Manmohini: I was married to a devotee named Sridham who was Prabhupada’s personal servant in the late 1960s. It was during the time of the so-called “moon landing”.
Sridham told me that while he was massaging Srila Prabhupada, he said that when he was a small child his father took him to the cinema to see a movie about a “big go-rilla.”
Sridham said, “King Kong, Prabhupada?”
Prabhupada’s eyes got real big and he said, “You have seen? You know about?”
Sridham said, “Oh yes, yes. Everybody knows about King Kong, Srila Prabhupada. It’s a very famous movie and everybody knows about that gorilla.”
Prabhupada nodded, “Ah.” He said, “Well in this movie it looked like the gorilla was climbing the Empire State Building and swatting airplanes. But we know that that’s not true. The clouds are probably cotton and it was toy airplanes and a toy Empire State Building and not even a real go-rilla. So in this way they can very easily make it look like they had landed on the moon, but in actuality we know that they didn’t.”
Then he went on to explain the motivations behind this. It was due to the government wanting to instill a feeling of patriotism and national pride in the public because they would soon be raising taxes substantially on the American people.
And sure enough, Sridham told me that a few weeks later spread all over the newspapers were articles about a giant tax increase. Prabhupada said, “Yes, this is why they have said they have landed on the moon.”
Patita Pavana: There was a person on the sidewalk who would make newspaper headlines for tourists like, “Deborah’s Birthday,” or whatever you wanted.
I said, “Look, my spiritual master is coming to town. Make one for my guru, will you?”
He said, “Sure. I’ll even do it for free.”
I thought, “This is great. This guy is going back to Godhead.”
He asked, “What should I print?”
I said, “Krishna Consciousness Takes Over the World.”
Might as well go for the jugular. He made it.
That day Srila Prabhupada landed at the airport and I gave him the paper with the headline, “Krishna Consciousness Takes Over the World.”
Prabhupada started glowing. He looked like the sun and moon combined. When he was pleased, he was so thrilled. He was pointing and asking, “Who has printed?” Right away I got a rock in my throat. Prabhupada was so magnanimous.
His servant Aravinda said, “It’s a joke Prabhupada, it’s a joke.” He couldn’t see the humor in it.
But Prabhupada said, “Think nothing of it.”
Later I heard from Gargamuni that Aravinda left the movement and he came back wanting to talk to Prabhupada one on one.
Prabhupada said to him, “It is good you have left. You were an enemy in our movement.” Prabhupada never said that to anybody except this poor unfortunate guy.
Soma: In New Vrindavan Srila Prabhupada walked through the Palace at the time it was still a construction site.
There was a pallet with bags of cement with plastic covering them.
Prabhupada asked, “What is this?” We said, “Those are just bags of concrete.”
He said, “This is not right.”
We were thinking since there was no roof yet the best way to protect the concrete was with the plastic.
It wasn’t until a few days after Srila Prabhupada left that we noticed that when it had rained prior to Prabhupada’s visit, some of the water had gotten through the plastic and it had ruined some of the bags.
Prabhupada was so perceptive that he knew just by looking at the bags that they were ruined.
Another story from that visit was that as he was walking out of the Palace, Bali Mardan said, “Oh, Srila Prabhupada, it says in the Krishna Book that Krishna’s palaces in Dwarka were illuminated with the jewels on the wall.”
Prabhupada stopped, lifted his cane and he waved it at the devotees that were there and he said, “These devotees are my jewels.”
——Ref. VedaBase – Chapter 50, Srila Prabhupada remembrances