A Introductory Mix of the Last Six Months of Srila Prabhupada Being Present
[Unidentified interviewer questions and comments are in Bold & Underlined & Blue Font.]
So Lokanatha Maharaja instructed me,
“You go back to Srila Prabhupada, he is staying Vrindavana, and you request him, that we need our own bullock cart.”
So I traveled to Vrindavana; actually the request was for the money to purchase a bullock cart.
Yes. because we had books, but the village people are so poor, I mean in the village, because everyone has a very intimate relationship with each other. If one person buys a magazine, then everybody in the village is going to read it. So sometimes in a village we would distribute three or four magazines, but getting money was very, very difficult. So I went to see Srila Prabhupada, and he asked,
“Why you cannot distribute my books?”
What did you say to him?
Well, there was a letter from Lokanath Svami, and I gave it to him, and he read it. He said,
“I can arrange that you will get.”
We investigate the bullock cart situation as we passed from village to village. We were looking at different kind of carts. We would some carts that were very practical for us. We tried to inquire about the cost and it was determined that the full price was around 3,000 rupees. That amount would get you, two bullocks and one cart. So when Srila Prabhupada read the letter he said,
“I can arrange that you can have 3,000 rupees worth of books, and you simply distribute the books, and in this way, you will have the money.”
“Srila Prabhupada! To distribute books in a village is such a very slow process. We will be in Mayapura before we actually get distribute one of these books. And of course, it is very difficult to carry large amounts of book, without our own bullock cart.”
Therefore, he then considered it for a moment, and then Tamal Krishna who was his secretary at that time, was instructed by Prabhupada, to issue the money from some particular account. Therefore, we got the money, and Srila Prabhupada said,
“You should get one with rubber wheels.”
“Rubber wheels Srila Prabhupada?”
“Yes, because with wooden wheels, you have pay special tax on the road.”
I was thinking how the heck did he know that. I was very much amazed that he was giving this very detailed information, about the cart. It should have rubber wheels, he said, then you will not have to pay the road tax, because of the cart causing difficulties to the road, if it has wooden wheels. So in this way, Srila Prabhupada enabled us to establish a bullock cart program.
Oh, yes, one time I remember it was in Vrindavana and Srila Prabhupada was staying there. I was staying at the Vrindavana temple, Srila Prabhupada was due to come out for a darsana at 7:30, and at that time he would circumambulate the temple, then he would sometimes go into the temple, other times he would go for a walk; a little walk out in Vrindavana. Therefore, everybody was very busy cleaning the temple. I would been given the responsibility to make sure the temple had been cleaned. So two or three boys,
I organized them, by getting the mops and brushes and so forth it was 7:00, I was just closing the cupboard, and Srila Prabhupada had come out of his kutira, and he walked around to the side of the garden, and he started to walk around the temple on his own.
Srila Prabhupada came walking around the corner. N normally we are accustomed to seeing Srila Prabhupada with a lot of devotees. I was standing there, and saw Srila Prabhupada, but somehow it did not register immediately, that this is Srila Prabhupada. Somehow my mind focused in, Srila Prabhupada is coming up towards me and there are no devotees, so immediately I paid my obeisance’s, and by the time I finished chanting the prayers Srila Prabhupada had come up to me. So I stood up, and Srila Prabhupada said, as he walked with his cane very sternly, he said,
I was a little confused about what to do, so I thought somebody should accompany Srila Prabhupada; so immediately, I started walking behind him, and I was wondering what to do. I could not decide whether I should go and inform other devotees, or whether I should stay with Srila Prabhupada. We continued walking up the side of the Krishna Balarama Mandir, until we reached the front, and Srila Prabhupada turned to me and he said,
“Where are the rest of the devotees?”
“I did not know Srila Prabhupada, but I can go and find out.”
So then I ran around to the kutira, and the devotees were just starting to gather to do kirtana to welcome Srila Prabhupada. I then made some frantic gesturing. Srila Prabhupada is out front, and all the devotees very rapidly ran around to the front and started doing kirtana. When all the devotees arrived, Srila Prabhupada inquired,
“Where were all the devotees?”
I think Gunavnava was there, some of the other devotees, they said,
“They are cleaning the temple Prabhupada.”
“Cleaning the temple?”
“Yes.”, someone replied.
Srila Prabhupada then said,
“We can employ people to clean the temple. We can even employ people to do the puja, but one thing you cannot employ other people to do is preach.”
So this is very interesting statement by Prabhupada. He wanted the devotees to be with him. He did not want them to engage in manual activity. He was not considering this very important. And Srila Prabhupada turned to the thatched houses that were used to store concrete, and building materials and so forth, and he said,
“What is being stored in these places?”
Gunavnava, at that time was a construction engineer, he said,
“Let me see inside them.”
Then Gunavnava ran off to get the keys, and came back, and then Srila Prabhupada approached these houses, and they opened the doors, and Srila Prabhupada looked in very interestingly, and making inquiries, like how long the huts been standing there, and who was controlling all the things within the huts, and so forth. After this conversation, Srila Prabhupada continued on his normal routine, and went to take darsana and give class