Pastimes of Srila Gour Govinda; The Canal on the Road to Balasore;
It was early spring, and we were travelling on a rented bus to Balasore, there to catch the train to Mayapura for the Gaura Purnima festival. It was very hot! There were the sankirtana men from New York, including Vaisesika, Brahma Bhuta, Praghosa, and about seven others, as well as Bhubaneswara devotees such as Srila Gour Govinda and Bhagavata dasa, Lagudi, Vaisnava dasa, and me as their pet nonstop japa-chanting servant.
There, to the right side, was a narrow irrigation ditch dug in the reddish native Ooriyan earth and sand, totally flooded to the brim with cold, almost clear, water, flowing quickly! It was at least 115 F that day. The dust settled slowly in the sun and heat as we turned aside and stopped, and shortly climbed out, and soon, we were so many orange-ish bundles of cloth and brahmacary floating down the narrow but lovely artificial canal !
It was most comical and fun to see the cowherd boys boldy leap into the cooling waters. Refreshed-looking grateful and happy souls emerged, after their dips. The swim was so cooling and quite delightful, being unexpected.
Maharajah took his thrice daily bath with a bucket, and after a few more cool moments, maybe a second sail, tilak, we set off again all refreshed, chanting japa all the way.