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Following Srila Prabhupada _ DVD 104

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All along everyone knew him as Swamiji this was up until May of 1968. And so... Gaurasundara decided he wanted to call me Govindaji. And so he asked Prabhupada and Prabhupada said, "No, actually 'ji' is a third class form of address." "It's better not to call her... Govindaji." So I piped up. I was sitting right in front of them and said "Well, if it's a third class form of address" "why are we calling you 'ji', why are we calling you 'Swamiji'?" And he said, "It's not very important." I said, "Oh, no, it's very important." "If it's a third class form of address, then we don't want to call you that way." "We want to call you the most first class form of address." "So tell us what would be a good name for us to call you by." And he was very humble, very reluctant. But I pressed him, like "We gotta change this." And he said "You can call me..." "Gurudeva or Guru Maharaja or Prabhupada." So I said "That's three, we need one." And so I said, "Well, which one is the best?" And he answered, "Srila Prabhupada is nice. That is the best." So I said "From today you'll be called Srila Prabhupada." And so I told all the devotees, but some of the devotees didn't like it. Because it kind of is a tonguetwister, Prabhupada. And 'Swamiji' kind of flows more easily. But we gradually started calling him 'Srila Prabhupada' from that time. A total of about 15 people who immediately after the festival moved into the temple. In San Francisco the temple was just a very narrow storefront with dutch style doors that Syamasundara had built. So a great family environment. There was no Mangala Arati in those days and there were no books in those days. So it was actually the power of the chanting of the Holy Name and the incredible charisma of the Ratha Yatra Festival that was drawing the devotees into the temple. This was actually the second Ratha Yatra Festival in San Francisco. The first one, held in 1967, was just on the back of a rented truck, a Hertz truck, it was a very short procession, this was the first actual... Ratha Yatra in the western world may done with a cart, which Jayananda and myself built along with a couple of other devotees. We were bending redwood struts for the canopies the entire cart was made out of redwood, we got very cheaply from a wrecking company which was demolishing all homes in San Francisco. We sanded every board so it'd look like new wood. You can't find wood like this anymore. And we formed it over many weeks of effort in the parking lot next to the temple. On Frederick Street. We built it purpously low to fit below the wires and on those days they had electric trolleys still on the streets of San Francisco. In those days the carts were one of a kind. When the parade was finished they were dismanteled in place and the wood was hauled off and disposed of. And Malati and the other girls sewed the cloth covering. That year was the first year that when Jagannatha ever wore clothes. Srila Prabhupada told us that we had to make clothes for Him and he drew a little picture. I remember Syamasundara said, he was like shocked because he was very proud of how careful he painted the deities, because we covered the paint job. But Yamuna and Harsharani they immediately came to the grips of the task making beautyful outfits and turbans. The very very first clothing or decoration that was given to Lord Jagannatha was of course given by Srila Prabhupada. And that wasn't in June of 1968, but that was in December of 1967 when Srila Prabhupada returned from India. After recuperation from his heart attack. And Srila Prabhupada came off the plane with his danda - first time we'd seen Srila Prabhupada with his sannyasa rod. And hanging off of his sannyasa rod there was a little saffron pouch. And we thought how curious that was. Cause we thought that the rod you... you held in front of you, but Srila Prabhupada had this rod over his shoulder and a little pouch was on the end. And anyway we brought him to the Wheeler Street apartment. So when Srila Prabhupada set down in the front room he had his suitcases open he had brought gifts for all the ladies, every lady had a sari, and he brought our temple the first gift of a coconut grater. But in the little bag... he opened it out then unwrapped it and unfolded it and inside were three silken malas The kind that you get at a deity store. For the small deities of course these were very very thin maybe a quarter of inch wide. But these malas that Srila Prabhupada bought were a good inch and a half thick but because they were in this little bag they were all craunched up and actually quite unattractive looking because they'd been a little bit damaged. Though naturally we had never seen anything like that what was it. So Swamiji explained that these were decorations that we could offer to Lord Jagannatha. Then in fact Lord Jagannatha... we could even make clothes for Him. So what kind of clothes would you make as He already had clothes on. Isn't that what the painting is. That's on the deity. "No" he said, "that's one kind of painting, you'll find deities will be" "sometimes painted, sometimes there'll be carving on the deities" "that'll show that it's jewelry or clothing." "But no, you can make clothes." So what kind of clothes do you make for a deity like Jagannatha? So Prabhupada said "Here's what you do". So he said, "He wears a turban, He wears a shawl," "And they wear like little skirt." So then he asked for volunteers who would sew, so Harsharani and Yamuna decided that we all volunteer. So for this 1967 Ratha Yatra we were working with the builders and when they gave us the drawing, we had... come up with this very very handsome already made and pleated series of... umbrellas... almost like umbrellas... that went around these outpourings of these cupolas and this wonderful bright cloth of saffron and gold. Now Jagannatha Subhadra and Balarama were in red satin and you can see the pictures of them, we even managed to get some wonderful garlands of fragrant flowers for Their red turbans. Jayananda planned the car and built the car and subsequently every year he was known as Mr Ratha Yatra. He would not sleep before the festival. And each year it improved: the decoration from one car to three. This was the first car that he built, and it was so beautiful. This became and has reamained as San Francisco tradition on this day, this special day, for Lord Jagannatha, And this is acknowledged by the officials of San Francisco. One very exciting thing about this Ratha Yatra festival for me was this prayer... This bhajana. This bhajana was the theme, practically, when there wasn't a kirtana going on, by one of the disciples, this bhajana was played over a little megaphone system of Prabhupada singing it and it sometimes played on the cart if somebody wasn't leading in between kirtanas at the end of the procession when the cart was at the beach this bhajana of Prabhupada played for hours and hours, the devotees said. I remember just the short time that I was at the beach, that when the wind would move back and forth it would catch the sound of this magnificent prayer and in my mind it's always been the theme of our 1968 Ratha Yatra festival of Lord Caitanya's longing for Krishna. And I remember that when we were at an ocean kirtana one night at the very and of the prayers after he said "Jaya Tulasi devi" and he said "All glories to the Pacific Ocean" and he said "Hare Krishna" and he said "All glories to the Pacific Ocean!" "Hare Krisna! All glories to the Pacific Ocean!" And he had his hands raised when he was facing the... the ocean. And it was the most... I think it was the only time I can remember Prabhupada adding something other then our classic prayers to the end of a kirtana, but it was... it moved us all... We were thinking, how liberal Swamiji was, that he was appreciating the place that we were at and the majesty of it. I was living in the bay area at the time. Basically as a hippy. But I always had aspirations to understand transcendence, therefore I didn't really conseder myself as a hippy. I considered myself a seeker. And when I heard that there was the Ratha Yatra festival being held by the Hare Krishna devotees through Golden Gate Park in 1967 I made up my mind that... to try to get there. And I think I walked the whole way which is why I ended up being late. So I must have walked several miles because I came at the end of the festival, then I saw Lord Jagannatha looking out at the ocean. Though I had visited the temple a few times But... it was the moment that I saw Lord Jagannatha... gazing out into the ocean that somehow some eternal quality was sparked and at that moment I became a devotee. Long towards summer Prabhupada went to Montreal and I wrote to him. And begged forgiveness for my offences and told him I couldn't forget him and couldn't forget Krishna counciousness and I wanted to surrender to him. He wrote back, and said "Oh my dear son," "how have I ever lost you? I've been crying to Krishna how I lost Kirtanananda." And he invited us to come and visit him in Montreal. We did. And he embraced me very warmly. And said "Now it is confirmed, that we cannot be separated." One morning one of the devotees asked me to bring over some bhoga to Srila Prabhupada's. Where he was staying. So I walked over there with the groceries, and I knocked real softly on the door. And Himavati opened the door, just a little crack, and I handed her the bhoga and the corner of my eye I looked down through the crack I saw Srila Prabhupada sitting and chanting japa. And Srila Prabhupada asked Himavati "Who's at the door?" And Himavati said "Kanchanbala came to bring bhoga." And then Prabhupada said, "Tell her to come in." So I came in, and... I didn't expect it at all, it was just... really... a wonderful surprise. And I just fell down, bowed down and offered obeisances and Prabhupada told me to sit down, and we chanted japa together. That was really nice. So when Prabhupada came, they rented him a small room and I got the opportunity to spend nearly 5 days with Prabhupada. And it was just a room and... so I had a little side alcove where there was a sink and a place where you could cook something. So I slept under that sink in that area. The first night I was so nervous I couldn't sleep. About 1 in the morning I heard Prabhupada rustling and getting up. And he didn't turn on the light or anything. He started to chant on his beads. So I wondered what should I do. Should I get up or... pretend I'm sleep. I didn't know what should I do. So I I didn't do anything. I pretended I was sleeping. But the next day the same thing happened, I was so nervous, I couldn't sleep again. So when Prabhupada got up, and started chanting, then I also made myself known. So Prabhupada, he turned on the light and he said "Oh, you're up?" I said "Well, Prabhupada, I'm so nervous, I haven't been able to sleep." And he said "Oh, that's good, very good." He said, "I think, sleeping is a waste of time." He said "I don't like to sleep." He said "And I don't like my disciples to sleep." Than he said, "Practically speaking, our aim is to make eating to zero," "sleeping zero, sex zero, and defence zero." "We don't say that, but that is the aim." The Montreal Temple, you know, was going very well, but we always had a difficult time paying the monthly rent. And there was some danger that they would lose the temple at one point Because they just didn't have the rent money. And Prabhupada actually proposed the idea to me and Pradyumna that we should go out and meet people in the indian community and, you know, explain to them that we are trying to establish this Radha-Krishna temple here and maintain this temple, and that we would like their support and help. But in any case, Pradyumna and I didn't actually follow up that instruction. I think we just didn't know how to go about doing it. But one thing that I did know how to do I knew how serve God and raise money at an airport. I mean I was just a young boy, seventeen, I remember being short on my airline fare a couple of times. And I didn't know what to do. So I just started asking people, "Could you spare a buck, I'm, you know," "five dollar short on my flight." And sort of miraculously people were kind enough to give me a few dollars. And here I was, I had absolutely no skill, I went out and... went to the airport... And I just started doing that and I managed to raise a few hundred dollars. And I gave it to the temple for the rent, and I wasn't even aware that Prabhupada knew about it, really. But about four or five years later, just out of the blue, Prabhupada said to me... He said, "I remember when you raised the money to save the Montreal temple." And I was so touched to realize that Prabhupada had this memory of me, that I had done some service to help save the temple. And just really surprised me, because I had no idea that Prabhupada was aware of that or that he would remember that. I'll never forget, in so many ways, Prabhupada always expressed such kindness and love for his disciples. Janardhana arranged one time for Prabhupada, "I'll go, speak to the professors at McGill University." They had a faculty meeting or something so Prabhupada went join them for dinner. He's not... Prabhupada doesn't eat dinner with... people who'd eat meat and stuff. But he said "I'm not supposed to do this" but he says "It's for preaching, I'll go." See, after Boston Prabhupada went to Montreal. Then he spent the whole summer there, actually he had to go there, because his visa was finished. And he had to leave the country. And he... it was uncertain even weather Prabhupada would be able to ever return to the United States. And Allen Ginsberg was helping, you know Ramananda was at Ginsberg working with lawyers, they tryed to get his... And they said "The only way you can do this if he leaves the country." "He has to leave the country to make a new visa application." "And it has to be 3 months at least..." So Prabhupada established in Montreal and he said "It's okay." "It doesn't matter if we get it. If we don't get it, then I'll make Montreal the World Headquarters." And a lot of devotees came up for the summer and... and then he was under application. And then at about in August sometime, he came through, he got his... he got it. This building is the first temple they had in Buffalo. It was Lasalle Avenue. Not far from the University. I saw the devotees there and they were advertising the sunday feast and I used to see them in some of the classrooms at night with karatalas and burning incence and I was very... kind of curious about them. There was a class offered, that was called "Introduction to Vedic Literature". So Rupanuga presented this class on Krishna Counciousness. Rupanuga prabhu had invited him, because he was giving a bhaktiyoga class. at the university, the University of Buffalo. Srila Prabhupada had stayed around a week. He was staying at Rupanuga prabhu's house. And he gave lectures at different universities there. And also the University of Buffalo. And he gave classes daily at the temple there. And as soon as I joined the temple, I had become a a pujari. Actually they made me the head pujari the day I moved into the temple. Although I wasn't so sure what the names of the deities were. And I became the treasurer. I was a student of the University of Buffalo. Although I was a fulltime... I was also a devotee. Four years ago with our full dhoti and tilaka, shaving head to skull. Four in the morning when I wasn't gone to the University I spent it with Prabhupada listening to So I spent practically every morning with him. One time I was tried to see Prabhupada's effulgence, because I was practicing Hatha yoga and Prabhupada immediately looked at me and he said that our method is bhakti and not mystic yoga. So then I could understand that Prabhupada is quite perceptive He gave very nice instructions. One time he stopped when he was talking to us, because sometimes it would be for a period of time, maybe a couple of hours So every once in a while he'd would stop and pick up his beads and start chanting and he said "If you ever have time, chant!" I remember one instruction he gave me, he said "Don't try and teach your godbrothers lessons." Prabhupada was giving one lecture at the university. And during that time one person crawled up to Prabhupada and said "Prabhupada, how far down do you have to get in order to see God," "how humble do you have to get, more or less?" And then he was crawling up to Prabhupada. Later on he became initiated by Prabhupada, his name was Kusakarata prabhu He was quite an unusual personality at that time. But by Prabhupada's mercy and by the mercy of the association of devotees he became a sanskrit editor. That record went everywhere, the first record. of 'Hare Krishna'. nobody rehearsed it. And it went so smooth. The Happening record. There was a very hip station in those days. It's called web AI. And it was a guy on it all night, from 11 o'clock until eight o'clock. It was the most popular night station. guy went up there with the record. He used to do far out things this guy and he played it nonstop until the next morning, over and over. People called in and said, hey, that's cool. We love it, you know? And he did it.

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Duration: 22 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Posted by: lopter001 on Jun 7, 2021

Following Srila Prabhupada _ DVD 104

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