(This interview was recorded by a devotee with the initials “SM” whom I have not been able to identify. His or her questions or comments are in “Quotes & Blue & Bold” Font. )
I surrendered, I surrendered. But I was the one who called Ramesvara. This is the way it went on all the time, I just got smashed all the time by Prabhupada. And it was even more horrible the time I was secretary in Vrndavana. Prabhupada called me a demon, he told Gurukrpa that the GBC should smash me, that a person like me should never be allowed near him again. I was hysterical because I heard all this. I was in my little office out there, and I heard Prabhupada saying all of these things. I was ready to die. Then I resigned and Prabhupada said,
“You cannot resign”.
Resign from being secretary?
Yes. I said I quit. Prabhupada said,
“You cannot quit, but I fire you”.
“You cannot quit, I fire you?”
Yes. That was horrible. There were so many horrible things. Smashing me again and again. Even Hamsadutta remembered a funny thing. We were outside and Prabhupada said,
“So when are you leaving already?”
“I am ready to go tomorrow”.
Then Hamsadutta said,
“Why does not Harikesa take the train across over land and stop at all the centers that have been developed for preaching and inspire all the devotees there?”
Then I said,
“Well, I can walk too, it will save money”.
Then Prabhupada said,
“That is your disease! This is your disease! Listen to this answer!”
He smashed me again. I said,
“how am I going to go across land like this?”
That was a horrible time. Prabhupada said I must take a nine-hundred-dollar loan. I said I did not want any money. He said,
“You must take this loan”.
At this time Prabhupada said that for preaching in Eastern Europe I could eat meat.
Prabhupada said to me,
“If there is no other food, eat meat. But go on preaching”.
“But Prabhupada, what about my consciousness?”
“Damn the consciousness! You must go on preaching”.
It was very heavy times. He said I must go back to the Schloss. I said,
“I cannot stand the place”.
“You must go back. And you sit there, you simply sit there. Take a room and chant Hare Krishna, but you must stay there. Go on preaching”.
“But I have no advanced or strong association to continue preaching”.
“Be careful of strong association. Watch out for that so-called strong association. Who is strong? You go alone and you preach”
I was very shocked at all these things. He said,
“You go alone and you preach”.
He made me take these nine hundred dollars, but I did not want any money. I did not want any money; I was just finished. I said,
“I did not want any money”.
“You take this money and you pay me back ten percent interest. You must take this money; I am ordering you”.
So, I had to take the money for working the preaching program. Then also at this time he was making tapes. Hamsadutta was bringing in the Rayrox and he was making tapes. But Prabhupada’s blood pressure was too great when he was singing and he had to stop singing. But we were making some tapes. At one point he was playing a two-two beat on the mrdunga. No one knew how to play a tow-two beat. Except in the Los Angeles Temple, It is famous in Los Angeles. Otherwise, nobody else, nobody in the world knows how to do it. So Prabhupada taught me how to play the two-two beat on the spot with a mrdunga. It goes something like this, (taps the beat), nobody even knew how to play this before. I practiced that beat for six hours on the roof of the temple to learn how to play that.
“You were there with Nitai?”
Oh yes. That was entirely me. This was a thing that built up over a long time. When we were in San Francisco he told me that he had more faith in Lord Caitanya, than I did, because he knew the real import of Lord Caitanya’s instructions. I was wondering what he was talking about. Then we got to Vrndavana he started saying funny things, like chanting more rounds a day, and that Visvanatha Chakravarty Thakur was the one who really understood the Bhagavad-gita, and actually he personally was the only one who actually knew Sanskrit, Srila Prabhupada did not even know Sanskrit. I told Srila Prabhupada this in Ahmedabad and Srila Prabhupada said,
“Why did not you say anything sooner?”
“Well I did not want to be again guilty of causing trouble by speaking badly about somebody because I am always doing that any way”.
“This time you should have said something”.
But there was nobody else to do the editing, so we kind of forgot about it hoping he would get better. I was secretary and when he came from Tehran to Bombay, Nitai was given some large amount of money.
“Four thousand rupees to get a library for Bombay.“
Yes, and he also had tapes, Srila Prabhupada tapes. So, he ran away with the money and he left the tapes hidden underneath a mattress in the Bombay room, which we did not know at that time, but found out later. He left them hidden in Bombay, and ran away with the money, and he ran away to some other spiritual master and wrote Srila Prabhupada a letter.
“It is all here. He asked for Prabhupada’s blessing and he said. “I give you this blessing, that you will never make advancement”.”