prabhupada-with-disciples

Balai: After the Iskcon press moved up to Boston, Srila Prabhupada came to visit and was going to be given a tour of the press. When we opened the doors of the pressroom, which consisted of the press, folding machine and some other large machines, Srila Prabhupada just stopped. He immediately chanted the, "Jai Om" prayers. He said, "My guru maharaj would be very pleased." Then he kept looking around the press and the devotees were wearing dhotis and he said, "No you should wear pants. Do not have dhotis around the press." Then he said, "The press should shine like glass and that will make it run properly." He said, "I have experience with this with my Dictaphone. If I keep it clean, it runs properly."

Nara-Narayana: In 1968 I had decided to kill myself on my twenty-fifth birthday if I hadn't found the purpose of life. Fortunately, I had found it three months early of my twenty-fifth birthday and three months later I was in the New York temple for my birthday. However, everything was going haywire. I was used to the California gung-ho devotees and in New York they had a more serious, dourer mood, perhaps because the weather wasn't as nice as on the west coast.

Anyway, when I first walked in I blew my chance of a good welcome by saying, "Oh, everyone looks so sad. I guess it's because Srila Prabhupada hasn't been here in a while." That of course didn't start me off on the right foot. As things went on I was struggling in my relationships with the other devotees. It was driving me nuts. When Srila Prabhupada finally arrived, we went up to his quarters behind 21, 2nd Avenue, Matchless Gifts. It was completely packed with people.

At that point Prabhupada started what became a big tradition with him where he would say, "Where's Nara-Narayana?" And then I would say, "I'm here Srila Prabhupada." "Nara-Narayana, everything is alright?" Up to that point I always had said, "Oh, yes, Srila Prabhupada." On that particular occasion, as I wanted him to know things were going badly for me, I said, "Yes, Srila Prabhupada." And with sarcasm I said, "Krishna is very kind." Prabhupada was smiling at me and nodding. As soon as I said, "Krishna is very kind", he looked at me and said, "Krishna is always kind." I was shocked to the core because I was thinking he was going to take my side and rectify things for me. It hit me like a baseball bat over the head that whatever I experienced was a learning lesson and not that I should expect an easy ride or that my God-brothers should be nice just because they're Krishna conscious too. From that point onward every time I went to any temple in the world where Srila Prabhupada was, the first thing he would say is, "Where is Nara-Narayana?" It didn't matter who else was present, he would say, "Where is Nara-Narayana?" I'd say "Here Srila Prabhupada." He'd say "Everything is alright?" and I'd say, "Yes, Srila Prabhupada."