Krishnadas Kaviraj das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Krishnadas Kaviraja: I remember in 1976 we were in Mayapur with all the devotees waiting for Srila Prabhupada to take a trip to Nrsimhapalli where Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared in Navadvip. There was a big kirtan surrounding Prabhupada’s car at the bottom of the stairs of the Lotus building. After Prabhupada got in his car, Laksminatha prabhu and I were standing right beside the window where Srila Prabhupada was looking right up at us. We were chanting and dancing and Prabhupada was appreciating the kirtan. They were just about to drive away when Hari Sauri jumped out of the car and said, “We don’t have Prabhupada’s cane!” Somebody ran up and got Prabhupada’s cane and brought it down. They were about to drive away again when all of a sudden Hari Sauri [chuckles] jumped out and said, “We don’t have Prabhupada’s sweater.” Somebody ran up, retrieved Prabhupada’s sweater, and came back down. They were about to drive away again [chuckles] and Hari Sauri said, “We don’t have any water.” I immediately pulled off the canteen from my shoulder and shoved it across the roof of the car. Hari Sauri took it, sat down in the car, and as they drove off, Prabhupada just looked up at me with a big smile. It was such an amazing thing to see Srila Prabhupada, who was in charge of a huge movement and doing so many things, take the moment to show his appreciation for a very small gesture of service that was offered to him. He appreciated it, but I really appreciated that appreciation.

In 1975 Srila Prabhupada arrived at the Toronto airport to be with the devotees at the Gerard Street temple. While most of the devotees from the temple greeted him at the airport, my wife Purnamasi stayed back with just a couple of devotees to make sure everything was totally ready for Srila Prabhupada. Suddenly the devotees heard the kirtan outside, and then my wife realized that the water on the vyasasan had not been changed. She had been changing that water every day for Prabhupada, making sure the goblet was totally polished and filled with fresh water. She grabbed the goblet from the day before, ran out, got the fresh water and quickly wiped everything to make sure it was shiny. Before she could return the goblet to the temple room, someone opened the door and Prabhupada walked in. When she saw Prabhupada, she thought, “What do I do?” She was holding the water tray, but she got right down and offered obeisances holding the tray above her head. Prabhupada turned and walked in the temple room with a whole train of devotees pouring into the temple room behind him. Purnamasi was left standing there with the water unable to get it into the temple room. Since she couldn’t manage her way through to the vyasasan, she tapped on somebody’s shoulder and they took the water and passed it on up to Srila Prabhupada’s vyasasan. Prabhupada started giving his arrival speech, and as he was speaking, he suddenly said, “Water.” His assistant poured some water for him, and Srila Prabhupada, as he always did, poured it into his mouth. As he was pouring the water, he looked directly at my wife, smiling in appreciation for the service that she had just done and did every day. It meant so much to Prabhupada to accept his disciple’s small service, but it meant so much more to her. [laughs]

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 72 - Canadian Yatra

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