Gopati das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 07

Gopati: I was very young at the time. I joined the temple at the age of 16 and with my parent’s blessings, which was pretty unusual at the time. With their funding, I managed to attend the first four Mayapur festivals, the large ones, from 1974 to 1977. And as a young brahmacari, we all wanted to be with Srila Prabhupada as much as possible, that was the ideal; but there was a real conflict there because of the service that we had. Many times, especially those of us who worked behind the scenes in the kitchen and the services like pujaris and things like that had these responsibilities which meant we weren’t able to take part in all the fun stuff of the festivals. We were really integrated into the mechanism of what made the festivals happen in the first place. But what we discovered, the association with Srila Prabhupada was in everything that we did. He had created the whole festival. Everything about being there was in some form manifested by his desire. All the different interactions with the public, the interactions amongst devotees, we were all there for the same purpose. So what I felt was that just by being there and just by participating that it was fulfilling, it was something that was part of fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s greater mission. And as a result of that, it was incredible. It was actually a life-changing experience for me, and it gave me something that I’ve kept with me my whole life as far as perspective and direction.