Contributed by Mahavishnu Dasa

(From "My Glorious Spiritual Master" by Bhurijana Dasa)

Asking to Meet Prabhupada

After being in Mayapur for a few days, I decided to visit Prabhupada. I saw Prabhupada's secretary, Pusta Krishna, near Prabhupada's second floor room and asked him for an appointment. Pusta Krishna looked at me skeptically. We didn't know each other and he was unaware of my service to Prabhupada in Hong Kong. He said, "Look, five hundred devotees are at this festival and every one of them wants to meet with Prabhupada."

I became nervous, but I avoided the temptation to retreat.

"Maybe five hundred devotees want to meet Prabhupada, but I'm the only one asking." Pusta Krishna acknowledged my point and left me to inform Prabhupada of my request. He returned a minute later and said I could see Prabhupada the following morning.

My meeting with Prabhupada was short. I paid my obeisances and offered Prabhupada two traveler's checks of $100 each and several bags of cashews, almonds, and raisins. He expressed his appreciation and well-wishes, and I left, feeling satisfied at having offered a little service.

The Mercy of More Association

Prabhupada again allowed me his association late one morning during his massage. Seeing Prabhupada’s golden skin glistening with mustard oil as he sat on the veranda made me feel like an intimate disciple. His servant worked the oil into Prabhupada’s body with strong movements as Prabhupada sometimes remained silent and at other times spoke.

Nitai, who had previously traveled with Prabhupada as his Sanskrit editor, sat with me in front of Prabhupada. Nitai had recently gone to Vrindavana to organize the academics for the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula and was now telling Prabhupada of his plans.

Although I was not aware of the background, Prabhupada clearly wasn’t satisfied with Nitai’s proposal. He sat in the hot, mid-morning sun, his eyes closed, as his servant massaged his slender legs. “What is the use of making Sanskrit scholars? So many Sanskrit panditas are loitering on the streets with no engagement. No. We don’t want our students to become Sanskrit scholars. We simply want them to become attached to the Vedic culture.”

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Another mataji, Candravali, who was one of Prabhupada’s senior disciples and who had pioneered ISKCON’s preaching in Mexico with her husband, voiced a complaint.

Candravali: Prabhupada, we hear that in our philosophy the men should treat the women as mothers. But actually, the men, especially the sannyasis, don’t treat the women as mothers. Instead they treat them as maya. Their attitude, not the women, seems more like maya! It doesn’t seem proper.

Prabhupada heard her complaint carefully. He smiled softly and began to reply. His words dropped from his mouth as if they were sweet ripe fruits falling from a tree.

Prabhupada: Yes, the men do not treat the women as mothers. Nor do the women act like mothers. Neither do they dress as mothers.