After Los Angeles I made my first trip to Mexico City. In 1990-91 I lived in San Diego and served BTG as managing editor. Mexico was just a short drive over the border and I had a desire to visit, but I never made it there. I had applied for a green card and couldn’t leave the country.

This year HH Guru Prasada Swami invited me and the devotees sent me a ticket. So right after the LA Prabhupada Festival I made the 3 hrs. flight to one of the biggest, and reputedly, most polluted cities in the world.

Mexico City is a humungous place, about 25 millions in the greater area. Its 7,500 feet above sea level also. Its fairly well developed though, the roads are a bit rough in places but not worse than New York.

 The temple here is very nice. It was formerly the Ethiopian embassy and the devotees got it in 1971. Srila Prabhupada visited here twice, so its a real tirtha. They have 4′ Radha Madan Gopal, 2′ Gaura Nitai, half-life size Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, and 3′ Jagannatha deities in a separate side temple room. The main temple room has a very high dome which lets in natural light, so its perfect for a temple. They also have a small restaurant within the temple building and it is well patronized. There isn’t much facility though for devotees to live at the temple and I stayed in a flat two blocks away which one of the grhastha couples graciously vacated for my visit.

 Guru Prasada Swami received me and looked after all my needs during my stay. The first evening’s program was well attended with over 100 devotees. Even so, because it was mid-week there were fewer devotees coming than at the weekends.

Unfortunately I had a major problem with my knee and back. My back completely stiffened up and Maharaja called for chiropractor to come and treat me on the first night. He was good, but I didn’t get much relief. He told me that my sciatic nerve is the problem. I could hardly bend over and standing made my back really stiff. He also said my kidneys were swollen because I don’t drink enough water and my whole nervous system is too tensed up. It loomed as a real problem considering this was just the beginning of the tour. GP Maharaja arranged for me to have some accupuncture treatment on the first afternoon and it gave me some relief. 

Despite my physical problems, I was able to go with Maharaja and a small group of devotees by road about 1.5 hrs. out to a place called Tulansinga where there is a small preaching center with beautiful little temple. The special feature is Srila Prabhupada’s original vyasasana which they have preserved even with the original fabric.

The town is 9,000 feet above sea level. On the way there we stopped off at some huge pyramids. They are the biggest outside of Egypt and are about 2,000 yrs. old. The complex is huge, stretching several kilometers from the first to the last pyramid. There are two big ones dedicated to the sun and the moon, and a smaller one to the snake god. We attempted to climb the main one, but I only got half way up and couldn’t do the rest. Maharaja and the others made it all the way to the top. There are thousands of tourists that go there everyday and while we were sight seeing one of the brahmacaris sold about 20 books to the tourists.

 We had a nice program in Tulansinga. Our hosts cooked a huge authentic Mexican feast with different kinds of tortillas, cactus subjis, hot tamale etc. It was pretty good, but, (I didn’t tell this to our hosts!) not as good as a Gujarati or Bengali spread. I spoke in the evening to about 50 devotees and the next morning to about a dozen. The topic was prasadam and they really loved it (both-the topic and the prasadam).

Actually Mexico wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I liked it because Mexico city is so earth-quake prone that they don’t build many high rises and skyscrapers, so the city has a very open aspect and you feel like you are in more country-town kind of environ than a massive over-populated megalopolis.

Back in Mexico each evening about 80-100 devotees gathered to hear my SPLB talks. Everything of course had to be translated into Spanish, no easy task but well executed by Mahajan dasa. Devotees were enlivened to receive the concentrated Prabhupada nectar and I was enlivened to deliver it. Topics covered were Chanting, Prasadam and Writing. I have an open invitation to visit again, and maybe next year I might visit the whole Central American yatra.

 I left Mexico on the last day of the month to fly to Alachua via Los Angeles and Charlotte. A full day and night of traveling, which is the downside of these tours, especially when you have a bad back.

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