Dayasara das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 06

Dayasara: I remember when Prabhupada arrived, then we would hire the Rolls Royce. And that was a cause of a lot of publicity actually, it made the evening newspaper. The headline was “His Divine Grace comes Rollsing in.” We put up all these posters. The poster read “His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at whose feet all masters sit,” and then it had a nice picture of Prabhupada and then the program for the five days or so that he was going to be in Melbourne. And then there was an overpass on the freeway from the airport, and someone had plastered all posters right across the walkover so they were clearly visible about 20 feet up from the roadway. We were all following Prabhupada’s Rolls Royce, and I remember the Rolls Royce slowed down for Prabhupada to see. We had the side doors of the vans open and we had kirtan following Prabhupada all the way through the city and into the temple. This is Prabhupada at the small temple in Burnett Street in Saint Kilda. It actually was a terraced house, and the temple room was very, very small. Actually Lord Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balarama were on an altar directly above Radha-Vallabha’s head. Unfortunately, there were so many devotees, not everybody could fit into the room. He actually gave an initiation here, fire sacrifice. I remember the smoke was pouring out of the room and we were in the corridor, and you couldn’t even see the vyasasan from the doorway. Nevertheless, Prabhupada seemed very unfazed by the smoke.

There were three major universities in Melbourne, and La Trobe University was one of them. We had arranged a program. I remember we went into the hall, it was an auditorium, and there weren’t many students there even though we had extensively advertised. There might have been about 50 to 100 students, and it was a huge auditorium and it wasn’t filled up. So then Madhudvisa had the idea to take all the devotees out…and Prabhupada hadn’t arrived yet…and do a big Harinam on the main quadrangle in the university and try and bring more students back, and it had the desired effect because it was right at lunchtime. He was like the Pied Piper. Madhudvisa brought all these students, and the hall auditorium was full to capacity. But as it happened, it was only about two or three minutes into Prabhupada’s lecture then that the students started heckling.

It was early in the morning around 6:30 a.m. and one person was practicing his golf putting, and Prabhupada stopped in the middle of a walk and said, “What is he doing?” A devotee said, “Oh, he’s practicing his golf, Srila Prabhupada.” Prabhupada said again, “What is he doing? He’s wasting his human form of life.” The same austerity as he’s going to practice his golf at 6:30 in the morning he could easily be directing towards Krishna. Actually Prabhupada had tears in his eyes watching his determination to practice his golf.

Interview DVD 08

Dayasara: I remember I was very nervous, of course, going before Prabhupada to receive initiation. Is that me there? I think so. I’ve put on about 40 kilos since then. I was worried that I would forget the four rules and regulations so I said, “No illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication, no meat eating,” to try and make sure I didn’t forget. Then Prabhupada said, “So many negatives?” because I was stressing the word “no” as though it was abhorrent to give these things up. And Prabhupada said, “Isn’t there any positive?” Then I said, “Ah, yes, and chanting Hare Krishna 16 rounds.”