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Following Srila Prabhupada _ DVD 204

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At this time, there was what Prabhupada considered to be the minimization of the spiritual master, by the leaders. Mostly from myself. I was the most infected with this I'd say jealousy of the spiritual master. At this visit to Los Angeles, things were going wrong. From ISKCON press, which I was in charge of. The books were printed, Prabhupada's title was not properly put it was just AC. Bhaktivedanta Swami, "His Divine Grace" had been left out. And even one book, one of the Bhagavatam chapters just had AC. Bhaktivedanta - even the "Swami" was removed. I presented Prabhupada a book from ISKCON press from Boston that we printed, and he opened the book. And the binding just snapped right off. And this was in the temple, when the formal presentation was made. When he went into the temple, and he took the caranamrita, and then he stopped and said, "It is salt". Then on the altar, they placed the acharya photos, I think it was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's photo, which was placed upside down. To cure me of my disobedience and jealousy, Prabhupada ordered me to take sannyasa. And that sannyasa would be a cure, because I had to give up all my position. I was in charge of the press and New York temple, I mean, that had to all be given up. Sannyasa is a purification. I had no choice in the matter. Prabhupada just came down the stairs and just stood over me as I was bowing down and said "Tridandi Goswami Brahmananda Swami", and then walked out. When we would come back through the alley, we would stop and right beneath Prabhupada's room and his window and we would continue chanting there until Prabhupada came to the window and traditionally he would wave. On one particular day, we were out there chanting, and Prabhupada looked out the window and waved, and then he told Karandhara, "So don't involve them in this." and he was speaking about the controversy that was going on with the sannyasis. He said, "Don't involve them in this, they're innocent." I remember when Srila Prabhupada was getting ready to leave Los Angeles to go back to India, and he wasn't feeling well, and that's when Srila Prabhupada spoke to us for the first time about vani and vapu, how vani is a much more intimate association with the spiritual master than just associating with his physical form. But being absorbed in both hearing and executing his instructions and his teachings, links the disciple in a much more intimate way with the spiritual master in an eternal way, rather than a temporary way. So Srila Prabhupada spoke on that, and of course, you know, it was very encouraging to hear it, but at the same time, it was very sad as we felt great separation. Part of Prabhupada's leaving America, going back to India, is that there were the circumstances of myself and some others that were so offensive, that Prabhupada wanted to leave, but another aspect is that he did not want to leave. And there's a conversation, it's in the Conversations Prabhupada talks about how Lord Dwarakadisa wanted Prabhupada to go back to India, and Prabhupada didn't want to go. Prabhupada didn't want to go, because his spiritual master had given him the Western world to preach in, and Prabhupada considered that his godbrothers, they were given India to preach in. So there was no need for him to be in India. And furthermore, that he had just gotten the Watseka Avenue facility and he wanted to develop that as the World Headquarters for the Hare Krishna movement. But in this conversation Prabhupada says that, "Lord Dwarakadisa ordered me to go", and he said "I was talking with the deity, and I was arguing With Lord Dwarakadisa, that 'I don't want to go', and Lord Dwarakadisa was commanding me to go, that 'I want you to go'". And Prabhupada was saying, "but I have this very nice temple and I want to develop it". And Lord Dwarakadisa said, "All right, I want you to go to India, that if you go to India, I will give you a temple that is better than this Watseka." You know Prabhupada couldn't refuse that. Prabhupada sait, "All right." And then of course, Prabhupada came to India, and Prabhupada got the Krishna Balarama Mandira. When Srila Prabhupada was leaving at the airport, my son Gopal was three years old. And he sat next to Srila Prabhupada with all of his servants while we were waiting for Prabhupada to board the plane. And they offered Srila Prabhupada a glass of orange juice, and Prabhupada said, "Give it to him, he will drink it." So my son drinks the orange juice, and then they give the cup back to the servants and they fill it up again thinking "Will give Prabhupada another glass of orange juice," and Prabhupada said, "Give it to him." And then he says, he says "You want to come?" He says, "Where's your ticket?" And then he nudged him with his arm, and he said, "So you'll be the next acharya?" Like that. Devotees were all putting on garlands, and I came up and paid my obeisances, and touched Prabhupada's lotus feet and put the garland on him. And then when I bowed down to touch Prabhupada's feet again, he looked down at me and I looked up, and that was when I knew that this was my spiritual master. After that, my material life was like a waning moon. Nothing really, that I had been doing before was any longer satisfying, and I would just remember that and think of Prabhupada and want to do more and more devotional service obviously, effect. And Srila Prabhupada had Prabhupada had been in L.A. for eight months. Just the longest period of time. I mean, the devotees in L.A. had become so accustomed to Prabhupada 's presence every day. And they just had him and they were so they just cherished him and the L.A. temple was, was just growing like anything. Prabhupada's presence just seem to make everything blossom, devotees were joining every day. Everything was really expanding. So the devotees were very attached to Prabhupada. Eight months he had been there. Then not only was he leaving, which they kind of thought that he would never leave. And the L.A. temple had set itself up, it was managing in such a way that he didn't have to manage directly. He had good managers there and he was very pleased with it. So he could stay there peacefully and do his translation work and do his writing and do whatever he wanted, and there was no inconvenience for him. So when Prabhupada said he was leaving, it was a shock. And then not only did he say he was leaving, but he said because he was old. He said, there's a good chance he wouldn't return, but we should carry on the movement anyway. So devotees took that very hard. At the airport, everyone was crying. We ran out to the fence to watch the plane, and new devotees, old devotees, everybody was crying. When I would come down from Berkeley to L.A. to see Prabhupada you would fall asleep in the brahmacari ashram to Vishnujan playing harmonium, and then you would wake up in the morning to Vishnujan playing harmonium. And you would never know if he ever even slept. I mean maybe he did I'm not saying he didn't sleep but I mean that was like how nonstop Krishna conscious Vishnujan was. You sense that about being in Vishnujan's presence that he was just an otherworldly being. To see Vishnujan and Srila Prabhupada was the most wonderful thing to watch. Of course everybody wanted to have Prabhupada lead kirtan when Prabhupada was there, but Srila Prabhupada would always want Vishnujan to lead kirtan. And when they would look at each other, you'd start crying sometimes just to see Prabhupada and Vishnujan looking at each other. You know, there was just so much love the way Prabhupada would look at him. You never saw anybody ever look at anybody like that. You know, Vishnujan would always be emotional and get teary eyed. This is August 1970. New Vrindavan. I was a brand new devotee and Satsvarupa Dasa Adhikari and Uddhava prabhu drove some of us new guys down from Boston to new Vrindavan for Janmastami Festival, which was the festival in ISKCON at the time, it was pre-India gatherings. And those days it was standard practice in ISKCON to do nirjala fasting on these big days like Gaura Purnima and Janmastami and Vyasa-puja, which means no food and no water. And at midnight on Janmastami we'd have a little break fast drink like a salty lemon drink and that was it. And then we'd fast all day till noon on Vyasa-puja. You know, there wasn't considered any kind of fanaticism that was just the standard. That was just what we did. This was the first international GBC meeting, where all the devotees Prabhupada had chosen to the Governing Body Commission met together for the first time to begin sharing some of the load of management that Prabhupada carried alone through the entire movement up to that time. There was some controversy going on in ISKCON at that time. He was testing our abilities to manage the movement. Subal, Brahmananda, Gargamuni and Vishnujan were together and they came to this president's meeting. They weren't presidents they were new sannyasis. Now the president's meeting was happening in the temple building in New Vrindavan; and meanwhile, the first GBC meeting was happening at Hayagriva's house, which was on a little hill right next to the temple, but up the hill. Brahmananda, and Gargamuni and Subal... Vishnujan... didn't have much to do with it... took over the president's meeting, and started doing this whole trip on us about how we were gotten way ahead of ourselves, we couldn't even understand who Prabhupada was, what to speak of understanding who Krishna was, that we should understand that our entire relationship was with Prabhupada, and when you read Bhagavad-gita, you shouldn't read "Sri Bhagavan uvaca", you should read "Srila Prabhupada uvaca." so what do I see when I jump out of the van hours and hours later from Boston is one of our sannyasis holding somebody against a fence and saying, "Prabhupada is God, Prabhupada is Krishna, and because we haven't recognized this he's left us." There I was brand new thrilled by Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is, joining the Hare Krishna Movement, and here two months later, I'm attending my first festival, and right before my eyes, I appear to be seeing the entire movement torn asunder by this controversy. Prabhupada confronted us, myself specifically, with the minimization in Los Angeles before taking sannyasa. It was the most shocking experience of my life. Prabhupada's chastisement was so severe. Spiritually, I could feel Prabhupada withdrawing his mercy, and then Prabhupada gave us the sannyasa, so I felt and the others, that we have to compensate for the minimization. And the way to compensate for that was to emphasize. Instead of underemphasizing Srila Prabhupada, we should now overemphasize him. Devotees were leaving, they were blooping. Yeah, there were devotees just crying and walking down that road, down to the bottom of the mountain, and just leaving. These were devotees who were totally dedicated to Prabhupada. There's no other reason for them to be in this movement. There was nothing except Prabhupada. So every devotee that you see in this film, they're there because of Prabhupada. They are in the movement because of Prabhupada. No one else, nothing else. And suddenly, these men announced to us, that Prabhupada has left, and is never coming back. We've offended him. The mood was chaos. And they also said unless we can chant purely, we shouldn't chant at all, we'd be offenders to the Holy Name. And this was a new idea, because Srila Prabhupada had taught us that we become purified by chanting, that there's a clearing stage and you know, I mean, but but you do it and you become purified by doing it. And this was devastating news to me personally, and to everyone, an atmosphere of total depressive devastation took over. Everyone was like wailing and weeping and thinking we were all going to have to leave Prabhupada because we couldn't chant purely you know, I mean, it really like cast a spell on everybody. I remember at the time, I would listen to them, they wouldn't make any sense to me. I was 28 years old, in 1970. And I would listen to them, they wouldn't make any sense. But I knew Prabhupada. I hadn't met him, but I knew he had something. So I would go in front of this very primitive altar that they had, and on the lower step, they had Prabhupada's picture. And I was sitting in front of his picture, and I was crying. And I would talk to Prabhupada. I'd say, "Prabhupada, when will these kids grow up? Why don't you come and help?" I mean, I would never get angry at them, I would feel like they were innocent, they were wonderful, they were sincere, they were genuine, they were beautiful, but they were childish. Srila Prabhupada just formed the GBC that summer, and their first act, as far as I'm aware, is to consult Prabhupada about what his new sannyasis are saying. And Prabhupada's respons is ... I'm paraphrasing, but "It's nonsense, that's not true. The spiritual master is not God. The poison here is personal ambition, because if the spiritual masters is God, that means you can become God too. So it's Mayavada philosophy." Of course, Prabhupada's books were being consulted by both sides to prove this or that. But Prabhupada responded very strongly, and he expelled them. To me that experiences it was like the loss of innocence, the ISKCON movement lost its innocence at that point. Because before that it was all like, innocent and simply Prabhupada. And after that, even though, you know, the movement continued, and that was wonderful, there was this opening for this maya, this contamination to enter. So finally, it got philosophically straightened out.Those sannyasis fled, they just like disappeared, like I think the middle of the night and nobody knew where they went. Prabhupada was in Japan at the time. We had to... by letters, and so it took time. But basically we were arrested, and put into a van, and Bhagavan drove the van to Detroit. Everybody was still upset by the whole thing. And I didn't want them talking to any of the devotees. Now that I recall, I locked them in the attic, and we just sent food up there and nobody was allowed to talk to them. And then either I got word from Prabhupada or I just decided to send them out to preach and they ended up going up to Ann Arbor. We went out into the street, I had a quarter, that's all I had was a quarter, and four of us went walking down the street. We didn't know where to go, we didn't know what to do. I felt very, very disturbed, I mean to be asked to leave devotees it was the most terrible thing. What could be worse? But at the same time, we were forced to take shelter of Prabhupada and Krishna. We felt, "Well, this is what sannyasa is, you have nothing," and we just walked down the street. We walked as far as we could until it became night. Then we had to sleep somewhere. So along the roadside, there were these big fir trees, and fir trees, you know, very thick. So they offered some protection, and the needles make a very soft... so we slept under the fir trees on the needles. It's interesting, in the morning we woke up, and we were right outside the front gates of the Ford Motor Company of Detroit. And then interesting things happened, you know, we had no food, we had no money, we were just starving. Then we sat under a tree, and we had kirtan and read to each other. What else we're going to do? And as we were doing this the first day... I'm telling you not gonna believe this, but a little boy came up, and he had with him a loaf of bread, and a bottle of milk. Where did this little boy come from? And he said, "Here, my mommy told me to give this to you," and he put the bread down and then ran away. This was the first wave of devotees to enter India as a group of Westerners, the World Sankirtan Party from ISKCON, and it was on Prabhupada's personal order and invitation that we were together. It actually became very second nature for us to immediately begin harinam sankirtan wherever we were. That was what we were going to India for was under the banner of the World Sankirtan Party. So we had no... we didn't have second thoughts about having immediate kirtans. I know I was nervous there. Because, you know, there were guards standing around with rifles. And we were in Muslim land. But we were bold. At that point, we'were on our way, and our devotion to Prabhupada was our focus. We had no idea about India, what was in store, but we knew we were being led and we had a mission.

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Duration: 24 minutes and 4 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 2
Posted by: lopter001 on Sep 9, 2021

Following Srila Prabhupada _ DVD 204

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