Chapter 86: Pishima is Sleeping in My Bed
Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 86
Pishima is Sleeping in My Bed
Śrīla Prabhupāda stayed in Vrindavan for six weeks. During this time, he was very ill. In many temples around the world, 24-hour kirtan was being held. His sister, Pishima was also staying at the temple in Vrindavan much of the time. She was concerned and wanted to see her brother as often as she could.
One of my duties was to minimize this as much as possible. It was not an easy or enjoyable service. It was no coincidence that Pishima's powerful determination was similar to Śrīla Prabhupāda's. She never listened to me. In fact, she would become quite upset and angry with me. She had a way of slipping into his room when no one noticed.
After one of her visits, Śrīla Prabhupāda called me into his room.
"I am a sannyasi," he said. "It is not good that she stays in the room when no one else is present. Even she is my sister . . . Because she is my sister, she cannot understand it. I cannot have a woman in the room with me, even though she is my sister."
One afternoon I walked into the servant's quarters, which was also my bedroom, and she was sleeping in my bed. I was amazed. I hurried into Śrīla Prabhupāda's room, where he was sitting at his desk. I offered my obeisances and had a look of anxiety on my face.
"Prabhupāda, " I said. "Your sister is sleeping in my bed. I don't know what to do."
"She cannot," he said. "You tell her! She must be told that she can't be doing these things. It is not good. They'll talk."
Śrīla Prabhupāda was referring to the local sannyasis, caste goswamis, and godbrothers who might criticize our beloved Gurudeva. Śrīla Prabhupāda often said that everything must be first-class while in Vrindaban or we would not be taken seriously. As always, being the acarya, he set an example for us.
"It is not good that she is spending so much time like this," he continued.
"Prabhupāda, I can't say anything to her," I anxiously explained. "She won't listen to me. She only listens to you."
That day he spoke to her for quite a while. I don't know what the conversation was about, but I do know that when I went to the servant's quarters the following day, I cautiously peeked into the room and there she was, sleeping in my room, quite soundly. I gave up. I left the area and found a spot on the other side of Śrīla Prabhupāda's room. She knew her brother was transcendental and it didn't matter to her what anyone else thought in regards to her being a woman. She was his sister. Her resolve to be near her pure devotee brother was much greater than my ability to prevent her from doing so. She did whatever she had to do to get Śrīla Prabhupāda's association. I later mentioned to him that she had been in my room again.
"She is my sister," he compassionately said. "She wants to be around me."At the end of 1977, Satsvarūpa Mahārāja told me that Śrīla Prabhupāda had asked her forgiveness for his offenses.
"Sometimes you may have come to see me and my disciples have not let you in," he told her.
I beg forgiveness from Bhavatarini for my many offenses that I committed while trying to do my service. I beg that in the future my love for Śrīla Prabhupāda will develop to the degree displayed by his sister.By her determination, she was able to be Śrīla Prabhupāda's younger sister and assist him throughout their lives. I pray to have the same desire that Bhavatarini had to serve the lotus feet of Śrīla Prabhupāda life after life.