Every morning Prabhupad would walk around and see the Mayapur campus. And if there was any garbage or rubbish, he would point it out. So he wanted us to keep the place spic and span. He would usually go on a morning walk.
If there is any date, he would select that. He would see if there was anything dirty and he would point that out. One thing he wanted was that the Ashram be clean. There was a Gaudya Vaishnav. I don’t know if he was his God brother. But he was staying in the long building. So then Prabhupada came and he knocked the door open with his cane and it must have been 6.30 or 7. He was rubbing his eyes and it was clear that he had just been sleeping. Srila Prabhupada saw him in that state and he turned to the devotees and said that he cannot stay here. Everybody who stayed in Mayapur had to get up early. Then there was a devotee. He was Srila Prabhupada’s disciple, he had been diagnosed with some terminal disease. So he asked Prabhupada that since he was going to leave his body, he could take Babaji. Prabhupada agreed and he was given a grass hut, to stay out in the field and there he did his Bhajan, in the back of the temple. But he found it very diffcult. There were mosquitos, flies and after sometime he couldn’t stay there.
So he got permission to stay in the Lotus building and staying in the Lotus building, he did his Bhajan there. But although that was not too difficult, he found that difficult. So after sometime, he gave up his Babaji and went back to the West, where he took some alternative therapy and got himself cured. So he did some Sadhana and we heard that he was staying in the West and doing his therapy and he didn’t stay as a Babaji. I did not hear of Prabhupada giving Babaji to anyone else. So Srila Prabhupada was very strict, to maintain the Ashram in the highest standard. Prabhupada would take his rest in the evening and then he was writing his books but sometimes he would chant the Holy Names and the dogs were barking. That was disturbing him, so he would send some dogs out. He would make some counter noise to drive off the dogs, not himself, but some Brahmachari. So he was translating and he said that the barking did not bother him but the snoring did. Some devotees were trained to keep away the barking dogs. They would come bark and howl. This was a regular occurrence.
If someone fell asleep during chanting or during class, he would send some devotee out to tell them to chant. One time I was chanting and was saying Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare and in between the Hare Krishna mantra, I was encouraging the devotees to chant. I was saying “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. Bolo Hare Krishna! Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. Bolo Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare!” Prabhupada indicated me to come close and said, ”Don’t add any additional words. Sometimes in Mayapur if we would say half the Mantra, people would start to imitate that. So he wanted the full Mantra. These may seem like small details, but to Srila Prabhupada they were important. Bolo Hare Krishna meant, chant Hare Krishna, but he did not want any additional names. He would make sure that the Mantra was kept pure and unadultered. So everyday with Prabhupada was special. Prabhupada was conscious of how the Mantra should be chanted. Behind the ashram of Srila Prabhupad, they were chanting Hare Krishna Hare Ram Sri Radha Govind. So this would go on twenty four hours, “Hare Krishna Hare Ram Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam” . So Prabhupada would said one day we could chant Hare Krishna, Nitai Gaur, Krishna Balaram, Radhe Shyam. So that was the same mantra. But Prabhupada was telling a joke. When someone chanted that, he said “No!”. So in the Kirtan “Nitai Gaur Krishna Balaram Bolo Radhe Shyam”, they did not want to change. So being with Prabhupada was a special experience. He might say something but the bottom line was that he did not want it to change. Once he told me, “Why do they cut the mantra in pieces? They should chant the Panchatattva mantra and the Hare Krishna Mantra.” So there were a few variables, Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam Hare Krishna Hare Ram. Everyone wanted their mantra, but Prabhupada wanted to have the mantra given in the Vedas. So in Mayapur we would chant the bonafide Mantra from the Vedas and that was Srila Prabhupada’s point. So although other Mantras may also be bonafide, but Prabhupada wanted to keep the Maha Mantra given in the Vedas. So this was the principle.
Devotee: Recently I was told that I should not chant Krishnaa, but Krishna and not Rama, but Ram in the Mahamantra. Gurudev, please clarify.
GM: There are no hard and fast rules about chanting the Holy Name. Some chant with the Bengali accent, some chant with a Hindi accent but that’s not very important. Prabhupad chanted with the Bengali accent.
Transcribed by NPNDD