Visala das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview DVD 01

Visala: I used to distribute books always from the beginning of my good fortune meeting Srila Prabhupada. I distributed 108 Back To Godheads in Los Angeles. Usually I went to Venice Beach. And I came in—Mukunda Maharaja I remember was there—and there were sannyasis and so many godbrothers and godsisters were there and I said, “Srila Prabhupada, I just distributed 108 Back To Godheadsin the hot sun! May I go to India?” Prabhupada said, “You are Narada Muni, you can go wherever you like.” I was happy because I was free to go wherever I wanted to go.

Interview DVD 05

Visala: I was having trouble with Rahu planet for 18 years and I think 9 or 10 more years to go. I went to an astrologer in Vrindavan, and he told me to wear a yantra. So when I came to the gate to Krishna-Balarama Temple, who would greet me there but Brahmananda Maharaj and he said, “What are you wearing, Visala?” I said, “I’m wearing a yantra. I just came from an astrologer, and he said this will counteract the influence of bad stars.” Brahmananda’s reply was, “Prabhupada says you don’t have to add anything to this process.” So I said, “Well, I want to speak with Srila Prabhupada.” So he set up a time, and Srila Prabhupada asked me about the astrologer. He said, “How much did he charge you? Who he was?” and I mentioned. I said, “Srila Prabhupada, I was wearing it because I thought it would help me become more Krishna conscious,” and Prabhupada quoted the verse sarva-dharman parityajya, he said the whole sloka, 18:66. Prabhupada said, “If you just surrender to Krishna, Krishna with a slight kick can annihilate 100,000 Rahu planets.” Then I still wasn’t exactly sold on it. I said, “Srila Prabhupada, your spiritual master, he was a great astrologer,” and Srila Prabhupada cut me off real quick and then he said, “But he did it for a short time.” After that, I cut the yantra off my neck and tossed it somewhere in Vrindavan. I don’t care where it is.

Interview DVD 06

Visala: I brought my wife to Bombay with me and I said to Srila Prabhupada in front of her, “Srila Prabhupada, the brahmacaris for years have kind of criticized the women, saying they’re less intelligent, their brain is smaller, they’re lustier, things like that. Is that true?” And Srila Prabhupada’s answer was, “You are chanting Hare Krishna and your wife is chanting Hare Krishna. Where is the question of being less intelligent?” I remember reading in Caitanya-caritamrta in Prabhupada’s purport, “The women in our movement are preaching. Therefore, they are as good as their brothers.” Then I said to Srila Prabhupada also, “Srila Prabhupada, I understand that the husband is representative of the spiritual master and the wife is representative of her husband. Srila Prabhupada, should she do everything I ask?” And Srila Prabhupada said, “And you should be so arrogant?”