Bonds of Love: Gangamayi Devi Dasi
In a letter, Prabhupada wrote Gangamayi: “You are right that politics should be avoided. In my personal life I did not participate in the political diplomacy of my godbrothers. I was simply thinking how to fulfill the order of my Guru Maharaja. He gave me his blessings, and I was saved from any implication. Now I am trying to carry out his instructions strictly, and it has come out successful. I note that you are planning to come to India, and I have no objection. We will be needing experienced pujaris for our Vrindavan temple.”
Once, in Vrindavana, I was cleaning Srila Prabhupada’s floor with a rag. Prabhupada said, “I will show you how to clean.” He got down with his knees and calves suspended above the floor, dipped the rag into the bucket and wiped the floor. He put the rag in the bucket again, wrung it out tightly and got all the water out of it, looked at me in the eyes and said, “You do like that.” “Yes, Srila Prabhupada.” The next day he said, “Did you do like that?” I said, “Yes, Srila Prabhupada.” I felt greatly honored to be in his presence, what to speak of to be able to say anything to him.
After Prabhupada gave class at Bhaktivedanta Manor he’d say, “Thank you very much,” and then, “Kirtana.” The devotees would start a slow kirtana, and as it gradually built, they would stand. Soon the whole room would be bouncing, as everybody leapt up and down while Prabhupada’s karatalas were beating up and down. Our hearts burst open and we wanted to jump and shout “Hare Krishna”! It was an ecstatic, wonderful, joyous time.
My friend Annada and I want to somehow preach and to serve Srila Prabhupada, the devotees, and Krishna. The more we do to make our life centered on Srila Prabhupada, the more Prabhupada comes to us. As much as we follow Prabhupada, that much Prabhupada reciprocates with us. She and I hear Prabhupada’s lectures and bhajanas and offer food to Prabhupada’s murti. By following this simple process, we’re happy.
Srila Prabhupada made me understand that breaking the four regulative principles wasn’t good for me. He convinced me that I didn’t want to do those things. I’m almost within reach of being with him – I just have to get out of this material world alive. I can do that by remembering him. I want to be as Krishna made me – totally sober. All our training is to remember Krishna at the time of death. I don’t want to come back again. I don’t want to disappoint Prabhupada. I owe Prabhupada something for what he’s put into me, and the least I can do is try to be conscious and follow the principles. I don’t want to leave Prabhupada. He has not let me down, so why should I let him down? But I don’t accept Prabhupada’s words blindly. I accept what he says and never doubt the truths he spoke because everything he says works. If I don’t understand something, if something doesn’t work out, it’s due to my own stupidity.