Chapter 45: Bangkok Airport Bath
Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 45
Bangkok Airport Bath
Śrīla Prabhupāda distributed his mercy without distinction. That was the kindness of the pure devotee. On a flight from India to the west, we had a two-hour stop over at the Bangkok airport and had to wait in the transit area.
"Get my things," Śrīla Prabhupāda told me. "I am going to shower."
I went to the baggage area, opened Śrīla Prabhupāda's bag, grabbed his lota, towel and a fresh change of clothing. After a few minutes I returned to His Divine Grace.
"Where is the bathroom?" he asked.
We walked together to the bathroom, but unfortunately, there was no bathing facility. Śrīla Prabhupāda was not easily discouraged. For him, there was never an obstacle.
Assessing the situation he turned to me and said, "All right, I'll take bath from the sink."
After putting on his gumpsa he poured water over his body again and again from his lota. He washed with soap and then rinsed again. I watched in amazement as he refreshed himself. He was transcendental to all other activities going on around him.
The attendant watched from a corner of the bathroom. He looked disturbed at seeing the extra work that was being created for him. He had no idea that he was being benedicted by a Paramahāmsa. He was getting the opportunity to do pujari work by the causeless mercy of Śrīla Prabhupāda.
I gave Śrīla Prabhupāda a towel when he was finished. He dried himself and dressed in a clean dhoti and kurta. The attendant approached me as we were walking out of the bathroom. Although I had no idea what he was saying, I knew he was complaining. Śrīla Prabhupāda laughed.
"Śrīla Prabhupāda," I said as we walked out. "I think he is a little upset."
"Oh, well!" Śrīla Prabhupāda replied. "I had to take bath. I was feeling very tired."
Traveling with Śrīla Prabhupāda was always an incredible adventure. He never felt the need to conform to any social conventions. On airplanes he used the restroom when the seat belt light was on. He took prasadam when we weren't allowed to have our trays down. If anyone said anything to him, he ignored them. They would then turn to me.
"I can't stop him," I would say shrugging my shoulders.
They inevitably realized they were no match for a Vaikuntha person and walked away.