Rajashekar das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 05

Rajashekar: I went on sankirtan with Tribhuvanath. We were very close friends in those days. So one day we came back to the Manor and we saw that Srila Prabhupada was sitting on the lawn with only Shyamasundar. We thought that this is a wonderful opportunity to have intimate association with the spiritual master. So we rushed down to the lawns and we went over there and sat down. Prabhupada looked at us, and he seemed to be a little bit disturbed. He kept looking at us and talked a little bit to Shyamasundar, then he was looking again and he didn’t look very happy. Then suddenly he turned to Shyamasundar and he said, “These men have no work? They have nothing to do?” So I thought, “Oh, my goodness.” So I realized also at that time that there are a lot of people who wanted to be seen with Prabhupada or to be with Prabhupada, but this was not very important. And during the course of my time there, I was taking his slippers and giving him his cane and every morning taking him down to class and bringing him back but I never said anything except, “Jaya Srila Prabhupada.” I didn’t feel that I wanted to impose upon him.

We knew that Srila Prabhupada had some program in London. So he had driven from the Manor, which is about an hour or something. I rushed to the door and Srila Prabhupada’s car was just pulling in. I said, “Oh, my goodness, there’s nobody here, just me.” I ran out to the street and Srila Prabhupada came from his car, and he didn’t even wait for the other devotees. He just very merrily started walking towards the temple. So on the footpath itself I paid my obeisances and I stood up and I said, “Jaya, Srila Prabhupada,” and he said, “Jaya!” And when he said “Jaya,” I got the picture of Bhaktisiddhanta in my head, that when I said “Prabhupada,” he was thinking Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta. And I thought, “Wow!” The humility, I already saw Srila Prabhupada’s humility, especially on his arrival at the Manor the very first time and even from his pictures. When I was a karmi, that’s the thing that I recognized about him, this supreme humility of a pure devotee. But then when I chanted “Jaya Prabhupada” and he said “Jaya,” then I knew that he wasn’t thinking himself as Prabhupada. He was thinking this is Bhaktisiddhanta. I firmly believe that he took only the title of Prabhupada just to glorify his own spiritual master.