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Following Srila Prabhupada _ DVD 106

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I remember one lecture Prabhupada gave there, he began saying "om ajnana-timirandhasya..." And then he just stopped - timirandhasya - and he just lectured on that. He had his Bhagavatam open to lecture on the Bhagavatam verse, but he didn't lecture on that verse. He lectured on "om ajnana-timirandhasya". He didn't go beyond that - the importance of the spiritual master. There was one gentleman, an elderly gentleman, who walked one day into the temple and he had a letter from Prabhupada, and the letter said that "Dear Mr. such-and-such," "so when I come to New York you can come see me." OK. Brahmananda had me take him over to Prabhupada's apartment a block or so away, and the man was very respectful. He was connected with a yoga society in New York. He said to Srila Prabhupada, "Swamiji, I like your movement very much, but one thing is that" "one of your disciples said that" "Swami such-and-such is a rascal." "And it always seemed to me that he was a very holy man, and I don't understand why" "your disciple would say that you said that he's a rascal." And Prabhupada said, "Who has said this?" And the man said, "You didn't say?" Prabhupada said, "If they say that I have said and I have not said," "then they are rascal." And then the man was pacified. Then Prabhupada said a few things and Prabhupada pulled a book out of his bookshelf - a small hard bound blue book - and opened it up and gave it to the man. He said, "You know this book?" The man looked at it, "Oh, Swami such-and-such," "Dr. such-and-such. Oh, Vedanta Society. Oh, yes," and he was quite pleased at seeing something that he was familiar with. And Prabhupada opened it up and he said, "Read the translation." The man read the translation, "Always think of Me, devote yourself to Me," "worship Me, offer your homage to Me." Prabhupada said, "Yes," "he has done it nicely. He is very good scholar." "Then the commentary, what does he say?" So the man began reading, "It is not to Krishna that we have to surrender" "but to the unborn impersonal..." something something. Prabhupada said, "Just see!" "Therefore, I say they are all rascals!" And then Prabhupada began explaining why such persons were rascals. He quoted, of course, Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah, mayayapahrta-jnana asuram bhavam asritah, that they're the miscreants, lowest of mankind, their knowledge is stolen by illusion, they are demonic. "Because just see, Krishna is saying Me and they are saying" "not Krishna. Therefore, I say." Then Prabhupada said that, "Sometimes strong words are needed" "to arouse a sleeping man." And then Prabhupada said, "Anyway, it is not my saying," "it is Krishna saying." And Prabhupada gave a dismissive sort of shrug and he said, "What can I do?" Prabhupada did one initiation at 61 2nd Avenue. So Prabhupada was walking to his apartment and there's still a photo of Srila Prabhupada walking surrounded by devotees chanting and dancing, and they're having a really ecstatic kirtan. Everybody's... The fire yajna is completed, everybody's initiated, people have their names, and Prabhupada's walking back to his apartment with his usual aristocratic gait with his head slightly raised and everyone's chanting. Prabhupada didn't say anything. Then Prabhupada just said, "We have increased the disciplic succession from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." There were these girls in the New York temple, they were living at home and they would come to the temple. They were going to high school, and they were really nice girls. Prabhupada wanted them to stay in school and stay with their families, and they would come to the temple. I was more of a hippie. I had left home. I was in a different situation. So these girls, when Prabhupada would come, they seemed very juvenile to me, but they really loved Prabhupada. And when he would come, they would scream and treat him like a rock and roll star. I was really quite embarrassed by it, but they were very loving and very devoted. So Prabhupada would come in and they would go, "Swamiji! Swamiji!" and scream and yell. Then at one point Prabhupada called them into his room and he said, "You are the children of the Society," "so, therefore, you must be very grave." Saradiya and I were married in May of '69, and shortly thereafter I returned to New York, because I was studying book binding at the time, to help set up the ISKCON Press. And I was very stunned, when I was told that Prabhupada wanted us to stay in his quarters. There was an apartment behind 26 2nd Avenue. Those were considered the most holy places by all of us because that was where Prabhupada had his rooms, and although Prabhupada was not there in New York at the time, those were Prabhupada's rooms. And yet Prabhupada instructed that me and Saradiya, having just recently been married and needing a place to stay, should stay in his rooms. And that deeply impressed me that he was willing to suggest that. And indeed we did stay there. We stayed there for probably a month or two in the summer of '69. He was looking around the room on one of these evenings and he said, "I want each one of you to open a temple." "I want each and every one of you to open a temple." And... because I'm a very impetuous person, and I was more impetuous then because I was only 16 years old, so I said, "Even the girls, Swamiji?" He said, "Yes, why not? There is no difference." And he said, "In Nityananda's absence, Jahnava-devi," "she was preaching like anything." "There is no difference between boys and girls." That was very sweet. I was very late for my wedding. Srila Prabhupada was going to marry Advaita and I that day, and I walked in and I had my hair down, which I didn't know you weren't supposed to do. And Srila Prabhupada, he looked at me and he said, "Balai is looking like the Goddess of Fortune." Then he married us. And after the marriage ceremony and the installation ceremony, Srila Prabhupada was sitting on the vyasasan and he was eating a popper and he broke the popper into several pieces and he said, "All glories to the provider of prasadam," "all glories to the preparer of prasadam," "and all glories to the eater of prasadam." This was the first time I saw Srila Prabhupada in person. When we were waiting at Logan Airport, we were waiting for Prabhupada to arrive and when we got a first glimpse of him, I was really in awe - that he appeared as though he was floating down the exit from the airplane. And he seemed like he was just floating down the hallway with such a glow to him, that it was like no other person I ever saw in my life. When Srila Prabhupada was greeted at airports, he would obviously be surrounded by his loving disciples. And then there would be a much larger group of people in the airport who would just be amazed at the whole spectacle of the flowers, the chanting, the ecstasy, the jumping for joy and then of course, the beaming and radiant Srila Prabhupada gliding through the corridors or being surrounded by his disciples covered in garlands. And Srila Prabhupada would note the crowd and quite often encourage the devotees to continue chanting for their benefit. Sometimes the chanting would die down and he would raise his arms, "Continue, continue." And then finally he would give a lecture, on occasions, to the crowd. In Boston, I remember, he looked around and he said, "About this greeting," "it says in shastra," "that the spiritual master" "should be worshipped on the same level as God." "However, if he thinks he is God," "he is dog." Prabhupada was supposed to go to the hotel in downtown Boston for a press conference and Uddhava who was my boss at the press, didn't allow me to go to the hotel. Instead, he took me back to the temple. So I was really angry with him that I didn't get a chance to see Prabhupada more, and as we were standing on the porch of the Boston temple - and I'm there kind of under my breath cursing Uddhava - all of a sudden Prabhupada's car drove up and there was Prabhupada at the temple. There were probably only about five of us there: me and Uddhava, the pujari and a couple of others. So we walked... greeted Prabhupada and walked down the hall to Prabhupada's room with him. In the meantime I guess, devotees figured out or found out that Prabhupada wasn't going to the hotel, so they all converged upon the temple and we all went to Prabhupada's room. I couldn't believe that here, first time in my life, I was sitting so close and right before Srila Prabhupada. So during the course of probably about an hour and a half or two hours of sitting in Prabhupada's room with him - and of course the crowd grew - there was one devotee in the group, Patit Udaran. He had a brother, Madhu Mangal, and they were two of the first initiated devotees from New York. Prabhupada knew their mother and Patit Udaran was in the room. Prabhupada asked him how he was doing and he asked him about his brother and then he asked him about his mother. So Patit Udaran said "I want to try to save them, Srila Prabhupada." And Prabhupada said, "There's one story in this regard." He said, "There was family of sparrows and" "young baby sparrow flew out of the nest and got captured by the hunter." "And the mother said, 'Oh my baby she's gotten captured by the hunter. I'll go to try to save him.'" "And she flew out of the nest and she got captured by the hunter." "And then the father sparrow" "he said, 'Oh my son has gone out of the nest. He's gotten captured by the hunter. My wife has gone out.'" "'She's gotten captured by the hunter' He said, 'If I go out I'll get captured too.'" "And he flew away and didn't try to save them." So Prabhupada said, "The most important thing is that you've got to save yourself" "and that's of primary importance." It was the Boston temple where I finally ended up joining. The devotees knew that I had spoken with Srila Prabhupada so they thought that even though I was just a guest - I was an outside devotee, and I wasn't following so strictly - but still they allowed me to have darshan with Srila Prabhupada. I was introduced a little the wrong way. Srila Prabhupada was told, "This is Bhakta Lon." "He used to speak with you at 61 2nd Avenue," which was the second temple, and I was never even in that temple. So... But I was a little nervous now. I wasn't quite as wild as I was in '66 and also Srila Prabhupada was a little less anonymous in terms of his prestigious and important person that he really was. So I was a little in awe, finally. Instead of correcting and saying, "No, it wasn't 61, it was 26 2nd Avenue" instead of saying that, I wanted to give Srila Prabhupada some hint about our previous conversations. So I said, "Srila Prabhupada," "when I used to speak with you in 1966," "I was very, very crazy." So I thought this would help Srila Prabhupada remember. So Srila Prabhupada looked at me and raised his eyebrows and said, "Oh, and are you still crazy?" So then I the onus was on me to try to prove to Srila Prabhupada that I was not crazy anymore. So I said, "No, I'm not crazy anymore." Srila Prabhupada said, "So what is your situation now? What are you doing?" And I said, "Well, now I have wife and I have apartment and I have" "a truck, or two trucks and I have a business. " And I was kind of proud giving a list of things that almost made me normal to back up my statement that I wasn't crazy. Different from the instruction he gave me in '66. He said, "You stay with your wife; you stay with your business." "But I only ask one thing of you." "Just try to understand Krishna." So I thought that was the end of the darshan, and it was actually. So I offered obeisances - I learned how to do that over the years - and as I was walking out the door, Srila Prabhupada said... The last words I personally received from Srila Prabhupada's lotus mouth was something a little enigmatic. He said to me, "And we are not asking for any money." And I left. We set up the ISKCON Press in Boston. And after we were set up Prabhupada came and visited. And I was hand-binding Isopanisads, Nectar of Devotions. And I remember we did a run of Back to Godheads. I remember hand cutting 80 000 Back to Godheads. That requires three cuts per magazine. So that was quite a load of work. And some of the magazines, if I would load too many in the cutter, they would come out kind of misshapened, but we'd go out and sell them anyways. And next to my folding machine - I folded the papers and Advaita would print - so the printing press was right next to the folder. So Prabhupada came in and saw the folder and then walked over to the press and looked at Advaita, and looked at everybody in the crowd, and touched the printing press and he said, "This is my heart." I feel that my service was much appreciated by Prabhupada even though we switched from printing and binding to Japan soon there afterwards. And I feel privileged to have served him in the press capacity in the earliest days. I remember in the Boston temple taking a walk with Prabhupada. There was a small park nearby and as we were walking through the park, at one point, I'd asked a question. I don't recall the question but Prabhupada turned, and looked at me straight in the eye, and said, "When you're reading," "understand every word before you go on." And that's always stuck with me. Often when I'm reading now I say "Prabhupada wanted me to try to understand every word before I continued." But it was quite a profound instruction. At Boston it was just Jadurani and Satsvarupa. Devananda was the one brahmachari that was there. And then there was four brahmacharinis: me, Jahnava, Rukmini and Saradia. Satsvarupa said to Prabhupada, "All these brahmacharinis, they are always fighting with each other." And Prabhupada said, "That is because they need to be married, they are fighting." "They must get married. Immediately arrange." "I will perform wedding before I leave," and he was leaving like two days later. So, kind of instantly we were supposed to be getting married and it was pretty shocking. And then this other brahmachari came named Dayal Nitai, and Prabhupada said I should marry Dayal Nitai. And I got really upset. Somehow I did not want to marry Dayal Nitai. I went up to this hill somewhere and was crying and praying to Krishna and not knowing what to do thinking that Prabhupada said I should do this and I just had very strong resistance to it. So as I came back down Satsvarupa said what's wrong and I told him. So Satsvarupa went in to Prabhupada and said to him, "Arundhati's upset. She doesn't really want to marry Dayal Nitai." And Prabhupada said, "That is ok." "Nothing is by force in Krishna consciousness." "And if she doesn't want to marry now," "then she can get married at some later date." So I was very relieved. So the next day Prabhupada performed that wedding ceremony with the three couples. So I was praying to Krishna, "Please send me a husband. I don't wanna..." I just felt so uncomfortable. So then - I don't know time exactly but whether it was a month or little bit longer but - Purushottama called up and he said, "Prabhupada would like to know" "if you would like to come here and marry Pradyumna." And I had met Pradyumna once before and we were both working on Prabhupada's books. So I thought about it and I said, "Ok, I will come." So then I went to Columbus and Prabhupada married us. And then Prabhupada asked me and Shyama dasi if we could do composing of his books. He bought the first composer machine. He was very involved with that and was writing to us quite regularly. He said we should learn. We went and learned how to use it. and he gave us specific hours. He said, "Arundhati, you can work from..." maybe it was seven to ten, "And Shyma dasi, ten to one." "And Arundhati you work again from one to four" "and Shyama dasi from four to seven so that" "we are really using the time and getting the books done." And I think the first book we did on that machine was the Nectar of Devotion. Prabhupada was constantly writing letters and wanting to know how it was going and very involved with that. Just like Krishna spoke to Arjun, and Jesus Christ spoke to some, generally the shepherds. You see? So status of life and their understanding was different. So, the representative of God speaks according to the circumstances, according to the country. So it was good for the people at that time. They should have concentrated through Jesus Christ. Is this Krishna consciousness sectarian? Can anyone take it up? Can Christians take it up? Can Muslims take it up? Yes, you can see practically. All our students here in the Western countries they're mostly coming from Christian groups, this group and there are many Mohammedans also. I was in New Vrindavan. Things were pretty basic there, lot of dirt and mud. My mom sent me this sweater. It was saffron and of course we had trouble keeping stuff clean there so I didn't want to get it dirty. I thought, "Oh, this would be nice for Prabhupada." "It's not going to be much use here." So I put it in a plastic bag and I was living in the brahmachari ashram and somehow I was able to protect the sweater from getting dirty for a couple of months. Then Prabhupada came to Boston to see the press and we drove up from New Vrindavan. I was all excited. I had the sweater that my mom had given me and I was going to give it to Prabhupada. So we got to Boston. I think there was an arati and then Prabhupada went in the back of the temple. They had a curtain to close off to make like a sitting room and all the big devotees were back there with Prabhupada. Now's my chance, so I barged in and stood there sort of stammering, "Prabhupada, my mom gave me this sweater. She sent it from England." "It's really nice and I wanted you to have it." Prabhupada said, "Oh, no, no, no. I can't take this." "Your mother gave this to you." "You should keep it." So I was crushed and Prabhupada saw that and he said, "Well, all right. We'll exchange." And he had this saffron sweater on with little brown buttons on it. He unbuttoned the sweater and took it off and gave it to me and I gave him the sweater and it was just like a really wonderful exchange. All the devotees in the room were very moved. Everybody was crying. It was very nice. I was touching the sweater and I felt blessed to have it. I really held onto it. For days it didn't leave my hands. I think it's on the altar at New Vrindavan. I gave it to the temple as Prabhupada prasad.

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Duration: 23 minutes and 57 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
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Posted by: lopter001 on Jun 7, 2021

Following Srila Prabhupada _ DVD 106

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