SP0016

Ambika: When we cleaned his quarters we would always change his sheets, but Prabhupada stopped that. He said, "Don't change them every day. Only change them when they're dirty." Of course, they were never dirty. But Prabhupada wanted that.

Prabhupada had a picture of Radha and Krishna on his little desk, and after he'd come back from his morning class, he'd take off his garland and put it on the picture of Radha and Krishna. We weren't allowed to throw that garland out. And on his wall, there were pictures of the disciplic succession, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Srila Gaurakishor and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. After the garland had been on the Deity picture, he would place it on Bhaktisiddhanta's picture, and then the next day we'd move it down to Gaurakhisor's picture, and then to Bhaktivinoda Thakur's picture, and finally we could take it as prasadam. Prabhupada was very particular about things like that.

One day I was wearing a shriveled garland from Bhaktivinoda Thakur's picture. That day I was thinking, "Oh gee, Prabhupada doesn't really know me. He knows so many devotees so well, but he hardly knows me." I was feeling bad that I didn't get to do much for Srila Prabhupada. So the very day I'd been thinking that, I went upstairs when Prabhupada was in his room. First I stopped in fear and awe, and then I walked in and put the flower vases in their places and offered my obeisances. I was flustered and was trying to back out of the room. Prabhupada looked at the old garland I was wearing and said, "Where from you got this garland? Here, you take this one," and he took the fresh garland from that morning that he had just put over the picture of the Deities and gave it to me. I felt so happy, and I realized that Prabhupada knew exactly what we needed in spiritual life. I was so encouraged by Srila Prabhupada. But I also felt foolish that Prabhupada had to cater to me. Still, that was a treasured moment.