Mathura das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Mathura: I met the devotees at a festival, and ten days later, before I was to go to college, I thought, “I’m going to go and see the devotees at the Bhaktivedanta Manor that George Harrison donated.” Not knowing much about the devotees, on the way I would muse, “What is it going to be like? Who are these people?” When I arrived at the temple, a devotee exclaimed, “Haribol!” I said, “I met devotees at Windsor Festival.” He said, “Oh, put your bags here. What is your name?” “Mark.” He said, “Would you like to go in the kitchen?” I went straight in the kitchen to wash pots and I thought, “Why not? That’s why I’m here. I’ve come to do service.” In time, Prabhupada was planning a trip back to the Manor from Stockholm. I remember all the devotees were exclaiming, “Prabhupada’s coming! Prabhupada’s coming!” I remember asking, “What do you do when you see him? Do you bow down? What do you do?” It was all kind of quite nerve-racking. Finally, Prabhupada arrived in a white Mercedes. He got out of the car and my first impression was, “Wow, he is really small!” I was only sixteen years old at the time and I was taller than he was, but he did appear to have a golden aura that impressed me. After being around the devotees for about a year, there came a time when Prabhupada was again visiting the Manor, and I had my first close encounter with Prabhupada during guru-puja. Somebody had a basket of flowers, and I was resisting this actual act of submission. As the line was getting smaller and I was getting closer and closer, the import of what I was doing was just dawning on me. “I’ve gone from being totally not into God or into spiritual things to meeting devotees and now accepting God as real.” It was mind-blowing. Accepting a guru was quite a big thing for me. As I came up, I remember getting the flowers and I couldn’t look Prabhupada in the eyes. With all humility I offered my flowers and did what everybody else did mechanically. I lay down in front of Prabhupada, and not knowing the actual prayers, I thought, “Please accept me as your disciple. I accept you as my guru.” As I walked away to join the kirtan, I have to say, a rush came all over my body up to my hair. It was the first time I was in the company of devotees where I was feeling ecstatic.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 73 - Bhakti Caitanya Swami, and the UK Yatra.

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