Jagat Purusa das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Jagat Purusa: On one occasion we were returning from the morning walk as Dr. Patel was having an animated conversation with Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada was saying something critical about one of the well-known figures of recent history. Prabhupada was quite critical, and Dr Patel, as he had done many times, really objected strongly to Prabhupada’s criticisms. He asked Prabhupada, “Why do you have to criticize? Let them be. You do your thing. Let them do their thing. Just leave them alone. Why do you have to criticize them? They are great souls in their own right, so let them just be. If you don’t agree with their philosophy, just leave them alone.” Then Srila Prabhupada stopped and said, “If I am in an operating room conducting an operation with a patient, and someone comes into the room and starts cutting my patient, am I just going to stand there and watch it happen? No! I am going to say, ‘Get out!’” Prabhupada said loudly, “Get out, you rascal.” He said, “So I cannot be silent. These rascals and fools have destroyed the culture of India and, therefore, I must speak out and I will speak out.” Prabhupada was very strong.

I was giving Srila Prabhupada caranamrita in front of the altar and one drop of caranamrita went on the floor. Srila Prabhupada looked at me and said, “Do not allow caranamrita to touch the floor.” I said, “Yes, Srila Prabhupada.” Then I dove onto the floor and wiped it up with my dhoti. Since that day I have not allowed caranamrita to touch the floor. That was a wonderful instruction.

There were many times in India that we would often visit Srila Prabhupada in the afternoon. Sometimes he would be in his room, and other times he would be up on the rooftop. On one occasion I brought Raaj Kumar, one of India’s famous actors, to the rooftop to meet Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada was very glad to see him and he was very welcoming. Raaj Kumar sat down and the two of them had a nice conversation. Someone came with a large basket of mangoes, and Srila Prabhupada asked one of his disciples to cut the mangoes and then to pass them around for the guests. Prabhupada continued his conversation, but he was looking out of the corner of his eye watching this devotee struggling how to cut the mango. Prabhupada said, “Bring the basket of mangoes over to Raaj Kumar.” Prabhupada asked the actor, “Can you take care of these mangoes so that everyone can have some?” Raaj Kumar took the knife and he expertly cut the mango, opened it up, re-inverted it, and cut off the pieces so that all the mangoes were in little squares. Prabhupada immediately commented, “You see, in every field there is guru. He is a guru in cutting the mangoes.” Srila Prabhupada was very appreciative of Raaj Kumar’s expertise, and he said, “Therefore he is a guru.”

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