Vinode Vani devi dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 07

Vinode Vani: The Dallas temple was quite involved in studying Bhagavad-gita, and we would have a verse for the day and that would be chanted before every part of the morning program. It would be chanted before the prasadam prayer. As a group we would recite the verse, and the idea is that by the end of the day pretty much you knew the verse. In this way, we were quickly learning entire chapters of Bhagavad-gita. So we were quite proud of ourselves, and there used to be a prize. If you could chant an entire chapter of Bhagavad-gita without making so many mistakes, you would get a maha plate; and that was a really big deal. So when Srila Prabhupada came, we were very proud of our accomplishments. So we brought the entire temple in and all the children, and we started the recitation of Bhagavad-gita from Chapter 1, verse 1; and I think by that time we could get through 10, 12 chapters in unison as a temple. It was a very ecstatic feeling to be chanting like that. But at the end Prabhupada just stopped us cold, and he pointed to one of the children and said, “So what does this particular verse mean?” And, of course, we were not so expert in being able to give the meaning for the verse. And Prabhupada stressed upon us that as nice as it was that we were chanting the Bhagavad-gita in Sanskrit, it would actually be more important to know the meaning.