We were in Vrindavan and I got to clean his quarters everyday. After lunch Prabhupada would rest and when he got up at four o’clock we’d bring him fresh juice, a fresh garland and sandalwood pulp. I got to make the garland one day with marigolds and roses and being less intelligent, I put some water on that garland before I put it in the fridge. When the devotees put it on Prabhupada he took it off immediately because it was wet. That was a chastisement that went deep into my heart because he didn’t accept my garland. I realized we have to use our intelligence and the best of everything for the guru. Otherwise he might not accept our service. That was a deep realization.
While in Miami, Prabhupada said that the vegetation and weather reminded him of India. With his sense of humor he pronounced Miami as “Maya-ami.”
I remember a couple of devotees had thought, “What could we get Prabhupada? We want to give him something different than anybody else ever gave him.” In Miami they have a lot of coconuts that you can drink the juice out of so they said, “Let’s give him a straw made out of gold.” They actually got a solid gold straw like a thin pipe and gave it to Prabhupada. Prabhupada started to use it but some piece of the coconut must have got caught in the straw and I remember Prabhupada took the gold straw and threw it down. I realized from that, to the guru anything material, no matter how expensive, doesn’t matter unless it could be used in Krishna’s service.