Best of Memories
Posted July 7, 2006
Now the “Memories of Srila Prabhupada” video series presents the “Best of Memories” with 50 devotees presenting their personal anecdotes of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in a 90 minute presentation on DVD! Although it was hard to cull out what might be considered the best out of over 70 hours of nectar, this DVD is jam packed with memories that will bring laughter and tears to any viewer and is especially good for anyone not familiar with Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental qualities or any devotee not familiar with the “Memory” series.
Those devotees featured are:
Yamuna dasi, Jyotirmayi dasi, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami, Radhanatha Swami, Shyamasundar das, Malati dasi, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Sacinandana Swami, Srutakirti das, Umapati Swami, Sumati dasi, Bhavatarini dasi, Yogesvara das, Jayapataka Swami, Deena Bandhu das, Hrdayananda Goswami, Mulaprakriti dasi, Vaiyasaki das, Bhavananda das, Giriraj Swami, Atma Tattva das, Nara Narayana das, Chitralekha dasi, Govinda dasi, Jadurani dasi, Bhakti Caru Swami, Abhirama das, Pita das, Bhutatma das, Arjuna das, Tribhuvanath das, Prithu das, Brahmananda das, Rupa Vilasa das, Caru das, Hansadutta das, Aniruddha das, Guru Kripa das, Revatinandana das, Pusta Krishna das, Bhaktadas, Nanda Kumar das, Vaikunthanath das, Prasanta dasi, Vidya dasi, Guru das, Mangalananda das, Madhavananda das, Chitsukhananda das and Candramauli Swami.
Below are samples of some of the stories found on this ecstatic DVD:
Jadurani dasi: I asked, “We learned that dinosaurs once ruled the earth. Is that true?” Prabhupada said, “How could they rule; they have no intelligence?” He would make the most complicated, philosophical understandings clear and simple. Once a devotee asked him, “How is it that you make this complicated philosophy so simple and clear?” He said, “Because it is simple. God is great, and you are not great. Therefore you are not God, and you should surrender to God.”
Tamal Krishna Goswami: In the early days I was the temple commander in the La Cienega temple in Los Angeles. Prabhupada called me one day and asked me to get the Bhagavatam. He had his original Bhagavatam with the spiritual sky on the cover. He said, “Do you see this spiritual sky? It’s very big. You cannot fathom how big this is. Three-quarters of Krishna’s creation is the spiritual sky, and one-quarter is the material creation. That material creation has innumerable universes. One universe is so big the scientists can’t measure it. We’re on one planet in one of those universes out of innumerable universes, which constitute one-quarter of the creation. This one planet, Earth, is one of the smaller planets in this universe. On this planet there are seven continents, and on one of the continents, North America, there is a great city called Los Angeles. In that Los Angeles city, there’s a long boulevard called La Cienega. On that La Cienega Boulevard, there is one church building that is now a Hare Krishna temple. In that one Hare Krishna temple, there is one Tamal Krishna, and he thinks that he is very important.” (Laughs) I felt so small.
Revatinandan das: One of my god-brothers said, “Revatinandan, you know what Prabhupada said the other day?” I said, “What?” He said, “Prabhupada said that sometimes, even after going back to Godhead, a soul can fall again.” I said, “Are you sure?” (I knew that in the Gita Krishna says, “Having returned to My transcendental abode, one never again returns to this world of miseries.”) He said, “You can ask Prabhupada yourself, but that’s what he said.” When I got a chance, I asked Prabhupada, “Is it true that even after going back to Godhead, a soul sometimes falls again into the material energy?” Prabhupada said, “Yes.” I said, “How does that relate with the Gita’s statement?” With a wise, meditative smile Prabhupada said, “‘Never’ means ‘practically never.’ The soul is Krishna’s marginal energy, which means that the soul eternally has the capacity to turn away or to turn toward Krishna. Generally a soul does not fall, but if he did, he probably wouldn’t do it again. However, it is not inconceivable.”
People say that souls never fall from the spiritual world in the first place, that they fall from somewhere besides Krishna’s association. But Prabhupada was definitely speaking about being in Krishna’s abode as described in the Bhagavad-gita.
Govinda dasi: A significant thing that happened in Boston was that Swamiji became Srila Prabhupada. Gaurasundar was studying various forms of address in Sanskrit and he learned that “ji” is an affectionate form of address, which was news to us. I was sitting in Srila Prabhupada’s room taking dictation, as I often did, and Gaurasundar, at the doorway, said, “Swamiji, is it okay if I call Govinda dasi ‘Govindaji’?” Swamiji said, “No, ‘ji’ is a third-class form of address. You should not.” I said, “Why are we calling you Swamiji if it’s a third-class form of address?” He said, “It is not very important.” I said, “No, it is very important. What is the best thing we can call you?” Swamiji said, “You could call me Gurudeva or Guru Maharaj or Srila Prabhupada.” I said, “Which of those three is best?” and Swamiji said, “Srila Prabhupada is nice.” I said, “Okay,” and told all the devotees. From that day he was no longer Swamiji but Srila Prabhupada.
Caru: Two young interviewers asked Prabhupada, “Have you seen God?” Prabhupada said, “What do you think? Before you buy gold, you should first educate yourself so you can recognize gold. So to know whether my answer is right or wrong, you need to know who God is and the qualifications for seeing Him. Do you know who God is and who is qualified to see Him?” They said no. “Since you don’t know, for better or worse you have to accept whatever I say. Will you do that?” “Yes.” “Then I have seen God.” That was powerful.
Nanda Kumar: Once I gave Prabhupada something with fresh boysenberries. He said, “Oh, this is very good. What is this?” I said, “That’s called boysenberries. It’s a cross between a couple of different kinds of berries by a man named Boysen.” Prabhupada said, “It is very good. Poison berry?” I said, “No, sir, boysenberry.” He laughed. He was joking. So I told the devotees that story. It was one of Prabhupada’s lighthearted joking moods. Sometime later, boysenberries were in the kitchen, and one of the matajis said, “You can’t offer those, they’re poisonous. Prabhupada said they’re poisonous.” I told Prabhupada, “You joked with me about boysenberries and poison berries, and now the story is out that boysenberries are poisonous.” He laughed and said, “Everyone is saying, ‘Prabhupada has said this, and Prabhupada has said that,’ but I’ve never said. Believe what you read in my books and what you hear me speak, and take everything else with a grain of salt.”
Candramauli Swami: Prabhupada said that out of the four bodily activities—eating, sleeping, mating and defending—the most dangerous one for a devotee is oversleeping because it leads to the others. He said, “First of all, if you sleep too much you’re wasting time that should be used for Krishna’s service. And secondly, too much sleep enhances the attraction for eating and for mating.” That shocked me. I thought another one of the bodily activities was the most dangerous.
Sumati dasi: Once a week, Satsvarupa, Suhotra and I did a radio show at Northeastern University in Boston. It was a big radio station and a lot of people listened. We would pick a story from Krsna Book, Satsvarupa would write a script and we would do an hour-long dramatization on the show. When Prabhupada was in New York, Satsvarupa took him tapes of three or four shows. Satsvarupa played Krishna, Suhotra played the demon and I played Mother Yasoda. One story was Krishna subduing the Kaliya serpent. When Mother Yasoda saw Krishna wrapped in Kaliya’s coils she cried Krishna’s name with the utmost desperation and I really cried Krishna’s name. Srila Prabhupada said to Satsvarupa, “Stop the tape.” Prabhupada said, “Who is that?” Satsvarupa said, “That’s Sumati.” Prabhupada said, “Tell her to always cry for Krishna like that.” That’s my favorite story and I try to keep it in my heart, even though I don’t cry for Krishna like that.
Pita: Although it was devastating when you first saw Prabhupada’s deteriorated physical condition, after you were with him for a while you got used to it. When devotees saw him in that condition for the first time they’d cry and we’d all start crying seeing these devotees crying. At one point Prabhupada said, “Why are you all crying?” We said, “Srila Prabhupada, we’re crying because you’re so sick and we are afraid that you may leave.” Prabhupada said, “I will never leave you. I live forever in my books so there’s no reason to cry. Old people die, that is natural. When a young person dies there’s some mistake because a young person should live until he’s old. When he’s old he should die. For me it’s a natural thing, so don’t cry.”
One devotee said, “But Srila Prabhupada, we are crying because we can’t be without you and when you leave, we won’t know how to communicate with you.” Prabhupada said, “I will communicate with you through your heart. I will come to you in your dreams. I will communicate with you through dreams as caitya-guru.” I found that controversial because I thought my god-brothers wouldn’t have approved, but Prabhupada said it, that he would communicate with us through dreams.
This dynamic DVD can be obtained for only $20 plus s&h which is $15 off our website price!!! You must e-mail Siddhanta das at firstname.lastname@example.org to get this special offer.