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Chapter 61: Prabhupāda Inspires Me to Chant My Rounds

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 61
Prabhupāda Inspires Me to Chant My Rounds

May 1973, ISKCON Los Angeles

One evening at about 5:00 I was lying down, half asleep, on my mat in the servant's quarters. I heard the bell ring. I walked toward Śrīla Prabhupāda's sitting room trying to compose myself. I realized that I was still affected by the mode of ignorance. I entered Śrīla Prabhupāda's room and offered my obeisances. I sat up hoping he wouldn't notice my condition. I was in worse shape then I realized. He was more conscious of my illusion than I was. This statement may seem elementary, but I had always thought that Śrīla Prabhupāda had too many other things to be concerned with than my Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

He looked at me with great concern.

"So, why you are not chanting?" he asked.

I was really caught off guard. Śrīla Prabhupāda was expert at confronting someone when he least expected it. I didn't know what to say, so I said something stupid, but honest.

"Śrīla Prabhupāda, I am having a difficult time," I explained. "It is hard sitting in my room all day chanting and reading."

His reply was extraordinary.

"I am sitting here all day, also," he said with a serious expression. "I simply go out once a day on a walk. The rest of the day, I am just sitting here and I am not having any difficulty."

"I am not like you, Śrīla Prabhupāda," I quickly responded. "You are like Haridas Thakur. I am not very transcendental. I have to keep myself busy. Maybe I could do some typing for you?"

Still looking very serious he said, "What are we going to do?"

"Śrīla Prabhupāda, I don't know."

"Call Karāndhara," he instructed.

As previously mentioned, Śrīla Prabhupāda said these words often when he was in Los Angeles because he had confidence in Karandhara's abilities. He was a "doer," and he was also very serious. Karāndhara and I went into Śrīla Prabhupāda's room together and offered our obeisances.

"Śrutakīrti is having trouble," Śrīla Prabhupāda told Karāndhara. "He is not chanting. He says he needs something to do to keep him busy. What shall we do? "Karāndhara, looking very intense as always, said, "We have to get him some engagement, somehow."

"Yes! ," Śrīla Prabhupāda said. "I have an idea. I am translating Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam here in this room. So, I will start translating the Caitanya-Caritāmṛta in the study. In this room I have my dictaphone and I will do Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and in my study you can put another dictaphone machine and I can start translating Caitanya- Caritāmṛta."

Looking at me he said, "So, you can type it. You can prepare everything for editing. In this way I will keep you busy and I will keep Pradyumna busy with editing. Is that all right?"

"Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda," I enthusiastically answered. "Thank you."

Karāndhara and I set up the study so Śrīla Prabhupāda could begin work on the Sri Caitanya-Caritāmṛta.

Early the next morning Śrīla Prabhupāda went into the bathroom to get ready for his morning walk. I went into his study and took the tape out of the machine. He had done some translating. That morning I enthusiastically chanted my rounds knowing that my spiritual master loved me more than I could have imagined. Later in the day I transcribed the tape. There wasn't much on it, but it was understandable because he was still translating Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the other room.

The next day I went into his study to get the tape and saw that it hadn't been used. He didn't do any further translating of Sri Caitanya-Caritāmṛta the rest of the time we were in Los Angeles. That didn't matter to me, though. He had lit a tiny spark in me by caring so much.

Six months later we were in his study in Los Angeles, where he had previously done the first hour of translating Sri Caitanya-Caritāmṛta.

"You should become expert in Caitanya-Caritāmṛta and give classes on it," he told me.

I nodded and smiled not knowing how it could ever happen.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, I know that by your causeless mercy anything is possible. If I could develop for you a fraction of the love you have shown me, my life would be successful. I pray that in some far distant life I will be able to understand my relationship with you.