Kaumadaki devi dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 05

Kaumadaki: Srila Prabhupada had a fire sacrifice. One of his sannyasis had become involved with a woman. And so Prabhupada announced that he was going to marry them, and everybody was very surprised because we didn’t know that that could happen. Prabhupada gave a talk about Krishna consciousness and he initiated the woman and then he married them. He made it clear that he was caring for us and he was keeping us engaged in Krishna’s service. He didn’t want us to go away. He didn’t want us to give up. If we couldn’t serve in this capacity, then he wanted us to serve in whatever capacity we could. It was so kind and fatherly of Srila Prabhupada, the way he treated the whole situation. Later I heard a tape of a conversation Srila Prabhupada had with another sannyasi who had left and married a woman and then after some time he came back, and Prabhupada accepted this lady and initiated her. She did some wonderful service. I remember the conversation. The sannyasi was saying to Prabhupada, “Lord Caitanya rejected one of His followers for just looking at a woman lustfully, and yet I have given up sannyasa and I have gotten married. So does that mean that you reject me?” And Srila Prabhupada said, “Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead so He can reject like that. But I am only His humble servant and you are all helping me, so I can never reject you.” It was so kind. Srila Prabhupada’s total detachment and total kindness. There was never anything egotistical or material about Srila Prabhupada.

Interview DVD 07

Kaumadaki: Srila Prabhupada sat on Subhadra’s cart, and so I walked beside that cart because I wanted to have Srila Prabhupada’s darshan as much as possible. He was so happy and radiant. And partway along the route he raised up his hand and stopped the procession for a short time, and thousands of people stopped just because Srila Prabhupada raised his right hand.

Then when he was ready to go again, he made a gesture with his right hand like “onward, forward,” and all of a sudden all the carts started moving again. Thousands of people just started moving. It was so wonderful. It was the most wonderful feeling to be anywhere near Srila Prabhupada.

Then he left the stage and went back to the temple, and we kept dancing and chanting until the sun went down. We felt lighter than air. We were so joyful and so happy to be dancing and chanting with Srila Prabhupada. It was the most wonderful, joyous event.

Interview DVD 09

Kaumadaki: Srila Prabhupada gave some wonderful classes. The one I remember the most was a class in the new temple room where Srila Prabhupada said, “Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita among thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, for self-realization. And out of many thousands of such men, only one may know Me in truth.” So then Srila Prabhupada looked around at the temple, and the whole temple room was packed and the whole balcony was packed. I was sitting up in the front of the balcony so I could see clearly, and Srila Prabhupada was looking at all of us and he said, “So does this mean that only a few of you are going to become Krishna conscious and be with Krishna?” He said, “No. Every one of you can be with Krishna. Every one of you can know Krishna in truth. You have come to Krishna after past lives of making progress in spiritual life.” But Srila Prabhupada was saying that when we come to Krishna consciousness, we take up where we left off in our past lives. So someone might come and they might struggle with the very simple things even after years, and someone might come and they might very quickly become a very advanced preacher or have wonderful spiritual realizations right away. Srila Prabhupada explained that that’s because of past development in past lifetimes. But Srila Prabhupada was saying that “Every one of you can be with Krishna.”

Interview DVD 10

Kaumadaki: Most of the visiting women were asked to help in the kitchen cutting vegetables for the daily cooking. So I would go down and cut vegetables, but at a certain time I knew was the time when Srila Prabhupada was coming back from his morning walk. So I would desert my post and run down to the main gate and see Srila Prabhupada coming with a small group of devotees across the fields. The morning sun in Mayapur is very warm, and it has a golden radiant look. This beautiful morning sun would shine on Srila Prabhupada’s face, and he looked especially beautiful in the morning sun.