By His Holiness Śacīnandana Swami
I was fortunate enough to take part in some preaching programs that the devotees arranged (in London). Śrīla Prabhupāda would sit on his vyāsāsana (the guru’s seat) and preach with great concentration. At the end of the talks, he would invite everybody to join in kīrtana. One evening, during kīrtana, he suddenly stepped down from his vyāsāsana with great dignity and began to dance. Naturally, when Prabhupāda began to dance, all the devotees also danced, and the whole audience also danced in ecstasy.
Some days Śrīla Prabhupāda went to the temple room while everyone else was taking breakfast prasādam. He would stand in front of the Deities for a long time, apparently absorbed in prayer and direct communion with Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Londonīśvara.
One incident reveals how I came to understand that the pure devotee is in touch with Krishna and that Krishna tells him everything. I used to wash the Deity plates after the morning offering, and I didn’t like this service at all. One day, the temple president came into the kitchen and declared, “Prabhupāda says that the Deity plates are dirty. Krishna has told him. He requests that this be corrected immediately.” I thought, “Oh, no, this is my fault; I didn’t wash them carefully enough.”
“Although I felt blissful in Krishna consciousness after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s arrival, I later found myself tossing in an ocean of doubts. Māyā had come to test me. She confronted me with my attachments: friends, schoolmates, band members, my girl friend-all of them had ‘come’ to London to get me out of the temple-even my grandfather, on his deathbed in Hamburg, was asking for me. I became weak. I became resistant to Śrīla Prabhupāda. I thought, “I’ll leave this movement. There is simply too much to give up.” To have a reason to leave, I decided to involve Prabhupāda in a contradiction by asking him a question. I foolishly wanted to show him my superiority.
The next morning, after the lecture, I challenged, “If Krishna is all good, and if He is the creator of everything, then why has He made this material world, which is full of troubles for us conditioned souls?” At first, Prabhupāda didn’t seem to understand me. I had to ask my question a second time. But again he said, “What is it?” I felt already a little miserable.
“The third time, Prabhupāda acknowledged my question and replied forcefully: “Not Krishna has created māyā, you have created māyā!” His strong words blasted my rebellious mind like a bomb. Krishna was not at fault-I was at fault!
In this way Prabhupāda saved me. That was enough. I decided not to leave. I surrendered. I had already packed my things, but I unpacked them again, while thinking to myself, “I will stay in this movement no matter what. I may make it in this lifetime, or it may take me many lives.” Prabhupāda had blessed me with his mercy.
[An excerpt from “Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany” by Vedavyasa Dasa – chapter 7]ALSO READ: JAGGANATHA APPEARS IN THE WEST “THE RADHA KRISHNA TEMPLE” ALBUM – Personal Accounts of People Getting Attracted To Krishna Consciousness Through It