Compiled by Mahavishnu Das
Achyutananda: One time in Vrindavan a gentleman asked me to meet a mayavadi named Akhananda Swami. He was a formless, huge baba, a pure Shankara mayavadi. His followers would look at him and say, “Namo Narayana namo”. They were calling each other Narayana, and I would look around and think, “Do I look like Narayana? Do I have four arms?” Akhananda looked at me and sarcastically chanted, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.” I felt like everybody in the world should chant Hare Krishna, but not this guy. It was so disrespectful. A man said, “Try to ask some questions.” I said, “I have no questions because if I ask a question, he will talk maya about it.” I told all of this to Prabhupada on a morning walk. He thought that was a very strong move and that Akhananda must have been very insulted. I said that I didn’t care and Prabhupada appreciated that.
Prabhupada had a mystical quality that when he would give a lecture, he would cover every point of the lecture, from the jiva to Lord Chaitanya who had a loving relationship to Krishna, to Radharani, the demi-gods, to the position of the material nature. He would cover everything. Quite often it would come to the point where he would say, “If you do not catch up on Krishna’s lotus feet, again you will fall back into the ocean of maya.” He would make a gesture like throwing a stone into the ocean. I also would say, if you were to take any three or four of Prabhupada’s books, take off the covers, shuffle the pages, and pick two or three pages, you’d read the whole philosophy. He covers everything and every point. He kept saying, “You will keep falling into the ocean of maya.
One day I was in a store with Brahmananda and another fellow who had been at the temple said, “I don’t like this and that. This is all nonsense!” He walked out and slammed the door. I said to Brahmananda, “He fell back into the ocean of material illusion.” Brahmananda then made the sound, “Bloop”. That is how “Bloop” was created and it became our word when someone was leaving the temple. “Look at that guy, I think he’s going to bloop.” “Boy, I hope I don’t bloop.” “Where’s so and so?” “Oh, he blooped.” So we were up in Prabhupada’s room and Prabhupada asked, “Where is that boy, Michael?” Brahmananda said, “Oh, he blooped.” “Bloop? What is this ‘bloop’?” We all looked at Brahmananda as if to say, “You tell him, you made it up.” He said, “Well, you’ve been explaining that we fall back into the ocean of maya like a stone makes the sound when it hits the water, ‘bloop’. We’ve been saying that when somebody leaves, they ‘blooped’”. Prabhupada responded, “Well, if he blooped, what can we do?” He immediately picked up on it. And that is how “blooped” got invented.
A challenging reporter once asked Prabhupada, “What do you do? You walk on water? Do you turn water into wine?” Prabhupada said, “There can be beautiful woman here naked, you will be attracted, I will not.” Then another reporter asked, “What’s the purpose of human life?” Prabhupada said, “To enjoy.” He of course meant to enjoy with Krishna, not materially. But the answer was like that. I would have said, “To surrender to the spiritual master, follow the regulations, give up meat and become a devotee.” Prabhupada simply said, “To enjoy.”
A disciple of one of Prabhupada’s envious God-brother’s told me that his guru said, “Well if Lord Chaitanya wanted to spread the Hare Nam over the whole world, why didn’t He do it Himself?” I told this to Prabhupada and his response was, “Because He saved that glory for me!” That was a very bold statement.
One time in Calcutta, Prabhupada asked, “Where is Devananda?” Someone told him that he was washing his dhoti. Prabhupada started to laugh and laugh exclaiming, “Devananda is washing his dhoti!!” He just kept laughing and then finally he stopped. The devotee asked why he was laughing. Prabhupada said, “You never know why I laugh.” You can never figure out the mind of a paramahamsa.
When we established the deities in Calcutta, I was standing next to Prabhupada during the arati and Prabhupada’s face just melted in ecstasy. I pointed out to him that they had put the flute in backwards. Prabhupada said, “Krishna is all powerful. He can play from either end.”