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I am going back to Godhead to eat kachoris with...

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Sudama was full of stories about Prabhupada from his experience as his personal servant. In one story that I cannot forget, he told me how Prabhupada questioned him prior to giving permission for Sudama to be his servant. Prabhupada asked him if his nose worked. When Sudama answered affirmatively, Prabhupada said that he would not work out as his servant. Later, when it was clarified that Prabhupada wanted to know if he snored in his sleep, Sudama was allowed to render personal service. But it became clear that Prabhupada was sensitive to distractions during the late evening hours, which he devoted to translation and dictation of his books.

In Penang, I remember some wonderful pastimes. We  were staying at the home of an Indian gentleman and his wife. The wife had been born in Mathura and was an expert cook. I had started to massage Srila Prabhupada with mustard oil as our host looked on. Our host, although an important man in society, became anxious to become Srila Prabhupada's masseur. Seeing his sincerity, Prabhupada finally agreed, laughing at his persistence, and humility. When the massage was finished and Srila Prabhupada had taken his bath, he sat down to take prasadam. After seeing that he was served properly, I left the room so as not to be an annoyance while Srila Prabhupada ate. His custom was to recite the Gayatri mantra first and then eat.

Suddenly, I heard Srila Prabhupada call my name and I entered to see what was the matter. In a grave voice, His Divine Grace ordered me to have all the assembled devotees brought in front of him immediately. Trying to fathom what unpardonable offense we had committed, I complied. As we stood in front of him, Srila Prabhupada lifted a flying-saucer shaped kachori in the air and took a bite out of it. He handed one to me and asked me to do the same. I cannot describe it adequately, but it was soft and wonderful, the crust melting in the mouth and the urad dhal filling spiced just right. This kachori is a specialty of Mathura and a favorite of Krishna. The hostess who had prepared it had apparently perfected the art in her Mathura home.

Prabhupada was in an animated ecstatic mood and told us all to immediately go into the kitchen and learn how to make kachoris from this woman. It was so wonderful to see the Spiritual Master so satisfied. After the other devotees had left and Prabhupada continued to eat he turned to me with a beaming smile and declared "you know, I am going back to Godhead only so that I may eat lugdus and kachoris with Krishna." As we both enjoyed his good humor, he proceeded to tell me some incidents from his youth, demonstrating his fondness for kachoris.

Ref. VedaBase => JPR 10: Prabhupada Arrives in Malaysia

One night in Prabhupada's apartment I awoke from a sound sleep about 1:30 a.m. to the ring of Prabhupada's bell. Entering his room, which was dark except for a reading light on a small podium, Srila Prabhupada was sitting reading from a large red Bhagavatam. He motioned for me to sit down. His voice cracking and tears forming in his eyes, he began talking to me about the glories of Prahlad Maharaj and the true meaning of being a Vaishnava. He talked about how Prahlad's only desire was for others to be rescued from this world of birth and death. He described the compassion of the Vaishnava for the fallen souls and, seeing how hard he worked to spread Krishna Consciousness, I could feel his own heart overflowing with this intense form of Vaishnava love.

As Prabhupada spoke, I could only think: why me? I did not deserve such intimacy. If only the world could know Prabhupada's glory, a Mahabhagavata Devotee, a nitya-siddha, eternally liberated soul, whose thoughts day and night focused on how to free the conditioned souls from their bondage. Para duhka duhki, Prabhupada uttered softly while contemplating the incomparable qualities of a true Vaishnava, which he exemplified perfectly. If there is another person living with these attributes, I have not met him.

Prabhupada's mood gradually changed and soon he was describing his youthful acting in transcendental dramas, and we were laughing as he graphically recreated characters for me. After some time, Prabhupada indicated that I should return to take rest. I was walking in a cloud surcharged by the pure devotional energy emanating from the mouth of the Lord's dearmost representative. As I lay down to sleep, I thought that no possible dream could surpass the reality I had just experienced.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => JPR 11: Prabhupada in Sydney

 


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