Rasarani devi dasi Remembers Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada Memories

Interview 01

Rasarani: In Bombay, I was cleaning up after having made Prabhupada’s breakfast. I was trying to do it quietly because Prabhupada was going to take rest, but I took a long time because I wanted to do it nicely. I noticed it was quiet in his apartment, and I thought, “Prabhupada is resting.” I tried to leave, but I was locked in. I was terrified. I was locked in with Prabhupada, a sannyasi, and the servant was gone. I thought, “If Prabhupada wakes up and finds me here, I’ll be in big trouble. What am I going do?” I went onto the balcony and waited for someone to walk by and let me out. This was the second time that such a thing happened. When I was in Sydney, they took me over to clean Prabhupada’s apartment while he went for his morning walk. But lo and behold, Prabhupada came back early. Vegavan said to me, “What are you doing here?” I said, “I’m cleaning.” He said, “You can’t be here” and shoved me behind the door. Prabhupada was getting changed, and I was standing behind the door. I thought, “What do I do now?” Through the crack I could see Prabhupada taking off his jumper. I thought, “Oh no, I can see him getting changed! They just left me here like this!” Then all the devotees and Prabhupada left, and I was left behind the door thinking, “Should I come out?” I just couldn’t believe I was locked in Prabhupada’s quarters. It was hard for women in those days, because you were never supposed to be anywhere, but at the same time you had all sorts of services to do.

To view the entire unedited video go to Memories 17 - The Australian Yatra

The full Prabhupada Memories Series can be viewed here and also at www.prabhupadamemories.com

Following Srila Prabhupada

Interview DVD 03

Rasarani: Well, because I was totally shy, I’ve always been shy, being interviewed by those reporters, I think the only way I could have done that was because of my commitment to ISKCON and the devotees and Prabhupada. I wouldn’t have normally left home, but I met the devotees and I just had to come and join the temple. It was a force that was way stronger than any of my personal qualities would prevent from happening. So I was very embarrassed. I was worried about my mother because she cried when I left home and she was upset, she didn’t understand. From an early age I used to tell her I came from another planet, I was from outer space, and she never really understood that. So it was difficult to explain why you’re going with this weird sect and why you’re bowing down on the dirty Paddington streets to some Indian person that we’ve never met before. So it was a scary time for me. I had just turned 18, and I had no worldly experience. So I was totally going against society, totally going against my parents.

But I had that strong conviction that I have to do this because Krishna was helping me. I know that sounds a bit trite, but initially when I wanted to leave home I thought, “How am I going to leave home?” So the very next day my mother said, “When I was 17, I left home. So if you want to leave home, it’s OK.” I thought, “Aha, Krishna is helping me.” That real connection with God was coming. It’s like that where you take one step towards God, He takes many steps toward you. So I could feel that. The first time I went to the temple I was just totally overwhelmed with the prasadam, the smells. I thought, “Finally I’m home.” So if I did anything in this life, I was going to stay there and I was going to do it because this was my ticket out of the material world and this was the only place that I ever, ever, ever felt comfortable. So there was something special happening there due to Prabhupada’s potency.