Karnamrita dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 07

Karnamrita: I remember being in New Vrindavan with Prabhupada the first time, I must have been 2 or 3 years old. The Deities would open, we’d be standing in front of Vrindavan Chandra, and I would be dancing and holding Prabhupada’s hand. You zone in on small little details, and the detail I remember was holding his hand and I would stop dancing because I would start rubbing the palm of his hand because it was so soft. The softness of Prabhupada’s hand reminds me of the way that I feel about Prabhupada. After a while, he’d let go of my hand and he’d motion for me to dance and jump up and down. He’d begin smiling and making me jump higher and more and more. After the kirtans, Prabhupada would go and sit down on his vyasasana. Everyone was sitting and listening to class, and I’d run out to the garden and pick a flower and run back in and pay obeisances in front of Prabhupada and hand it to him, pay obeisances, run back out, pick a flower, run back in, pay obeisances. I kept doing this all through the class, and Prabhupada never said anything. For me, I didn’t have that fear of Prabhupada. You could tell that he would let you come close to him and hold his hand, and he’d encourage you to dance. Then when I got older I was in Dallas gurukula, and I must have been 5, maybe 6. Jagadisa Maharaj would be standing there introducing each of us as we walked in the room, what our name was, who our parents were, what temple we were from, and Prabhupada would give us a rasgulla sweet. I remember for some reason we went through quite quickly, but there was a couple of children where Prabhupada would ask more questions about them. By that time, I had learned that Prabhupada was someone really special, and I was nervous. They were asking questions about me when I was there and I thought, “Hurry up, hurry up, this is making me nervous!” So I came back from Dallas gurukula to New Vrindavan in 1976, and that was the last year that I saw Prabhupada. I didn’t go down and hold his hands at that age, and I didn’t go down and offer flowers like I did when I was small. I used to sing in the temple, and at one point Prabhupada had asked me to sing. I came inside the room and I sang the first verse of Samsara Dava, and he said, “Keep singing.” Some other people came in and started talking, but I left the room. My mother had always wanted me to sing. It came up later on that I liked singing, but Prabhupada had asked me to keep singing that day that I went into his room.