindly repaired our front pond and also repaired the small indoor pond under the stairs. She removed the dusty plasticflowers and surrounded the pool with attractive potted foliage. Then we had a small boat festival to celebrate.

Sucirani's son Ananda Tirtha arrives

He will stay for some time to support his mother.

He also helps a lot around the property.

Ananda's support is comforting to his mother and keeps things on track .

Sucirani's parents visit regularly and assist her to explore different health cures.


Meanwhile life goes on - and - midyear brings good news

Pharyn is ready for initiation.

Pharyn first met devotees when she and her friend, Rachel, were sixteen. Thereafter they participated in a blend of devotional activities, whilst maintaining their youthful sportive tendencies. By 1999 Pharyn had decided to focus on spiritual life and moved next door to the temple to begin a new phase.

Chanting slowly replaced youthful activities and travel. Philosophy became more relevant.

By 2003 she had become a real part of both the temple community and Gopinatha Dham. Now Pharyn is ready to be accepted for initiation. There's a family mood of satisfaction when she receives her new name - PALIKA DEVI DASI

 Birthday fun

Receiving her neckbeads 

"you will have to grow into your name"


Paving the way

The area around the newly built extension requires paving. Our budget is meagre so second hand pavers are our only option. That means good solid hard work.

All hands are required for this plan of action. It 's a team effort and a month of hard labor !!

Palika's good at lifting them


Yadav shifts them out


Jaya Gurupada unloads


Linda and Ananda lay pavers


By the end of the month we all knew how to lay pavers. Somehow we'd completed the front driveway, path and parking areas.

Ananda, Jaya Gurupada, Sri Radha Raman -quite a team



Children's visit to Gopinatha dham


Candrasekhara brings some of the community's children to meet Gopinatha.

They visit for kirtan, picnic and walk in the park.

First they meet Gopinatha.

He's small
Come closer

Sri Radha Raman takes the children to see the dioramas





By September it's becoming quite clear. Nothing is working. Suci is beginning to understand the gravity of her situation. As health declines discomfort increases.

A healthy person with a great amount of energy cannot suddenly face the reality of death when it knocks on the door of life and demands a final payment. Even a person with faith will find their faith seriously challenged by the finality of dying.

Even a person with spiritual knowledge cannot always apply the philosophy under such stress.

Thus it is not surprising that fear of death lives in the heart of anyone sensitive to its meaning .

Without knowing what to do next we sought direction. Then word came from His Holiness Sridhara Swami - "If you want to go to Brazil and try a faith - healing, I will be ready to help. But you have to get to Brazil in a week."

We thought carefully and bought round - the - world tickets within an hour. Leaving tomorrow night.

After serious consideration Sucirani and Jagattarini decided to set off on a journey meant for healing faith.


Palika gave Sucirani this small book. She wanted

us to ask devotees to write words of encouragment for Suci wherever we went. By the time

she left this world, Suci's book was almost full of affection and appreciation expressed

for this sincere devotee...

Farewells from family and Gopinatha dham

We have Gopinatha in a locket around our neck.

Now our challenge is to depend on HIM.

But isnt that our challenge always?