Sauri das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Sauri: One day in Honolulu, Guru Kripa started a kirtan as the conch shell blew for the start of the arati. After the ghee lamp was offered to the Deities, I took the lamp from the pujari and went around to offer it to the devotees including Srila Prabhupada. For some unknown reason I went around to all the devotees first and then to Srila Prabhupada last. Srila Prabhupada didn’t seem disturbed as he was absorbed in chanting the Holy Name and simply took his hands, put them to his head, and folded his hands in appreciation for me offering the lamp to him. The arati continued, and after the water was offered to the Gaura-Nitai Deities, the pujari handed me the water, and I followed suit as to what I had previously done. I went to all the devotees first, and then I went up to Srila Prabhupada last and very respectfully sprinkled water on his head. He bowed his head accepting the water and again with appreciation in how I had offered him the Deity water. The kirtan continued with everyone dancing, and then the flowers were offered to the Deities and then handed to me as before. Again, I went through all the devotees first, and then I went to Srila Prabhupada last. Srila Prabhupada bent down and smelt the flowers and gave me a big smile. I had been in the temple for about two weeks and I had been through the proper procedure, but I don’t know why I acted like I did in Srila Prabhupada’s presence. It was totally unintentional. I remember thinking in my mind, like when you take a meal you save the desert for last, in the same way I was thinking out of respect for Srila Prabhupada, as he was the best, I will offer everything to him last. The quality of Srila Prabhupada I got from this experience was his utmost humility. He wasn’t thinking, “Why are you giving it to all the other devotees first and me last?” There was no struggle in his face as if he was disturbed or upset with me. And I did it three times! Usually if you do something like that three times, someone would be a little upset with you. But he didn’t say anything to anyone. Of course, afterwards other people got on my case. Forty years later, here I am in Mayapur, a senior Prabhupada disciple, and when the ghee lamp comes around, I remember that time I offered all the paraphernalia to Prabhupada last. Now, if the lamp doesn’t come to me first, I remember how Srila Prabhupada acted, and I struggle with my mind to counteract the pride that I have thinking that I am a senior Prabhupada disciple and I deserve the respect and the honor to touch the paraphernalia first.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 63 - Atitaguna dasi, Krsnarupa dasi, Mishra Bhagavan, Niranjan, Pancharatn

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