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We offer our respectful obeisances to the pure devotee who came to the West to liberate us from this material world and  help us return to our true home, back to Lord Krishna

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Nanda: The one darshan with Srila Prabhupada that had the most impact on me was when he met with two representatives of the Cardinal of Mexico. Prabhupada gave a very brief description of Krishna consciousness, only covering the four regulative principles. But when he got to “no meat eating” he made the comment, “And this bull-fighting must be stopped.” He said, “This bull-fighting is very sinful and you must stop it.” He also mentioned how Jesus Christ was our guru. He said, “You can give us your churches. We can preach from the Bible about Krishna consciousness because we accept Christ as our guru.” Then the men got a little fidgety. They asked, “Are there any young people in your movement?” Prabhupada swept his hands across the room and said, “Look. Look in front of you. They’re all young people.” Then they looked at their watches and said, “Oh, thank you sir, thank you, but we have to go now. We have another engagement. Thank you for your time. If we have any questions, can we come and ask you?” Prabhupada again gestured to all of the devotees and said, “If you are very sincere, you can talk with me. But you can speak with them if you have any questions.” Then they said, “Thank you”, got up and left the room. Prabhupada broke into a big smile and with a chuckle said, “These are not true Christians. Did you notice? As soon as I said they should stop their bull-fighting, they left.”

Also at that darshan, was Hanuman, who was preaching in Argentina and was the first sannyasi that I know of who left that order and got married. Because my friends, Sita and Jagajivan, were having issues with him, I felt I also could not be his friend. Therefore, I had an attitude towards Hanuman. I admit it. So after the two Cardinal representatives left the room, Hanuman said, “Prabhupada, should we put a picture of Jesus Christ on the altar? You said he was our guru. Should we put a picture of Jesus Christ on our altar and worship him?” Prabhupada said, “I have not said that.” Then he asked, “Prabhupada, I want to know if you’ve rejected me just like Lord Chaitanya had rejected Chota Haridas?” I was in the back of the room thinking, “Now Prabhupada’s really going to give it to him. He’s going to get the sauce for all the trouble and anxiety he’s caused my friends. I’m really glad he asked that question because no one could give it to him like Prabhupada.” But Prabhupada said, “No, I have not rejected you.” He said, “Lord Chaitanya is God and He can spread this movement all around the world all by Himself. But I am not God. I am totally dependent on you for the help you have given me.” I was floored just to see how compassionate and how much love Prabhupada had for all of us.

The next thing that happened was a little embarrassing for me. Some devotees had left the room that created some space in front of Srila Prabhupada. Sita and I grabbed the opportunity and came forward and sat right at the corner of Prabhupada’s desk as he continued to talk about Jesus Christ and Christianity. Sita asked, “Srila Prabhupada, why couldn’t Jesus Christ save his followers?” Prabhupada said, “Because they were so degraded. They were tenth class people.” I still didn’t get it. I was thinking that Prabhupada and Christ as pure devotees were the same and thinking we were more degraded and Prabhupada is saving us why couldn’t Jesus save his followers? So I asked another question, but it just happened to be exactly the same words. “But Srila Prabhupada, how come Jesus Christ couldn’t save his followers?” Prabhupada looked over at me and gave me a look like you want to teach a two year old how to add, but you know it’s way above their head. That’s the look I got from Srila Prabhupada. He said, “If somebody’s a murderer, he’s not a very good person, is he?” I said, “No, Srila Prabhupada.” “They were murderers. They were tenth class.” Rohini Kumar said, “Jai, all glories to you, Srila Prabhupada. You are so great, that even though we were so fallen, you saved us. You are great Srila Prabhupada because you saved us!” Everyone went “Jai, Srila Prabhupada!” Prabhupada said, “No. I am not so great. It is this Hare Krishna mantra that is great.” Then Srutakirti said, “Jai, Srila Prabhupada, you’re so great because you have brought us this Hare Krishna mantra. And this Hare Krishna mantra has saved us and you are so great because you brought us that!” I saw Srila Prabhupada’s cheeks turn red. I saw them. They got red. He blushed. He looked down and said, “Oh, that may be so.” His humility and expression were so beautiful. I never would have caught that from the back of the room.

Then a kirtan had started in the back and Srutakirti said, “Oh, Srila Prabhupada, arotik has started and it’s time for you to get ready for your class.” Prabhupada said, “Just a moment, a little Bhagavatam.” He reached over without looking and what appeared to be at random, picked out a book and what appeared to be more random, opened the book and said, “You see? It says right here,” and it was Kapiladev instructing Devahuti, third canto part four, about even someone of a low birth who chants Hare Krishna becomes eligible to perform sacrifices.


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