New version available here: vedabase.io

Chapter 90: Prabhupāda Dances, but Stops to Protect the Deities

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 90
Prabhupāda Dances, but Stops to Protect the Deities

January 1973, Mahādevia Flat,
Bombay, India

Śrīla Prabhupāda spoke every evening for a week at a pandal program arranged by the devotees. Thousands of people attended. Śrīla Prabhupāda sat on his Vyasasana on the stage with his disciples gathered at his feet. Radha Kṛṣṇa Deities were placed on a large stage. Their Lordships were later installed at Bhaktivedanta Manor in England.

It was an eventful week. One evening, an electrical fire ignited behind the Deities' altar. The fire spread, but fortunately was put out quickly. More devotees arrived daily, so by the last day of the program dozens of Śrīla Prabhupāda's disciples were in attendance. The western devotees couldn't understand the lectures because they were spoken in Hindi, but it was evident from the enthusiastic crowd that Śrīla Prabhupāda was enlivening everyone.

The last day of the program was especially wonderful. After Śrīla Prabhupāda finished his lecture he nodded and said, "All right, have kirtan."

Acyutananda Swami, sitting by a microphone with a mrdunga in hand began to lead the chanting. Within a few minutes, Śrīla Prabhupāda got down from his Vyasasana and started to circumambulate the Deities. He went around once and turned and bowed before Sri Sri Radha Kṛṣṇa. The devotees started to follow His Divine Grace as he went around for a second time. He clapped his hands and smiled as he walked around the shaky stage for a second time. Again he turned and bowed before Their Lordships. The kirtan became more ecstatic. Everyone relished following Śrīla Prabhupāda as our eyes drank the nectar of his ecstasy.

He majestically walked around Their Lordships once more completing his third time. He bowed again before the Supreme Lord and His Pleasure Potency and then faced the crowd. As he turned, he lifted his arms high in the sky. He benedicted us all with the biggest smile I had ever seen. As he danced, jumping up and down to the kirtan, he immediately lifted us all to the transcendental realm. It was amazing how Śrīla Prabhupāda controlled us by the movement of his arms. When he raised them into the air he picked everyone up with them and deposited us in the spiritual world. The crowd of thousands were caught up in the ecstasy. The kirtan was out of this world.

The dancing on the wooden platform by dozens of devotees was so wild that the stage shook. Their Lordships began to move back and forth on the altar, as if They were joining Their pure devotee in his ecstasy. Along with another devotee, I went behind the altar and held the Deities down by holding Their bases. Noticing the situation, Śrīla Prabhupāda stopped dancing. When the kirtan was over, Śrīla Prabhupāda and I got into the back of an Ambassador and it started for Kartikeya Mahādevia's flat where Śrīla Prabhupāda was staying.

"So, the pandal was very nice?" he asked with a transcendental smile.

"Prabhupāda, it was really wonderful," I said. "When you dance, everyone immediately goes into ecstasy."

"Yes!" he said. "Actually, I could have kept on dancing, but I saw that the Deities were endangered so I stopped. Otherwise, I would have kept on dancing."

Śrīla Prabhupāda, thank you for allowing me the chance to witness your spiritual potency. By our conversation in the car, it was evident that you relished distributing the mercy to everyone present. I knew I was the most fortunate living entity on the planet being able to sit next to you in the car. Please raise your arms over me once again so that I may dance according to your desire.