Kishore das Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 03

Kishore: The room was full, the condensation was dripping as it did in those days. It was just so packed and such a small space, it was impossible to believe how many people could fit into such a small space. But Prabhupada had finished giving his lecture, “And that is Krishna consciousness. Are there any questions?” And immediately an India lady stood up and her question was, “Swamiji, can you see God?” It was like a challenging tone, and immediately Prabhupada replied, “Yes, you cannot?” Then he looked around the room and said, “Krishna is everywhere. You cannot see?” And there was silence, she didn’t know what to do. So Prabhupada said, “Why you cannot see God?” and she didn’t know what to do. Then Prabhupada said, “Do you want to see Krishna?” and the lady was getting embarrassed and she looked down and said, “No, Swamiji.” And Prabhupada immediately said, “Therefore, you cannot see.”

Interview DVD 05

Kishore: There was an incident in Prabhupada’s darshan room, and it was packed out with guests and devotees. At the time I had a young stepson whose name was Premananda, and he would have been about 5 years old at the time. There we were in Prabhupada’s darshan room with Prabhupada addressing his audience and the door opened and Premananda’s head poked around the door, a little shaved head, and his mother had dressed him as a sannyasi with a danda. Prabhupada’s eyes opened up wide and he stopped what he was saying and his focus totally went onto this little boy standing at the door with his danda and he said, “Ahhhh, Maharaj, come!” The room was packed out, so Premananda literally had to climb over people. It was like an ocean of waves, and he just climbed literally over all these people and sat before Prabhupada’s table. Prabhupada just beamed at Premananda and offered him a sweet from his plate. “Jaya, Maharaj,” he said. “You stay.” And, of course, Premananda sat there, and it was an incredible sight to see. Now, the interesting part came the next morning. Prabhupada was out for his morning walk and Premananda was downstairs, which is now in the prasadam room downstairs, big room, and he was still dressed in his sannyasi outfit and he still had his danda. This time he was messing around with his friends and they were fighting and squabbling, and he had his danda and he was hitting them over the head with the danda and he was really causing a big ruckus. And suddenly there was Prabhupada at the door. He had returned from his walk with the disciples, and Prabhupada’s face was grave as anything. He immediately looked over and saw what was going on and he turned to one of the disciples and he said, “Where is the father?” and I was also in the room. So I came over to Prabhupada and he very gravely looked at me, and I could feel the gravity of the situation. He said, “He must not dress like this anymore. Sannyasa is very serious business.” And that was that. So I felt quite chastised because it was my responsibility, but also I experienced how…I had already…as a young brahmacari, I was thinking ahead about sannyasa as though, “Well, I’ve been around for a couple of years now. It’s about time I was thinking about taking sannyasa.” I was already thinking the young brahmacari thoughts. But I think that really nailed that one because in that moment, I realized for myself how serious…those were Prabhupada’s words, “Sannyasa is very serious business.”