Dinanath das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 02

Dinanath: I know I was nervous there because there were guards standing around with rifles and we were in a Muslim land, but we were bold. At that point, we were on our way and our devotion to Prabhupada was our focus. We had no idea about India, what was in store, but we knew we were being led and we had a mission.

Interview DVD 04

Dinanath: Once we were walking in Vrindavan along the road and it was just a couple of us, and all of a sudden out of the blue Prabhupada just stops. And he turned around and he looked at me straight in the face and he said, “So Dinanath, you will become a pure devotee?” Simultaneously it was a question but it was a directive too. He was inquiring, but at the same time he was giving me a directive. And I immediately answered, I said, “Yes, Srila Prabhupada.” Then about a day later we were walking again the same way. He stops again, turns and looks at me and he says to me, “Don’t change anything,” turns back around and keeps walking.

We were in Hyderabad. At this time, I was torn between making my commitment to maintaining brahmacari and considering even going to sannyasa and thinking about marriage. I knew in my heart that the time wasn’t right and I was young, but my spirit wanted it. It wanted to live a renounced life, but my body and my mind wasn’t ready, mature enough for it. So it was tearing my being in different directions. So I couldn’t sleep one night. So I got up and I walked down this building we were staying in, and I walked down the hallway and peeked my head in Prabhupada’s room. It was about eleven o’clock at night. I peeked my head in and I saw Prabhupada walking, pacing back and forth, up and down. So I wormed in, slid in and offered my obeisances. He was walking and he looked over at me and waved to me, “Get up, come.” So as he’s walking, he brings me over to him and we’re walking side by side, back and forth, and he’s “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.” So he says, “Yes?” So I said, “Prabhupada, I’m thinking about going to Hrisikesh.” He just became silent, he was listening, and he gave me a chance to explain. He didn’t ask anything. I said, “I’m thinking about going to Hrisikesh to live as a brahmacari, to go and live in an ashram, not to be around any women and things and I can dedicate myself to brahmacari life.” So after explaining my heart and everything to him, he stopped and it was like time turned still and the earth stopped. He just looked at me dead in the face and the eyes and he said, “Please don’t do that. I wasted 12 years simply sitting in Vrindavan.” He said, “Just tell everybody you meet about Krishna.” At that point, I felt my problem was solved. I didn’t know what I was going to do personally, but my problem was solved and I bowed down. I said, “Thank you, Prabhupada.” He started walking again, and I went and took rest.

Interview DVD 06

Dinanath: One evening we were having a very ecstatic kirtan. We were singing and singing and dancing and it was very, very ecstatic. So I was trying to keep to the schedule more or less so that he could give class afterwards, but the kirtan this night just became very, very…it was a wonderful kirtan. Then the conch shell blows and the arati is over. So I said, “OK, let me lead one more round.” I led one more round and it got ecstatic. I said, “Well, maybe one more round,” and it got really ecstatic. I said, “OK, this is it, we’re going to stop.” The devotees had finished responding, and I stopped the kirtan. I was in the process of bowing down and I heard the kartals still playing…ding ding ding ding ding ding…and I looked up and Prabhupada, he was still going at the same tempo and he was still in ecstasy. I came back up and started chanting again, and Prabhupada’s head was rocking side to side but we kept on singing. That was very, very wonderful. Then we went on past the time to start the class and everything. At that time, I waited for a signal from Prabhupada to stop. It wasn’t really he said “now stop,” but you could tell when he was finished, it was OK to stop. So I waited for a cue, a physical cue from his body. At that time, I became more attentive to his ecstasy as opposed to my ecstasy or our ecstasy.