srila-prabhupada

Gargamuni: I was in Gainesville, Florida at the time somebody in Bombay from the Arya Samaj had questioned Prabhupada as to why he was preaching in India. He asked, "Why don't you go to the Muslim countries?" So Prabhupada sent my brother and me to West and East Pakistan. Somehow we made it to East Pakistan but in those days we didn't read newspapers and when we arrived, there was a civil war going on. We knew there was a Gaudiya Math there so we thought we'd try to find it and take shelter there for a while. I spent over two months preaching and printing books but then the revolution got hot and India entered the fray and I had to leave.

Then I went to West Pakistan and it was in West Pakistan that Prabhupada got the newspaper report in Bombay that four Hare Krishnas were killed. He knew I had an assistant and he knew Brahmananda had an assistant. So I was the first to come back.

It was April 1971. It was the day of Ramnavami when I arrived from Karachi and when Prabhupada saw me he got up. He embraced me and I felt again all these things fly out of my body. It was the second time he embraced me and I fell to the floor and then he got down and pulled me up by my sikha. It was like he was pulling me out of the material world and then he slapped me on the back real hard. He said, "Very good." He was happy. Then he called his servants and told them to cook us a feast. Everybody was fasting and we had a whole feast with puris and subji. The other devotees got envious as they couldn't believe they had to fast while I was eating a huge feast.

But Prabhupada saw that we were sacrificing our lives for him in helping him with the preaching mission. He saw this and he returned that love by blessing you; by pulling on your sikha, by slapping you on the back. You don't know what it is to have Prabhupada slap you on the back. It's not like any slap you've ever received. You feel some spirituality from it. You feel purifications. You feel your heart drop into your stomach. It's the most wonderful feeling to have the spiritual master do something like pulling your sikha. I can't describe it. Because Prabhupada, although he may act like an ordinary man, was not an ordinary man and anybody who met him felt that way. Even great scholars gave him so much respect just by his demeanor. So to have him do personal little things like slap you on the back, you feel something. He also did the same with Brahmananda.