By Sītā devī-dāsī
I had the good fortune to be in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s room when he was visiting the Mexico City temple in 1974. At that time a disciple who had strayed away had returned and was asking Śrīla Prabhupāda to forgive him. He said he was afraid that Śrīla Prabhupāda might have rejected him forever. The entire room fell silent. Śrīla Prabhupāda lowered his head thoughtfully for a moment. Then he looked up and said, “Krishna is God, and if He likes He can spread Krishna consciousness all over the world in a second, without the help of anyone. But I am not God. I am simply a servant of God, so I require assistance. If someone helps me even a little, I am eternally indebted to him. You have helped me very much, so how can I reject you?” We were all moved by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s humility and forgiveness.
[An excerpt from Back to Godhead Issue 5, 1978]