Hari das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Hari: It was 1975. He asked me, “Now you have learned so many things, you should go around the world and preach.” I said, “Yes, I’ll go.” So I tried to get my passport. On the passport application the father’s name was required and I didn’t know who my father was, so I didn’t bother. So after a month Prabhupada asked, “You are still here? You should go and preach.” I said, “I’m not getting my passport.” He said, “Why you are not getting your passport?” I said, “They require my father’s name.” He said, “Bring that form.” So Amrita was there for secretarial typing and she had the form. He told her, “Write my name A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the father”. He signed the application, sealed it and said, “Go get your passport.” So I went to Mr. Sethi who arranged the passport in two days. On the third day I was on the flight to travel the world. Then I think Brahmananda or Bhagavan asked him, “Prabhupada, why did you put your name as his father?” He said, “Because I put my guru’s name as my father in my passport.” So I accepted. Ever since, I have all my documents with Prabhupada’s name for the father, in my driver’s license, passport, property, everything.

One day Prabhupada was alone in his room. Usually he was quiet but this day he was laughing and talking to himself. I went by his room and I said, “Prabhupada, what you are laughing at?” Prabhupada said, “The reason I was laughing was that I just remembered my past life.” Then I said, “Prabhupada, what was your past life?” Then he said, “I was a medical person and I had not committed any sin. I had a guru. One day I remember it was raining and I was serving my guru. I was fanning my Guru Maharaj, and he could see in the rain that there was one snake and he made me go kill that snake.” Then he said, “Now I remember why my Guru Maharaj made me kill that snake; so I had to take birth again in this life to save so many snakes like you all.”

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 49 - Jayapataka Swami, Sruto, Gargamuni, Gurukrpa, Narayani, Rupa, Haridas, Ranjit, Nrsimhanda

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 04

Hari: This day I was working in the kitchen under the supervision of Panchadravida Swami, cleaning and all the details, and it’s already after nine in the morning and nobody came for prasad. So I asked Maharaj why nobody is coming for prasad. So he said, “In the temple there is a fire sacrifice.” I said, “What is fire sacrifice?” He said, “Prabhupada is giving initiation. After that they will come.” I said, “What is initiation?” So I was anxious to come and see what is a fire sacrifice and the initiation. I don’t know anything about that. Maybe that was three or four weeks I was there. So he said, “OK, you can go for 10 minutes. There’s a lot of work to do in the kitchen.” So I came and I stood in that side of the corner, watching what is going on. Then Prabhupada saw me and he said, “You come and sit down for initiation.” Then Prabhupada asked me many questions during that initiation. First he gave me the beads, then he said, “What is your name?” I said, “My name is Sekhar Kumar, but Giriraj Swami and everybody call me Haridas.” He said, “OK, keep that name, but you must follow the teaching of Haridas.” Then he asked me, “Do you follow four principles?” Because I don’t understand, I said no. Then Giriraj Swami said, “Haridas, those not eating meat, not fish, not drinking and so on.” I said, “Yeah, yeah, those I know, those I follow.” Then he gave me the beads, and then he sent me back. He said, “Now you go to kitchen and start working.” The fire sacrifice is still not over. And when I go on back to kitchen to work and Panchadravida Maharaj got angry at me, he said, “What took long time?” He sent me for 10 minutes. I said, “I just got the initiation.” He said, “Then what you are doing? Go back there!” So I came back again, and that was a climax of the fire sacrifice.

Interview DVD 06

Hari: Sometimes ’74 Prabhupada asked me I should go all over the world and cook and kirtan and preach. So then again after one month Prabhupada comes to Bombay. He said, “Why are you here?” I said, “I cannot go. I am not getting passport.” He said, “Why you are not getting passport?” I said, “In the form required father name, and I don’t know who is my father.” He said, “OK, bring that form.” Then he called Aditya and said, “Type his father name A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,” and then he signed in that form. Then he put the stamp, ISKCON stamp, and after two days I got the passport. And ever since in all my legal document, if my father name required the Prabhupada name comes.