By Hari Narayana Das
The picturesque view of Negara results from a combination of the mountains, the sea with its black sands beaches lined with coconut trees and vast expanses of rice fields in between the two. The landscape is dotted with Balinese Hindu temples as well as mosques and people generally tend to carry a warm attitude. It was in 2011, during a visit to Negara, Srimat Subhag Swami expressed his feelings that a preaching centre there would be very beneficial for the devotees. Gadadhar pabhu and his family members, all initiated disciples of Srimat Subhag Swami, took it a bit seriously and immediately Mother Sureshwari came forward and offered her family land for the new ashram and dedicate it to Srila Prabhupada. Although in her late sixties and struggling with failing eyesight, Mother Sureshwari is more active than most of the younger devotees in Negara. She looks after melon farms which are spread out for hectares upon hectares and the harvested ripe melons gets transported to many parts of Indonesia. Then there are rice fields, banana plantations, tulasi and flower gardens which she looks after and above all she cooks the best prasadam for Gaura Nitai and of course, for the devotees. Almost two years back she completely lost her eyesight and doctors expressed her inability to cure her, she kept crying and when Gadadhar Prabhu went to console her, she revealed a nice prayer. She was praying to her family deities, Gaura Nitai, that … ‘my dear lord, my only means to render some service to the devotees is by cooking some prasadam for them and now that I am unable see I will no longer be able to serve your devotees anymore.’ Within a short time, to the utter amazement of the doctors, she could see again and ever since she hasn’t slowed down in her service for her deities and the devotees.