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By his simple, disarming question Srila Prabhupada ...

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The Paris devotees had rented a hall and some rooms at L'Ecole de Architectur, where visiting devotees stayed and where Srila Prabhupada gave two (or was it three?) evening programs.

After some kirtana by devotees, Srila Prabhupada would arrive, sit on the Vyasasana, and begin chanting Jaya Radha-Madhava while playing karatalas. It was absorbing just to watch Srila Prabhupada chant, seeming to become more and more absorbed in Krishna's form and pastimes in Vrindavan with each successive repetition of the short song. His eyes would be generally tightly closed, but would occasionally open to dart swiftly about the room, glancing at the devotees and guests, withdrawing again to his vision within. I remember, during one kirtana – perhaps it was at the end of the program – as one devotee chanted and the intensity of the kirtana gradually increased, Srila Prabhupada's head shook more and more back and forth to the rhythm as he played the karatalas and sang. A very small girl – perhaps 4 or 5 years old – was dancing in front of Srila Prabhupada. As he opened his eyes and saw her, his grave demeanor suddenly transformed into a wide smile. As the devotees saw Srila Prabhupada smile, it was as if the smile infused everyone with renewed energy. The intensity and ecstasy of the kirtana suddenly increased ten-fold.

At the end of one of these lectures Srila Prabhupada asked for questions. One middle-aged man – apparently a Christian – stood up and said, "I am afraid there is no religiosity present here whatsoever!" Srila Prabhupada responded immediately, with a look of genuine concern, "Oh, you are afraid?" His simple question so clearly cut to the core of the man's ignorance that the man was left dumbfounded and simply sat down without a further word. By his simple, disarming question Srila Prabhupada communicated volumes. One felt how unfortunate is such a fearful, confused conditioned soul that he cannot take advantage of the pure transcendental teachings – the very essence of all religion – being delivered by a fully realized person full of compassion for such a fool.

 – MEMORIES OF SRILA PRABHUPADA – Krishna-kshetra Prabhu (October 1994)

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