Srila Prabhupada made some heavy statements about the British. He said that the whole British Empire was built on thievery. He explained that the British came to India, stole things, took Indian soldiers and then conquered other places in the world. Prabhupada said that as soon as India became independent, then the whole British Empire started to collapse. He said, “Because of all the atrocities the British did in India, they will become beggars.” And then he said, “Have you seen the camels in India? How they hold their heads high with their noses in the air? The British Rajas took their next births as camels in India.” That was amusing but also quite a heavy statement.
Srila Prabhupada was walking in St. James’s Park, tapping his cane on the ice that had formed overnight. At one point he asked, “What does this mean?” We looked at each other and wondered what we should say. Prabhupada asked again, “What does this mean?” We couldn’t fathom what Prabhupada meant. Suddenly he said, “Ice is maya. The original constitution of water is liquid, but when it comes in contact with freezing weather it becomes hard ice. And when there is ice, there is the possibility that you may slip.” Prabhupada may have been breaking the ice because he didn’t want anyone to slip. He continued the analogy, explaining that the heart becomes hard, but just as the sun rises and melts the ice, in the same way the continued chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra softens the heart and reinstates the individual in his natural constitutional position.