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Fsp Dvd 4-101

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This is the beginning of the construction of the first guest house at Mayapur. That was what you call the Lotus building. It was designed in Calcutta by an architect named Mr. Gujarati, who lived on the other side of the pukur from Albert Road. He designed that nice building and showed it to Prabhupada and he said, “Yes, this is a nice building.” He said, “Build it.” And this man, Mr. Gujarati, he had lines in his forehead and Prabhupada said, “Oh, you have natural tilak. It’s a very good sign.” We were still living up front in the straw house. We lived up in that straw house for a long time, even when the Deities were in this temple on the ground floor. That would be the summer because that’s Kalbaishakh season with those big cyclones. It would be so hot, and then these huge black clouds would come up, and then it would just be this heavy downpour, and then you’d have some freshness for a few days. When Prabhupada came to Amsterdam, that was the time I met him the first time. So Prabhupada just came out of Immigration, and he saw me and he waved. It was very ecstatic. I fell to the ground, paid my obeisances, and I laughed and I cried and I had so many emotions at the same time, which was extraordinary. Normally you either laugh or you either cry, but you don’t have these emotions at the same time. Then he came to the temple and he gave a lecture; and the amazing thing of the lecture was prior to that I could not understand Prabhupada’s broad Indian dialect at all, particularly since English is not my first language. But the amazing thing was that as soon as he started talking, I could understand every single word, which was quite remarkable. I couldn’t believe it. Later I put on a tape and I listened to it and there it was, I understood every single word. It was kind of a miracle. It was 1971, and there was so many hippies at the time and everything was a lot more liberal and free. This is Vondelpark, the very big park in Amsterdam. 100 people turned up actually. So Prabhupada, did not give a class as such, he spoke very little, and he said that we should have kirtan and give them prasadam, that would be the best help that they can have at this point. Battalion Straat, which was the first place where we had a temple in Amsterdam. It was a garage in the street, right behind was the red light district, and so Robbie transformed that garage into a temple room and he actually built the altar. And the interesting thing about Amsterdam because so many hippies, mangala-aratik was always packed. Because they didn't sleep all night. They used to hear the kirtan town reverberated around all the canal in the streets. And they all used to come and dance and sing with us. I mean dozens of them every day. And after that they used to stay for prasadam. So Amsterdam provided prasadam for literally 1000s and 1000s of people coming because they were so attracted. We're the only temple in Amsterdam in those days. It was held in the late summer, of course, in August, and many nondevotees came, many young people, students. So just the scope of it, the dimension, and the number of devotees, number of nondevotees, it was a landmark event. Everyone that was there felt it to be so and even Prabhupada, that something new and greater was occurring. Srila Prabhupada was to come to New Vrindavan to conduct what he entitled the Bhagavat Dharma Discourses. He was going to speak from Srimad-Bhagavatam for seven days. The devotees at New Vrindavan, under the guidance of Kirtanananda Maharaj, were very, very enthusiastic to prepare the community for his arrival. They worked hard cutting down trees to construct a big pandal on the top of a mountain, the highest mountain of the area. That was to be the place where Srila Prabhupada would speak. Also, the devotees painted and renovated the house that Prabhupada was going to stay in, did so much landscaping, and especially they were working on building a brand new temple for Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavan Chandra, which was to be inaugurated on the night of Janmastami by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada drove in a black Lincoln Continental into the New Vrindavan property. There was ecstatic kirtan as devotees welcomed him. One thing that really made an impression on me at that festival was the loving concern by the sannyasis and senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada for all of us, preaching to us lovingly. We all sat together and ate prasadam. You could walk up to anyone and ask a question, and they would take the time to answer you and give you association. The feeling that we were a family and there was Srila Prabhupada, he was our father. We all felt sheltered, we all felt protected. It was like a resurgence of energy and rededication. We all went back to our temples completely refreshed and rejuvenated and ready for whatever austerities we had to perform. Devotees, with very, very deep enthusiasm, stood and sat all around him very closely as he spoke his welcoming address, thanking the devotees for their hard work and their efforts and giving a basic message of Krishna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada, through his words and through his smile while sitting there on that vyasasana under a tree at Bahulavan, satisfied everyone’s hearts. All of the hard work and intensive labor that was offered by the devotees over the previous several months was completely fulfilled. It all bore fruit when Srila Prabhupada smiled upon us and expressed his satisfaction to be with us at New Vrindavan again. Cooking for the Deities and doing the aratiks, that was my service. So one time Srila Prabhupada was there when I did the aratik. I had a wonderful realization. I turned around…I was dirty because I’d been cooking all day and then they pushed me onto the altar, and I was totally embarrassed. But I turned around to offer incense to Srila Prabhupada and I realized that he was always there on the vyasasana, that it was absolutely no different. And I still feel like that, that he’s present, even though it would be nice to be able to see him more clearly. So he was staying in the small house at Madhavan, and I was standing outside and he came out. I suspect he came out to pass urine, which I realized years later but I didn’t know it at the time, and I was just standing there. He came out and I didn’t pay obeisances, I couldn’t say anything, I just stood there like a deer in the headlights of a car and was totally terrified. But it was a wonderful thing because he smiled. He was so gracious. He smiled and made me feel so at ease and not like I had done something stupid or that I was somehow lacking. He was so kind. He just stood there with me for a while, and then he smiled and turned around and went back in the building. He has always been kind to me like that because I’m very shy and I don’t ever put myself forward, so he would put himself out for me. I had experiences like that with him where he would reassure me. That’s what I felt like. Devotees from New York and various other centers brought vanloads of bhoga for the festival. There was a kitchen set up right on the top of the mountain in the most primitive conditions. With oil barrels they made stoves and many dozens and dozens of devotees volunteered cutting vegetables, cooking with smoke billowing up into people’s eyes. But it was such a beautiful sight seeing devotees from all over America working together in these very primitive forests of New Vrindavan, preparing prasad for Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja feast. One time Prabhupada was sitting taking massage, and then right in front of Prabhupada these two little kittens were wrestling and they actually rolled right onto Prabhupada’s lap. So among the various zealous misconceptions that plagued us in our early days, one that we had is that animals were so contaminated that it’s horrible to even touch them. I was appalled that these two kittens…they were cute, but they just rolled right onto Prabhupada’s lap and I was thinking, “Oh, my God, an animal touched Prabhupada.” But to my surprise, Prabhupada just started petting them. And Prabhupada said two things. He said, “Look, even here there is love.” What I immediately understood from that was that our original love for Krishna is so strong that even in the body of an animal or a cat, it still manifests in some way. Then Prabhupada said, “If I put my head in your lap and you cut my throat, that is the greatest sin.” He said the greatest sin is that if someone trusts you and takes shelter of you and then you betray them and cause them harm. It can be parents toward a child, it can be a man protecting a woman, any situation where someone has sincerely trusted us and depends on us and then we betray them. This was such a unique altar arrangement here because it had Radha-Damodar in the center, Jagannatha on the side, and Prabhupada on the left. You’re used to having the picture of Prabhupada on the left, but we had Prabhupada in person on the left next to the Deities. I’d never seen that before, that you had an altar where Prabhupada was sitting next to the Deities in person. So that was real special. Then I remember after the Vyasa-puja ceremony it was time for the feast. They didn’t close the curtains on the altar. I don’t remember ever taking feast where they didn’t close the curtains on the altar. So this whole sequence of events and then just looking around at that whole hillside, it was a panoramic scene of buses and vans and tents and devotees and cows all over the meadows. It was just like a chapter of Krsna Book come to life. I think it was the same day, and I was down at the barn and I was watching the Volkswagen go up the hillside. The cows were all over that hillside, and they were decorated just like it’s described in Krsna Book with patterns made from different minerals, all different colors and different patterns. And when Prabhupada looked out of the Volkswagen, he smiled like I’ve never seen him smile except in that picture in the Lilamrta when Brij stood up for the first time and he was just beaming, as Sally Agarwal described it, that oceanic smile. When Prabhupada looked out at the cows decorated like that and he smiled like that, that little episode is just one remembrance of how sweet the whole occasion was. A devotee asked Prabhupada, “What does it mean to have love for the spiritual master? What does love of the guru mean?” So I was thinking Prabhupada would say you have all these feelings in your heart and you feel this and you feel that, and that’s what I was expecting to hear. And Prabhupada said, “Love for the guru means you have taken initiation, you have made vow to the spiritual master and taken fire sacrifice. You keep your vow, that is love.” When I heard that, again that was one of those statements that Prabhupada would make where all the devotees were just taken completely by surprise. Prabhupada’s definition of love, that it was not a feeling at all but keeping our vow that we made to him when we got initiated and that is how we show whether we really have love or not. The next day was Vyasa-puja and Srila Prabhupada, being very sensitive to the time, place and circumstance, gave this wonderful Vyasa-puja address to describe the spiritual master and why the spiritual master is being offered so much honor and homage on this day because, after all, there were many people there, scholars and journalists, etc., who were not familiar with this etiquette. So Srila Prabhupada said, “Krishna is very big, He’s a very big person.” And Prabhupada said, “Just like in this material world, if you want to please or even see a big man, it is very difficult to do.” He often used Ford and Rockefeller. So he said, “Just like Mr. Ford, if you want to please Mr. Ford, it’s very hard or even to see him is very hard. But if you happen to see Mr. Ford walking his dog and you give Mr. Ford’s dog a two-cent lozenge,” Prabhupada used the word lozenge, “then Mr. Ford is very easily pleased.” So Prabhupada said, “I am the dog of God. It is very difficult to approach Krishna. But if you simply please His dog, Krishna will be pleased.” On the day of Prabhupada’s arrival, they needed volunteers to fix up the house where Prabhupada was staying, and I went up to help. There was, of course, a frenzy of activity, just as there always is just before Prabhupada comes in any temple, and it was an amazing sight to behold. Finally Prabhupada arrives and all of these sannyasis come with him, and there’s about 8 or 10 sannyasis and they all file into the house. There’s a few devotees hovering by the door, and Prabhupada sees us over there by the door and everybody else is inside the house – the big guns in the movement, so to speak. And Prabhupada motions that we should also come inside. So the devotees who were outside the door, they’re sitting on the front row right in front of Prabhupada and Prabhupada is talking about developing New Vrindavan. One thing I remember he said is that New Vrindavan is nondifferent than Vrindavan in India, and he also mentioned that Tulasi is the spiritual barometer for a temple. Then just out of nowhere he looks right at me and he asks, “Are you trying to understand the philosophy?” So I was so dumbfounded that Prabhupada was talking to me, I couldn’t even say a word. I was totally in a state of shock. But what I did appreciate is the way Prabhupada phrased that question: “Are you trying to understand the philosophy?” That if someone just makes an endeavor to understand, that’s sufficient. Prabhupada will be pleased just by somebody making an endeavor to try to understand. Whether they understand or not, that’s another matter. But just to try to understand the philosophy. Bharadraj was leading and after the kirtan started getting a little more lively, Vishnujan Maharaj took over the lead. Vishnujan kept lovingly singing the Maha-Mantra, all the devotees were starting to rock side to side, and then Srila Prabhupada, he closed his eyes and he was starting to hit the kartals together with more and more force. At one point, which seemed to be the perfect crescendo of the chanting of Vishnujan, everyone was shocked when Srila Prabhupada interrupted Vishnujan and took over the kirtan. That had not been seen before. Prabhupada seemed to be in such an ecstatic mood that he had no choice but to take over the kirtan. And at that moment, everyone went absolutely mad. There was a rush toward the stage, and I was right in front of Prabhupada and we were crushed into the stage and everyone’s arms…it looked like a thousand arms were outstretched to Srila Prabhupada. People started to cry. Srila Prabhupada’s chanting was so beautiful, it’s almost like the sky opened up, love of God came down and it poured over all of us because at one point people could…they were crying so much that they just started to whimper and gasp. I’ve never been to a kirtan like that before in my life and never since, and I think I cried for about an hour after that. The day wore on and we were fasting and chanting, and then nighttime fell and the midnight arati. And after fasting and chanting, everybody is ready to break fast. But Srila Prabhupada has the devotees open up Krsna Book because now he wants to hear about Krishna, it’s the appearance of Lord Krishna. So Prabhupada sits up straight and his eyes are open and he’s all ready to hear, and we’re all ready to eat basically. So Krishna’s pastimes are being read. Now it’s twelve-thirty, quarter to one, one o’clock. And everyone in the room except for Prabhupada is gradually being overcome by the forces of sleep. We finished the first chapter and then it continued into the second chapter and the prayers by the demigods for Lord Krishna in the womb, fairly weighty philosophical topics, and you would see these dandas nodding like divining rods. They were like crossed swords crossing in the aisle as the sannyasis bearing them would gradually be falling asleep. Then the rods would again split apart from one another as the sannyasis would jerk themselves awake, and then the rods would gradually descend again as the devotees holding them descended towards sleep. But Prabhupada was very staunch, he was there listening very intently. And at one point, I remember looking around the room and everyone in the room was asleep except for Prabhupada at one point. It was really incredible. I was watching Prabhupada very carefully to see if he was going to fall asleep; and at one point Prabhupada looked like he was starting to nod, and he just leaned forward ever so slightly and immediately caught himself and sat back up straight and with his right hand he made a chopping motion like “No, I won’t fall asleep.” And from that moment on, he was sitting there listening in rapt attention. Then suddenly it’s pitch black. The power had gone out. So I was thinking, “What is Srila Prabhupada’s expression going to be when the lights come back on? Is he going to be upset? What is he thinking about?” It seemed like a very long time that the power was off. And when the lights came back on, Prabhupada had this huge ear-to-ear grin on his face and the words that he said were: “So now Krishna is sitting on the lap of Mother Yasoda. I think you are all tired, so we can stop here.” And all the devotees started roaring. I remember Gayatri and several other of ISKCON’s best bakers spending several days to cook a gigantic cake for Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja. It was the most enormous cake I ever saw in my entire life, and they were cooking everything on this very, very simple makeshift wood oven. The fuel was wood, and they made the oven out of some sort of big cans, barrels. They would just make a little piece at a time, a little piece at a time, and as the days went on they were stacking it up and it ended up a huge, glorious, incredible cake. They brought it all the way up on the hill – many devotees had to carry it – and then they offered it to Srila Prabhupada. And as Srila Prabhupada was eating it, it became prasad. So within moments devotees gathered around the cake for remnants, and they practically dove into that cake. Within a matter of seconds, this gigantic cake disappeared.

Video Details

Duration: 24 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 2
Posted by: lopter001 on Jan 3, 2022

Fsp Dvd 4-101

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