[ Comment: Interviewer identified as RBD, who’s questions and comments, are in Bold, & Italic & Underlined & Blue Font.]
One day in Vrndavana I think it was in 1976 or 1977, Prabhupada was staying in his house in Vrndavana. I had an opportunity to meet Srila Prabhupada. One day I put the garland on Srila Prabhupada, and also put some Chandan on his head. He touched me on the head, and said,
“Where is your mother, and how is she doing in her service? Are you alright?”
He asked me just like that. Then at that time, I had the opportunity to rendered some service in Prabhupada’s house.
In 1976, I received my brahmana initiation from Srila Prabhupada. I got to go, alone, in too his house. There he showed me exactly how to chant the Vaisnava Gayatri Mantra; as he wrapped a brahmana thread around his foot, kept it on his knee, and then put it on me, and showed me everything. Moreover, he had me, vocally, chant the Vaisnava Gayatri Mantra. Then when he heard me do all the verses right; he said,
Did he give you any special instruction?
No but I got some letters from Srila Prabhupada.
Could I get copies of those?
You do not have them personally?
I did, but someone, a few years ago, someone took them. However, I was told to retain a copy of every letter that Prabhupada sent out.
One time in Vrndavana, I think it was in 1976. Some magician came, and performed lots of tricks. He came into Srila Prabhupada’s room to show him the exhibition. He came in and he started performing different tricks with his hand. First, he had a coin, and he would say, “Go,” or something, and the coin would disappear. Then Srila Prabhupada asked him,
“Can you make it come back?”
“No! I can only make it go away.”
A few times he put the coin on Srila Prabhupada and said, “Go,” and do some trick, and it would disappear; and it then would appear in Prabhupada’s pocket. He had different types of boxes with colors.
Was he a karmi?
Yes, an Indian man. Then after some time, after the tricks, Srila Prabhupada started to preach to him, and he said,
“Can you tell death to go away?”
“No. I can’t do that.”
Nevertheless, Prabhupada was very nice to him, and explained the Krishna consciousness philosophy to him. And he was very humbled, and he touched Srila Prabhupada’s feet. When he first arrived, he appeared very proud. However, when he left, he felt just like a Prabhupada’s servant. It appeared that after meeting Srila Prabhupada, he felt that Prabhupada was the greatest man; and then he left.
Prabhupada was very happy to sit out in the middle of the Vrndavana temple courtyard under the Tamala tree, where he would give his darshan and lectures.
One such time, I was late and I quietly when over and paid my obeisances. Srila Prabhupada called me over, and said,
“How you are doing?”
And I said I was doing fine. Then he asked,
“How is Rupanuga and Kalindi?”
I replied, they were doing very fine. They send their obeisances to you. He said that is very nice, and he motioned me to sit down.
I remember when Ekendra was in America. Prabhupada was in Vrndavana. Prabhupada asked,
“Where is Ekendra?”
And then someone told him that she is in America.