nagapatni-dasi

Nagapatni: One evening we got to go into the garden and sit with Srila Prabhupada while Srutakirti read the Krsna Book. I didn't want this opportunity to go without having an opportunity to ask Srila Prabhupada a question. Because my father was a very strong Catholic and he was particularly challenging to talk to, I asked Srila Prabhupada how to preach to Christians. Srila Prabhupada was very quiet for a moment and then he turned and said, "Where are the Christians at 4:30 in the morning? How are they developing love of God?” This turned out to be an excellent point when I was speaking with my father. I would ask him, “What is your process for learning love of God, developing love of God?” In that way Srila Prabhupada helped me deal with my father.

jananivas-prabhu

Jananivas: One time when Bhavananda prabhu was president of Mayapur and after Srila Prabhupada had just arrived, Bhavananda told him that the devotees were taking kaju rasa. Kaju rasa is the sap from the date palm trees they boil down which turns into molasses and gaur. They make it hot and they drink it as juice. However, if it is left too long, especially after sunrise, it starts to ferment and becomes alcoholic. So Bhavananda was complaining to Prabhupada, “The devotees are taking this kaju rasa which is very strong just like whiskey.” Prabhupada said, “Oh, really?” He didn't say anything more at the time. Then the next morning we were in the darshan with Prabhupada and one devotee named Dwija Hari das, who was a Marine before he joined the movement and kind of a tough guy said, “Srila Prabhupada, sometimes me and the boys we take a japa walk down the road where they are making this kaju rasa and we take a few.” [laughs] It was funny the way he said it. It was like, “Me and the boys we go down the bar and we knock a few back.” I was laughing at the way he was explaining it to Prabhupada. Prabhupada said, “Oh, really, really?” Dwija Hari kept saying, “It is really, really good.”

So now Prabhupada had to make a decision. He heard the management's side of it and how Bhavananda was trying to stop the drinking of kaju rasa. And then he heard from some of the devotees who liked it. The next morning we went in for darshan with Prabhupada and then Srutakirti prabhu came in with a glass of kaju rasa. He said, “Srila Prabhupada would you like some kaju rasa?” Prabhupada looked at it and he sniffed it. Prabhupada knew what it was because he was a Bengali and everyone in Bengal knew kaju. Prabhupada tasted the juice. “Oh, it's quite nice.” He took another sip. “Hmm. Quite nice. Bring me another glass, empty glass.” Srutakirti gave Prabhupada an empty glass and he poured the rest of his into the empty glass, gave it back to Srutakirti and said, “Pass it around to all the devotees so they can drink it.” [laughs] So all the devotees were sitting around drinking kaju. Bhavananda was sitting there fuming. [laughs] He couldn't get his way. We saw how Prabhupada would adjust things according to time and circumstance.

(Compiled by Mahavishnu Dasa)