Himavati devi dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 06

Himavati: Hansadutta and I were anticipating Prabhupada’s coming to Germany. We wanted him to come to Germany more than we wanted anything else because it would give the devotees inspiration; and I wanted to share Prabhupada with them because most of them had not met Prabhupada, and we had a lot of devotees there who only knew Krishna because of us and the books. In the beginning, of course, it seemed like nobody knew how to do anything. Nobody knew how to take care of the Deities or cook or clean or set things up. Everything had to be taught. It was wonderful how they wanted to learn, and we had a way with them that Prabhupada had actually taught us. I don’t think that it was something natural. I think that Prabhupada had empowered us. We were artists and we were loners before we joined the movement, and now here we were surrounded by people day and night and more and more people wanting to join us and we always found a place for them. So I was always very, very busy.

So I was mainly concerned with Prabhupada’s well-being. When he came, I knew him to be a little bit fatty and here he was quite thin. So I thought that my cooking would be so good that he would eat. I remember the first day he ate everything, he cleaned his plate, there was absolutely nothing left. There were always devotees outside the door waiting for his remnants, and there was nothing left. Then he slept. He usually napped in the afternoon after he ate, but he slept. He must have slept until six o’clock that evening after he ate, and I was so worried. When he woke up I asked him, “Nobody bothered to wake you because you were so soundly sleeping, and was there something wrong with my cooking?” He said, “Oh, no, no, it was very good, I enjoyed. I haven’t enjoyed that much for a long time.” So I was very happy. Another time I remember I brought him food, and I gave him very good portions; and when I came back to get his plate, he had barely touched anything. I said, “Prabhupada, what’s wrong? Did I not prepare it properly?” He seemed to be deep in thought and he said, “Oh, Himavati, I’ve tasted everything there is to taste.” He taught us how to eat. He cooked for us. I wanted to be close to Prabhupada, and so I was very obedient and I did everything that he told me to do in person and in his letters. I took his direction.