Yadubara das: This is probably the most intimate scene we’ve ever filmed of Srila Prabhupada. Visakha was doing the recording of the sound, and I was shooting the 16 mm camera. Really the reason we got a chance to film this scene goes back to the Gaura Purnima festival of 1974 where we premiered the first ISKCON film documentary, “The Hare Krishna People.” Srila Prabhupada appreciated that film and encouraged us to make more films.
I thought at that time that I would eventually want to make a documentary on Srila Prabhupada’s life. So I asked him if that would be possible and his reply was, “What is the need?” And I said in the future people will want to know who started the Hare Krishna Movement. Srila Prabhupada thought for a moment and then gave his consent to make the film.
We didn’t have a script at that time. I just thought we should film Srila Prabhupada in as many different situations as possible. So in the summer of 1975, Srila Prabhupada came to L.A. and we shot more film during that week than I think any other period of time. I was most nervous shooting this scene of Srila Prabhupada translating, really in fear of disturbing him, but we can see that he was totally absorbed in his translation.
I don’t think anyone else could have done that, to have a large 16 mm camera pointing at them and at the same time being fully absorbed in their work. And it really must have been a distraction for him because we had set up lights inside, otherwise there wasn’t enough light. Actually at the end of this scene he looks up and speaks to me, and at that point I panicked and immediately turned off the camera. So it was just definitely his mercy that he allowed us to film so many different varieties of scenes during that time in Los Angeles.