Thursday, 5 September 2013

Arjuna das - Memories of Srila Prabhupada

In 1978, Yasodanandan Swami and I went with the gurukula boys for the Magh Mela in Allahabad, and at that time we met Devraha Baba, an 800 year-old saint who lived in a house on stilts. Usually he never came down from his house because everyone tried to touch his feet. But when we went he came down and for almost ten minutes he spoke in Sanskrit glorifying Srila Prabhupada as a saktyavesa-avatar. He was so old that even his eyebrows hung down in dreadlocks. He called some of his disciples, who were two, three, and four hundred years old. It was very significant how this great, highly respected saint of India wonderfully glorified Srila Prabhupada.

When Prabhupada departed, a cyclone swept through India. I was in Vrindavan and had delayed returning to Mayapur for about two weeks because we all felt that Prabhupada was close to deperating. But then I though, "No, I have to go and do my service." I got to Mayapur Sunday night, and around three in the morning my brahmachari roommate, Siddhartha, woke me up. He said, "Prabhupada's here!" I immediately got up and offered my obeisances. Then Siddhartha said, "Oh, it must have been a dream." We tried to take rest again but a cyclone swept through and a huge nim tree keeled over, wham! It woke up the whole neighborhood. Then the next morning we heard that Prabhupada had departed. We brahmacharis thought, "Wow, Prabhupada came and took his nim tree." And the newspaper reported that a weird snap strom swept throughout India. On the front page there was a photo of a tidal wave in Madras with flames on top of it. We thought, "Wow, how a pure devotee's departure creates inauspicious symptoms."

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