Caturbhuja das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 01

Caturbhuja: We were initiated as a grihastha family: my father, my mother and two other brothers. This was on the 14th of December, 1969. Here we see the start of initiation ceremony. We were nine, ten at the time, and initiation had a great significance for my parents because they were born in India. They had been raised in a family where initiation was considered important. We were surrounded by lots of devotee well-wishers and people who were really very very pleased that we were being initiated and equally we felt that wonderful beginning of reciprocation that you'd feel when you do become initiated, and how that grew in subsequent years. and how we came to relish the wonderful pastimes which Srila Prabhupada told us and the stories that he told us from various parts of the Vedic literature.

Interview DVD 11

Caturbhuja: This is our residence, Bhagwat Bhawan. It’s a very ordinary semi-detached property, and by that stage we had been initiated for six, seven years. This is Mukunda, and what we’re anticipating is the arrival of Sri Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada. These are our family friends who have been invited. These are people who visit Bury Place. This is Dr. Bajpai, a very well-known medical doctor in a number of medical fields. He is on the right-hand side along with my father on the left, and we’re simply discussing how we individually met Srila Prabhupada. Dr. Bajpai, who was a first life member of ISKCON London, had many, many conversations with Srila Prabhupada, and Srila Prabhupada would often discuss philosophy and medicine.

This is the temple room. This is an example of what Prabhupada blessed us with since the initiation. He installed our Deities sometime back. For us it was a wonderful, wonderful homecoming, and I think Srila Prabhupada felt that as well. The dialogues would not be formal. Sometimes they would be just as friends, or as father and grandfather would have. And whenever we would reciprocate with Srila Prabhupada, whether it was through glances or through singing or through listening, he would just reciprocate and laugh and joke tenfold. Srila Prabhupada would tell us many, many stories from different parts of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and he would intermix accounts of these stories in his own life. I distinctly recall feeling stories of kindness from Srimad-Bhagavatam, gentleness of devotees, and clemency. We were always making mistakes, but Srila Prabhupada would have that quality to be forgiving. Though he was communicating Krishna consciousness, it was never in an academic way or it was never dry or impersonal. It was just full of life.