Sikhi-Mahiti

Sikhi Mahiti: During that period in Chicago, devotees weren't accustomed to having a large initiation even though the Evanston temple was considered a big temple in those days. They were also going to install the Gaura Nitai deities for the buses and then initiate all the devotees. As a matter of fact, there were so many devotees that the women couldn't get initiated that day. They complained to Prabhupada so he made them hold initiation for the women the next day.

Things were getting a little chaotic and the one thing you definitely noticed about Srila Prabhupada was that he did not like to waste time. At one point you could see he was getting a little annoyed as if to say, “Hey, come on, come on, let's get this thing going.” In time they called me up by my name Nathanial, Bhakta Nate. I knew a month or two before that I was going to be initiated and I was thinking, “I'm going to get some cool name like Nityananda, Narada Muni, or Nrsimha. You name it and you can't go wrong with any of those names. I came up and of course I was walking a little proudly. [laughs] Prabhupada said, “What are the rules and regulations and how many rounds do you chant?” I answered everything very nicely and as he reached out the beads to me he said, “Your name is Sikhi Mahiti das.” I was shocked. [laughs] I thought, “Sikhi Mahiti? What the heck is that?” It didn't even sound like a name of Krishna but I tried not to look disappointed.

Actually, the whole room was kind of quiet because Sri Caitanya-caritamrta hadn't been published yet. Prabhupada said, “Sikhi Mahiti was one of the three and a half most confidential servants of Lord Caitanya.” He looked at me right in my face. I was still looking disappointed and he said, “And it's a very nice name.” [laughs] I took my beads but I couldn’t believe Krishna just smashed my ego. [laughs] I thought, “At least it’s a unique name.” You don’t meet too many people with that name so I can be grateful for that. But to this day even Indian people ask, “Oh, what is your name, prabhu?” I respond, “Sikhi Mahiti das.”“Oh, what does it mean?” They don’t even know what it means. Later I found out it’s a popular name near Orissa, but outside of Orissa, nobody knows. [laughs] some god-brothers whom he loved, but they could not work together any more.

Ref: Chapter 62, Srila Prabhupada Remembrances – Siddhanta Dasa