Mukham karoti vaachaalam…
Purushottam month begins soon and so I want to do Caitanya leela then. But there is some leela of Prabhupad that has come up. So.. (broadcast interrupted). Someone reminded me that I was with Srila Prabhupad when he went and met Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister of India. The first appointment was given on Thursday afternoon, so Prabhupad refused that. He said that Thursday afternoon is bad vela and no good results come from that. So then he got a reappointment. Prabhupad wanted to ask for some visa facility. Indira Gandhi said that how do we know that they are not spies? And Prabhupad replied that spies live a different life. They stay in some hotels, they drink, they eat meat and so on. But these devotees rise early in the morning, they chant their japa, they follow strict regulative principles. So they can’t imitate these habits. So Indira Gandhi was convinced and some facility to give visas was given. So Prabhupad, he was diligently preaching to the top leaders to see that he could establish his Krishna conscious devotees in India. And the leaders were convinced by Srila Prabhupad.
Then he spent a lot of time with Lalit Thakur. That he wanted to develop the birthplace of Bhakti Vinod Thakur and he was discussing how their land could be developed. And many topics which were discussed. In the second meeting it was clear that they were not going to give any rights to develop. At that time Prabhupad in a raised voice said that isn’t it sinful that you don’t develop and don’t allow others to develop it? He said that a number of times and on the way out he turned to me and said it is not offensive, because I am asking a question, isn’t it sinful? If I were to say, you are sinful, then that is an offense. And he is on the level of my guru. But I can ask a question, isn’t it offensive? If you are not developing the birthplace of BVT and you don’t let anyone else do that. So generally, Srila Prabhupad would not allow anyone to visit Lalit Thakur but I was given special permission. He has left his body; he was 99 years old or something like that. But he gave the manuscripts of BVT and they were micro filmed. So the temple is known as the Dvadasha mandir. It is one or two hundred years old and Bhakti Vinod Thakur, appeared on the side of this pukur where there are 12 Shiva temples. I went there with Srila Prabhupad earlier and they had long talks about Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Prabhupad suggested that some of the land could be used for a temple. They have 20 bhigas. So a very nice temple can be made.
When some land was given then a query came up, what will the land be used for? This was another land. So Tamal Krishna maharaj, he said that Jayapataka swami can use that land for agriculture. They locally called me as Jayapataka Ali. Because all the Muslims are either Ali or Muhammad. So I was cultivating land side by side with the local Muslims. Prabhupad stopped, he said, what does Ali mean? So they explained, he said, Ali means gopi and Tamal Krishna has given blessings that Jayapataka can be a gopi!
Srila Prabhupad had us erect a diorama presentation. This was something that Om Vishnupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur did. He displayed the dioramas of the different pastimes of the Lord but someone had broken some of the dioramas and Prabhupad said, what is this? And I was explaining that some envious people had broken the dioramas. So Prabhupad, he was upset and he wanted us to carefully establish the dioramas and not have them vandalized. So at the Gaur Purnima festival there were diorama exhibits. You could go out and see the different pastimes of the Lord. So Srila Prabhupad he was seeing that everything we did was proper and that everything was maintained properly.
We were having the Food for Life program in Mayapur and on Annakut day they would be eating the mountain of rice. They were fighting off the dogs and eating the half eaten food stuffs. Prabhupad was crying and he said, no one should go hungry within a ten-mile radius.
But he had sent me later to a place called Diamond Harbor and this was the last boat stop before the Sagar island. So I told Prabhupad how I had eaten a yellow banana and how I had thrown the peel off and some village boy came and took the peel and ate it. How hungry they must be to eat the banana peel! Prabhupad heard this and said, we should distribute prasadam. At that time the American government had a mountain of butter oil and also large quantity of grains. So one devotee had been writing to me to get that butter oil. And we had to take ten thousand tons. They didn’t want to deal with petty quantities. So I was talking with Prabhupad about what to do? His eyes opened and he said, get the ten thousand tons and deliver to every Calcutta house!! In Chennai do they like butter oil? Butter oil is like butter but mass produced. So it has some scent of butter. And so he would say to get cans of butter oil and give out to each family. So Prabhupad also had many ideas. He saw the things with a very large vision.
There is a lot to say about Biharilal. He was a brahmana from Rajasthan and at one point he was cooking for all the devotees. So then he went on leave and he would cook the chapatis and the worker would roll them. So then one day, Biharilal went on leave and the worker was cooking. So Prabhupad looked at the prasadam, this prasadam is cooked for ghosts! And we couldn’t see any different. But Prabhupad couid see the difference between Biharilal’s cooking and the worker’s cooking. So when he went to Calcutta he had been told by Prabhupad to do something. At that time, I was exporting musical instruments – kohl, kartals, harmoniums. So Prabhupad wanted a whole set for some preaching program and he would say that as a sanyasi I should preach, and Manivanna who was a grihastha, he was assigned to export all the musical instruments. So this message was brought by Biharilal.
I got a book called ‘Home Cures’ which gave some ayurvedic cures and it was very effective. There was one devotee, he liked to eat a lot of prasadam. So he took two plates and he said after finishing one, hit me up! And I would give him acid from a conch shell and if it fell on the floor, would make a mark. So he would drink this and eat the second plate! Ha!
I was assigned with preaching. I chanted 32 rounds and Prabhupad said, what are you doing? I told him I am chanting 32 rounds. He said, chant 16 and go out and preach. If you don’t preach, who will do it?
I think that Manivanna was married to Kaushalya and he was exporting the mridangas, kartals.
Question: Guru maharaj, we see sometimes devotees bake the cake with Krishna, Radha Krishna edible form or Bhagavad Gita on it and they cut and eat it. Is that ok or not?
Guru maharaj: Well, we take prasadam as non-different from the Lord and so if proper respect is shown I don’t think it is a problem. Because the food is any way Krishna’s expansion. They should be careful to offer to the deity and consume the prasadam.
Question: I have one more question. The devotee you were describing was consuming acid. Would it not come under intoxication guru maharaj?
Guru maharaj: It would be a question whether he would be intoxicated or a bit lusty. But atyahara, we should not consume too much prasadam.
Question: You said Prabhupad gave you special permission to go to meet Lalit Thakur. Is it ok now for devotees to travel there and see the birthplace of BVT?
Guru maharaj: I don’t think that there is any restriction at present. The point is we should not listen to the devotees preaching there. They had a tendency at that time to preach raaga marga and some devotees thought they were Surabhi cows or peacocks but Lalit Tharkur is not with us in his body and his immediate associates also don’t seem to be there. When I was there, there was this danger. But that danger seems to have passed. You have to be expert not to get bewildered. If they start to tell you, I have something that your guru did not teach you, they you should catch a train!
Question: In this particular case where SP said, neither you are doing nor are you allowing us to do, sometimes we come across such situations managerial, we are doing some service but there are others doing much better service in the same area and then what should we do? There is one particular service but somebody else is very good at it. For eg in Chennai we are doing a particular service to some level but some other temple is doing it in a much better way.IN that case what should we do? Those people are willing to come but the local devotees’ service may be compromised. So what to do?
Guru maharaj: You are saying there is a service that another person can do better. So if someone has been assigned that service, what is the problem? (devotee: we are not getting good results. ) Since the place of one temple may be more difficult than the place of another temple. Some of the temple might be very difficult but one develops a system and makes it possible. So we want to cultivate our different services and then it is said that we are not so much attached to the results. Maybe someone assigns a service to someone to open a yatra and then after that it becomes easier for everyone. So before we change we have to see the local leaders and see what they have to say. If we just go towards easier, that may not produce the desired result. At the same time one may see each place and see whether they are able to preach accordingly. I had approached Prabhupad that this situation existed for me, so then he sent me to India. You can talk to the guru or the GBC and see what the possibilities are. (broadcast ended abruptly).
15 May 2018