Srila Prabhupada's transcendental anger
Posted on October 25, 2014
(By Sura dasa; from St. Louis Vyasa-puja offering 1982)
I remember in 1976 at the Vrndavana festival you were in your room and one brahmacari asked me if I could guard on the outside porch while he took prasadam. I jumped at the opportunity for some personal service, yet didn't know what the job entailed, since I had never guarded your quarters at that time in Vrndavana. I was sitting, reading Seventh Canto, thinking how fortunate I was, when all of a sudden I heard a bell ringing. Not knowing what it was, I just kept reading as the bell kept ringing. Then, Srila Prabhupada, you came to the screen door and I rose, "Jaya, Srila Prabhupada."
You looked very grave, and I didn't know what I had done wrong, so you said, "You are sitting there, and I am sitting here, and I am ringing, and I must come to you?" I was shocked as you repeated, "I am the spiritual master and you are the disciple, and I am ringing, and I must come to you?" I was horrified. I said, "Srila Prabhupada, I had no idea. One brahmacari.. ."
You cut me off and gravely said, "I am an old man, and you are a young man, and there are six of you, and I am ringing and I must come to you?" I was so sorry I just begged, "Please forgive me, I didn't know. .." You sharply said, "Go find Pusta Krsna!"
All I could see was the gold tooth in your transcendentally angered lotus mouth. You returned to your room and I felt bewildered, realizing I had committed a grave offense. Then I thought that as all the other servants must be at prasadam, I couldn't leave the porch to get Pusta Krsna, or no one would be guarding. One boy came by, and I called him over and said,
"Prabhu, you gotta go get Pusta Krsna at the Fogel Ashram, because Prabhupada wants him and..."
He answered, "No habla Inglese, prabhu." I was fried, because prasadam was at the Fogel Ashram and I couldn't leave to go get the devotee there, and no other devotees were around. Then the bell rang again, and I ran into the room. As I attempted to offer obeisances, you said, "Where is Pusta Krsna?" I was bewildered and didn't know whether to answer the question or offer obeisances first, since I didn't want to commit another offense.
I answered, " He's taking prasadam and I couldn't find him and . . ." "Go to the kitchen and get someone," you said. I turned to go, and there were two doorways, so I choose the right one, which led to the servant's quarters, and you chastised, "No, the other door!" I felt like a fool and remembered the instruction that one should feel like a fool in front of the spiritual master but not act like a fool. I had also acted like a fool and considered that I had thrown away a great opportunity to please you, Srila Prabhupada.
So I ran in the back and luckily found Hari Sauri Prabhu preparing something, and I urged him, "You've got to come right away. Prabhupada needs you immediately." He sent me around, and I went back to guarding the door on the porch. As I sat there I tried to read, but my mind was reeling, and my eyes just stared at the book as I thought that I had committed the greatest offense to a pure devotee in the dhama. I thought that I'd probably be thrown out of the movement; Prabhupada is displeased with me.
Then I suddenly felt like crying, but I thought if I did something very good, I could make up for my bungle. You were to take prasadam at one man's place next door and would be coming out in ten minutes, the servant informed me. There was one big umbrella that the servant said should be held to shade you from the sun. I made up my mind to hold that umbrella for you, and in
that way be forgiven. As you were getting ready to walk out of your Vrndavana quarters, one sannyasi came and told me to give him the umbrella to hold for you.
I reluctantly submitted and felt completely dejected. As you came out of the room I offered dandavats and began repeatedly praying in anxiety, "Srila Prabhupada, please forgive me. Don't kick me away. Please let me serve you more." As I rose up, you were just passing by, and you softly said, "Jaya." I knew then that you knew my heart and would give me another chance to please you. You are so kind that you allow a fool like myself to serve you.
So, Srila Prabhupada, we are all begging you to allow us to serve and please you more and more. Don't kick us away, please. Destroy our foolishness and let us perform some activity that will make you proud of your disciples.