amogha-dasa

Amogha das: So we used to try to think of some gift to give to Srila Prabhupada. What can we think of? So one morning in the Saint Kilda temple in Melbourne, which was quite small and all the devotees from all over Australia were crowded in there, Prabhupada entered the room and we all offered obeisances. I just heard Prabhupada say, “Don’t touch the Bhagavatam to the floor.” Somebody had touched the Bhagavatam to the floor because Prabhupada said, “Don’t touch it to the floor.”

So I had this idea we could get a nice cloth made to wrap around the Bhagavatam, and I asked the ladies who do the sewing for the Deities. So they had this nice gold brocade cloth and with gold tassels at the end, and I asked her to make that. Then I went into downtown Melbourne and I found some really nice-looking mangoes. I think I bought about six. So I put these things all in a Back to Godhead box. Then I went to the house where Prabhupada was staying, and I entered the room where Prabhupada was sitting behind his desk and talking to a whole roomful of devotees.

So at one point he paused and he looked over at my box. He said, “So? What is this?” So I got the book cover cloth out. I guess you could say when I entered the room I thought, “Well, I’ve got these really good gifts to offer to Prabhupada,” thinking this is pretty good, I’ve got something. So I picked the cloth up and I said, “Srila Prabhupada, I heard this morning you said that we shouldn’t touch the Bhagavatam to the floor, so I got you this nice cloth to keep around your Bhagavatam.” Prabhupada said, “I don’t touch my Bhagavatam to the floor.” Then I wanted to explain what I meant, what led to me deciding to do this, but Prabhupada, every time I started to say something he’d interrupt me. So I’d say, “Oh, but I mean…” “No, I don’t touch my Bhagavatam to the floor.” And every time I tried to explain, he stopped me. “I’m keeping my Bhagavatam on the shelf. I don’t touch my Bhagavatam to the floor,” and he was very stern. Then all the devotees started laughing and laughing really loud. Then he said, “This is for you.” So in that way I was totally humbled. I just felt like if I could crawl in a hole and hide, I would. Everybody was laughing at me, and Prabhupada was so stern. I meant to give him a gift, but it sounded like an insult. I didn’t mean it as an insult, but I can’t explain it. I can’t describe the feeling. I just sat there and waited.

Then he said, “Then?” At this stage, if I get these mangoes out, what’s going to happen if I get them out? So I picked the mangoes up and I said, “I also got you some mangoes.” Then Prabhupada looked at the mangoes, and then a big smile came on his face and he said, “Ah, this is a gift! Mango is the king of fruit.” Then his whole mood changed from stern to beaming, and I was totally relieved. But it relates to the idea that if you offer something with pride, then Krishna doesn’t like it, it’s not the right mood. But he created that mood in me, begging, “Please accept this offering.”