Gopimata devi dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 11

Gopimata: I was traveling. I intended to come to Europe to do street clowning with my girlfriend. In New York City, we met a sankirtan devotee who gave us a book and a record, Radha Krishna Album. And when we heard this music, I remember thinking that there is nothing I want to do besides find out what this means and meet the people who are singing this music. So we went to England. That was in March of ’77. So it was only four months later that the devotees said Srila Prabhupada is coming, and we all considered it a wonderful miracle that somehow or other we were actually going to be able to meet him. Many of the older devotees were pained to see him in that condition; but to me, it was the first time I saw him and he was so incredibly attractive. He was glowing like the sun, just so beautiful like the ripened fruit of tapasya. I had never experienced anyone who was exuding so much love. I was astonished. I had an interesting experience that while he was giving this first lecture, I was sitting back in a corner where I could see him but so many devotees around. But I had the strange feeling that while Prabhupada was speaking, he was looking directly at me and speaking to me. It was as if he had sat down in front of me and said, “My dear child, this is why you’ve been suffering in the material world, and now it’s time for you to go back home, back to Krishna. Come with me and I’ll take you home.” I felt pretty silly due to my big false ego thinking that I had received special attention. So after the lecture when I went out into the hallway, I overheard some devotee speaking that “Oh, I had this strange experience that Prabhupada was looking straight at me and speaking directly to me.” And then I heard another group of people speaking, and at least three or four different groups of devotees mentioned like this. I was stunned, “What kind of person is this?” It was also interesting while I was in this lecture, I had a unique feeling that Prabhupada was looking straight into my soul, that he was looking at my essential self and not at the person who I had previously thought I was, but looking through all the layers of my conditioning to see my true self, that I was an eternal spiritual living entity, a servant of Krishna. And that he would hold this realization of me so strongly, it felt as if that could bring me out of all those layers of conditioning to the point where I can also realize who I am. So because I was a latecomer and in one way felt unfortunate that I was only able to see Prabhupada in his very last days, in another way I felt like I received a wonderful benediction.