Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Prabhupada's eyes

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 6.09.2015 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Sometimes Prabhupad was very funny. For example his remark about the American society was that “You have a wush-wush civilization”. Because the big cars – this is the late 60’s when in America they had very huge cars – they were just wush-wush like this on the highways. So, “you have a wush-wush civilization”. And you know when he arrived in New York this was the first time to encounter with winter and snow. He hasn’t seen snow before. There is no snow in Bengal, nor in Vrindavana. Remember this very touching photo of him in dhoti and a big-big coat in the wintertime in New York – it is so charming! His devotees asked him: “Oh Prabhupada, is there snow in the spiritual sky?” A challenging question. Then he was thinking for a while and he said: “Yes, but it’s not cold.”

Other times he was flying inside America to certain places and he was always treated as a VIP – special receptions and interviews, interviews by the hundreds. And you know this was the time when ladies started to use these mini skirts. So, there was one reporter lady interviewing Shrila Prabhupada and she had some very profound questions: “Why is your head bald? Why are you shaved?” Then Prabhupada said: “Because our philosophy is cool head, but warm legs. And why are your legs bald?” He was smiling while answering; he was like a kid, joking. Stupid question – catchy answer. There are many unlimited stories.

He was also very witty, clever and practical. Once his devotees asked: “Prabhupada, what is the definition of intelligence?” Everybody was waiting for some very philosophical and very high, complicated answer. And then Prabhupada said: “You know intelligence is that you always have some money in your pocket.” You wouldn’t expect such an answer from a sadhu, right? But he had this experience when he had no money in his pockets, when still in India he was approaching people, approaching some businessmen for donations and they were discussing about printing the Back to Godhead magazine. And it was eleven o’clock or twelve or something like this in the middle of the day. And while discussing finally one gentleman asked: “Swamiji, have you taken something today?” And then Prabhupad said: “No, I didn’t have the chance.” Then immediately the man brought some prasadam to him. So, he had his training to be penniless. Therefore he knew very well that intelligence means you always have some money in your pocket. Yesterday it came to my mind, in the early preaching times here in Sofia there were some hard times also, when we didn’t have enough resources to finance some halva. We didn’t have enough money to buy butter for the halva. Now we can afford some butter for the halva? We can. And you make big feasts. But don’t forget those times when the halva was prepared with oil. Maybe that means you are very intelligent.

And if I may share my favorite story about Shrila Prabhupada. If you watch the recordings of him, there is a very nice recording of how he takes prasadam. That’s a spiritual experience; please check out this video – pure transcendence! And there are some other recordings when he arrives at places where his devotees were expecting him. Hundreds of devotees were lining up on two sides in order for Shrila Prabhupad to walk between them, along with a huge jumping and dancing kirtan. And he was a short person, I mean not a tall person. He was walking with his danda and big garlands usually at a very peaceful pace. And you know sometimes the flowers fall from the garland. And when he passed by and there were these dropped flowers, the devotees from the lines were jumping over these flowers to obtain some maha-prasad. The devotees were dancing, smiling, crying, shouting – fully in ecstasy. And at that time he had one senior devotee who was a personal secretary of him, travelling with him all the time. And this young man’s heart was broken. Because although he was so close to Shrila Prabhupada, traveling with him, staying with him, serving him all the time, he didn‘t have this jumping and crying, and shouting – nothing! So, this was a heavy burden on his heart. Next time in the evening finally he decided ‘I have to share this with my spiritual master’. So, while giving a massage to Shrila Pabhupada he disclosed: “Prabhupada, your devotees love you so much! Wherever you arrive,they are greeting you with kirtan and jumping and smiling, and crying. They have so much feeling for you, but I have no jumping, no tears, no love. I have no love for you.” Just imagine yourself: with the burden on your heart you open up to your spiritual master… and then Shrila Prabhupada said nothing. After the massage he went to take a shower; no remarks, no answer, nothing. Then he was waiting for his evening prasadam and the young man brought the full plate – still no answer, no remark, nothing. Prabhupada started to eat and he was waiting by the door. After long, long moments of silence Prabhupada asked: “Do you like to serve me?” The boy said: “Yes, of course! Of course, I like it!” And then Prabhupad said: “This is love! Jumping and dancing – everybody can do that, but to do some service…”

So, he was very sweet, very deep, very funny and very heavy at the same time. A real guru! Shrila Prabhupada ki jay!



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