Sitala devi dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 06

Sitala: Being a pujari, I was missing everything – the morning walks, the room conversations, everything, and I was getting more and more stressed. People weren’t turning up for their service, and I was getting more and more resentful as the day went by. So it was the last night that he was there, and I was crying. I wanted to see Prabhupada. Then Bhagavan came into the kitchen. He immediately just understood somehow, there must have been a black cloud surrounding me. So Bhagavan ordered me, “I want you to go up and see Prabhupada right now.” The thought of going up and seeing Prabhupada in this state was terrifying. He said, “No, I’m going, you come up with me.” I thought OK, and I started walking behind him up to Prabhupada’s room and I was getting smaller and smaller and feeling like I wanted to disappear completely. As soon as I walked into Prabhupada’s quarters, it was from night to day. I became so satisfied and so happy, almost like a child sitting in the lap of his mother. We were sitting, and then I think it was Yogesvara asked Prabhupada if he would sing. So Prabhupada came and sat down in the middle of the room and the few of us that were there surrounded him, and Prabhupada did bhajan for maybe half an hour and they did recordings. It was the most intimate and wonderful and beautiful experience to be there with Prabhupada singing with such emotion. I remember Yogesvara saying, “Prabhupada, your voice is so amazing, it’s so extraordinary!” And Prabhupada looked very shy and he said, “Oh, no. No, no. That’s all right.” He just wasn’t accepting that. It was very, very sweet and such a humble mood of Prabhupada. Somehow or another my attitude had gone way off track; and although at the time I wouldn’t have thought of it, but now I see it as Prabhupada carrying Vrindavan with him in a way that we were all in that little bubble and you didn’t feel that you were anymore in Paris or in the material world but you were in that little Braj bubble that Prabhupada allowed us to enter into by his presence. So extraordinary!