Surabhi: In the five and a half years that I had association with Srila Prabhupada, what I learned about Krishna consciousness was a consistent quality of practicality. I had a very short period to learn Krishna consciousness and I also had to design and make temples. Because I was not religious by nature, Prabhupada made things very simple for me to understand. It was just common sense that you keep doing what you like to do but do it for Krishna.

What intrigued me was that he was able to see me, and how to use me in a very short period of time. I felt that by him being there I could feel Krishna. I would never even attempt to think that I had anything that could get mercy from Krishna. So I would always go back to my guru that is Prabhupada. I wouldn't allow myself to think any further than that. This is a job and it's got to be done. I'm going to sit here and work with the contractors. I'm going to count bricks. I've got to make sure that the money will not be misspent. I have to be careful not to get cheated. This common sense approach to everything kept me going during this entire five and a half year period.

There was one time when I asked Prabhupada a question about architecture. I can’t remember what it was but he said, “Why you ask me? You're the architect.” He said, “Use your common sense, you will know, you will find out.” That was giving me the freedom that even at that point when I thought I needed direction Prabhupada would still allow me to do it myself.

Compiled by Mahavishnu Dasa