Kiba Jaya das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Kiba Jaya: My first personal experience with Prabhupada, besides getting a cookie from him or a pat on the head was when I was four years old. I was at the time dressing as a sannyasi and had a danda. We all met Srila Prabhupada at the airport and I got to ride back to the temple in the Cadillac with Srila Prabhupada. There was a driver in the front seat and my father was in the passenger seat doing security. I was in the back seat with my little danda and Prabhupada sitting next to me. It was the best day of my life. On our way back from the airport Srila Prabhupada took out a big cookie that someone had given him. He could see that I was obviously interested in the cookie, so he broke it and gave me one half. I ate it so quickly that I just buried the thing. However, Prabhupada didn’t eat his right away. I was sitting there with mine finished, and Prabhupada still had his cookie. I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’m a brahmin. I’m supposed to wash my hands and Prabhupada is sitting right next to me, and he’s going to see that I don’t wash my hands after I eat.” I was four years old and this was the biggest problem that I could ever have. I remember my danda was sitting next to the door and I was touching it. I was thinking, “Am I going to be exposed as a smarta brahmin or a false brahmin?” But I kept cool though. I watched Prabhupada to see what he would do. Prabhupada ate his cookie and without touching his fingers to his lips. When he finished he clapped his hands together three times cleaning any crumbs left on his hands. So I did the same thing. It was just such a relief. There were all these pressures on me. I was a brahmin so I had to wash my hands, or maybe take a shower. This was some pretty intense pressure. Prabhupada cleaned his hands by clapping them together and instantly my suffering vanished. This event has meant more and more to me over the years. I’ve had different realizations but I’ve come to understand that everything has a time, place, and circumstance.

One morning a devotee boy named Susil and I got to walk with Prabhupada. I guess we had had the best scores in Bhagavad-gita class so only the two of us were allowed to go because they didn’t want the whole gurukula disturbing Prabhupada’s morning walk. I had to promise to be quiet and be respectful. It was really awesome because Prabhupada remembered me from Los Angeles. I was small and used to everybody being bigger than me and it was really cool that he took the time to remember me. He told me to walk right next to him and at the time it was the highlight of my life. It would be like nowadays any celebrity or President Obama sitting next to you. He was literally the most important person in my world and I was right next to him. Even though I was in awe of Srila Prabhupada, he never came off as if he demanded that respect. He was always like my grandfather or uncle.

I realize that none of us would know each other if not for Prabhupada. All of the friends and wonderful people that I know would not have happened in my life if Prabhupada hadn’t come here. We’d have been in New Jersey and Buffalo and everybody would have been scattered everywhere. But because of this movement I know some fantastic people. I think it’s very important to thank Srila Prabhupada for that and they wouldn’t have been this good of quality people if not for him. That is something that affects us in our daily life. I think about Prabhupada every day. I can’t help it. He was just one cool cat.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 50 - Patita Pavana, Ramesvara, Soma, Manmohini, Kiba Jaya, Girindra M, Omkara

The full Prabhupada Memories Series can be viewed here and also at