Ranganath das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Ranganatha: I was able to go with Srila Prabhupada on a lot of morning walks especially in Chicago and Detroit. On one of the morning walks in Evanston, Illinois, we walked along the lake front with Srila Prabhupada. I was younger than most of the devotees and I was still probably shorter being only nineteen years of age. Prabhupada walked quite fast and what I was getting was a lot of knees and elbows from all the tall, bony devotees.

At the end of the walk, right as Prabhupada was getting in the car, I nervously asked, “Srila Prabhupada, what happens to devotees that join the temple and then they leave?” Prabhupada stopped along with everyone else and he looked right at me. I was right next to Prabhupada and he just stared at me and said, “Explain.” I thought I was going to faint. I said, “Prabhupada, these devotees that get initiated even as brahmanas and then they leave the movement, what’s going to happen to them?” I didn’t want to ask something foolish, but I knew Arjuna asked Krishna that question in the Bhagavad-gita, so I knew it was a bona-fide question. He replied, “That is the fault of the recommender.” I didn’t anticipate that answer and I couldn’t understand exactly what he meant. I asked, “You mean the temple president who recommended them for initiation?” He said, “Yes.” And then Tamal Krishna Maharaj, who was standing right there, added, “You know Arjuna asked Krishna that and Krishna says that you take birth in a high family or family of great devotees or wealthy people.” Prabhupada said, “Yes.” Later Tamal Krishna Maharaj told me that Prabhupada was very upset with a lot of people getting initiated that really weren’t qualified to get initiated.

The quality Srila Prabhupada had that impressed me the most was his compassion. What he taught us is very high knowledge and a rare opportunity to become initiated into the Brahma Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. It is an incalculable opportunity for our benefit that is better than any amount of money. There is no amount of money that you could make that comes even close to what he has given us, and Prabhupada by his compassion gives it to anyone who would take his instruction. If we follow his instructions, he’ll let us come back to Godhead. He’ll be our link. And that is his compassion for all of us.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 64 - The New Talavan Clan +3

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