Atreya Rsi das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 02

Atreya Rsi: I remember at the time when I would listen to them, they wouldn’t make any sense to me. I was 28 years old in 1970. And I would listen to them, they wouldn’t make any sense. But I knew Prabhupada. I hadn’t met him, but I knew he had something. So I would go in front of this very primitive altar that they had, and on the lower step they had Prabhupada’s picture. I would sit in front of his picture and I would cry, and I would talk to Prabhupada. I’d say, “Prabhupada, when will these kids grow up? Why don’t you come and help?” I would never get angry at them. I would feel like they were innocent, they were wonderful, they were sincere, they were genuine, they were beautiful, but they were childish.

Interview DVD 03

Atreya Rsi: In the same house, Prabhupada gave me a conch, left-handed conch, and he said, “Karttikeya has been such a great host to us and is well-wisher and so generous to us, and he has given me this conch, which is supposed to bring a lot of wealth, and I want to give it to you.” So he gave me the conch and he said, “I never expected to be able to do all this. I thought maybe we could just have some chanting, we could have a few devotees, but I never…” and he referred to all the temples, all that. Because Prabhupada, when he was saying that “I never expected it,” he was kind of laughing at himself. He was saying, “Hey, I went after a little fish and I caught such a huge fish, I don’t know what happened.” So I said, “Do you remember, Prabhupada, the story of Mullah Nasiruddin where Mullah Nasiruddin is sitting by a lake and putting some yogurt in the lake. And people say, ‘What are you doing?’ He says, ‘I am trying to see if the whole lake will catch to become yogurt.’ They say, ‘How could that be possible?’ He said, ‘Yes, it’s not possible, but what if?’” And we both laughed and laughed, “What if? What if?” I said, “Yours was the same thing. You just ‘what if’ and it caught on,” and he says, “Yeah,” and we just laughed around that. It was a very joyous time.

Interview DVD 11

Atreya Rsi: He spoke about ISKCON as a child, as a baby that needs nourishment, that needs protection, and he expressed to me true concern that after his departure he was concerned for the baby. And he emphasized, kind of begging that unite together, stay together so that this ISKCON, this baby can be protected. And there was a clear link that he wasn’t talking about the buildings, he wasn’t talking about the forms. There was a clear link between the content of our relationship – the love we felt for each other, the willingness we had to sacrifice our own egos in order to reach understanding, in order to reach collaborative mood with one another rather than organizational asset and all of that – in order to hold and protect and grow the baby. That was very, very clear to me, and it was very, very clear from every word coming out of his mouth.