dr-durkheim-and-prabhupada

Prithu das: At that time Professor Durckheim came, and he is a huge well-known personality in psychological departments of practically every university. He brought Zen Buddhism to Europe.

He at that time had many German bishops, Catholic bishops, becoming very interested in Zen Buddhism. He had about 30 of them coming for retreats. So he was hugely influential. And I thought this Durckheim is the guru of the Catholic bishops, let him become the disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

So when he came he was quite reserved, but within minutes they struck up a very cordial relationship. They were contemporaries. Durckheim was about maybe six years younger than Prabhupada. Prabhupada talked with him so nicely that immediately they developed a very wonderful relationship, and Durckheim started to listen to Prabhupada.

I remember they walked over the fields and that Durckheim also had so many ideas in his head and he started trying to impress Prabhupada, and Prabhupada looked at him and said, “Look, this is not very intelligent.” Durckheim said, “Why?” Prabhupada explained to him why it is not intelligent, and Durckheim laughed and said, “I suppose you are right.”

It was beautiful to see these two elderly men talking to each other like friends. I remember at the end of one discussion Durckheim actually paid his dandavats to Prabhupada. And while he was in the dandavat position, he looked up and said, “Please accept me as your younger brother,” which was really nice, seeing such a huge personality accepting Prabhupada’s superiority.

So when I brought Durckheim back to the railway station, he was talking about Prabhupada. He said, “It is quite amazing, this visit.” He said, “I have met many people in my life of spiritual standing, but I’ve never met a person like this master.” He said, “He is er ist durch.” That means, “He is through, he made it, he achieved the perfect plane.” He said, “It is a remarkable day in my life.”