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Chapter 91: Prabhupāda, Siddhaswarup and the Cini Purīs

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 91
Prabhupāda, Siddhaswarup and the Cini Purīs

Feb. 20, 1973, ISKCON Auckland, New Zealand

Before Śrīla Prabhupāda's arrival at the New Zealand temple, Siddha Swarupa Mahārāja and Tusta Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja moved the devotees out of the temple, so that Śrīla Prabhupāda would have a peaceful, quiet stay. It was an interesting and unusual thing to do, but it did allow Śrīla Prabhupāda the chance to have a relaxing visit.

One evening Śrīla Prabhupāda asked me to prepare purīs and subji. As I prepared his meal, I realized I did not have any milk sweets to put on his plate. There was no Deity worship at the temple, so I was unable to get mahā-prasadam for his plate. I hadn't found the time to prepare any sandesh since our arrival the previous day. I brought the purīs, subji and hot milk into Śrīla Prabhupāda's room and placed them on his table. I then offered my obeisances. Siddha Swarupa and Tusta Kṛṣṇa were both present in the room speaking with Śrīla Prabhupāda. He allowed them to remain while he took prasadam. This was a great benediction as it was not something Śrīla Prabhupāda did often. He usually honored prasadam in private.

I left the room and went back to the kitchen to roll and fry a few more purīs. I rushed back to my spiritual master with two fresh purīs, placing them on his plate before offering my humble obeisances. Śrīla Prabhupāda looked at me inquisitively.

"There is no sweet?" he asked.

"No, Prabhupāda," I said. "I don't have any made yet."

"Oh, all right. Bring me some sugar," he mercifully said, realizing the situation.

I went back to the kitchen, filled a bowl with white sugar and returned to his sitting room. I placed the bowl on his plate. He took a puri, stuffed it into the bowl of sugar and took a bite. He did this a few times. You could hear the crunching sounds as he enthusiastically chewed. He stopped for a moment and chanted, "Luci cini sarpuri laddu rasabali" and continued by saying, "This is a very good combination. It is very tasty."

As he ate, the two sannyasis watched in amazement. Neither of these Mahārāja disciples ate anything that contained even a trace of sugar, what to speak of eating the horrid substance in its "impure" form. This was another of Śrīla Prabhupāda's wondrous qualities. He always knew exactly how to surprise and unsettle his disciples, giving them the opportunity to understand his most transcendental position.

Once while staying in New Dwaraka, Śrīla Prabhupāda took a one-day trip to the Laguna Beach temple which was a two-hour ride by car. That evening, while still in Laguna Beach, he asked for hot milk. Although this temple had Deity worship, I was unable to find sugar in the temple kitchen. I, therefore, sweetened the milk with honey because ocassionally, Śrīla Prabhupāda asked to have his milk sweetened with honey. However, on this evening when I brought him the hot milk, he tasted it and immediately asked, "Why it is not sweetened with sugar?"

"They do not have any sugar in this temple," I said.

"How can that be?" he asked in an angry mood.

"Some devotees think that white sugar is not healthy and that it is better to avoid it," I explained.

"That's fine," he said. "If they don't want to eat sugar, they don't have to. But, Kṛṣṇa likes sugar very much. This is nonsense. They must use sugar when they make preparations for the Deities."

Śrīla Prabhupāda, you were astonishing. Wherever you went, you quickly cut through all of the creative nonsense invented by your disciples. You didn't need a network of spies to tell you what was going on. Kṛṣṇa was your spy. He gave you all the information needed, so you could set the proper path for your foolhardy children. I relished the countless opportunities when I saw you display psychic abilities. Devotees often asked if you displayed any yogic powers. I constantly saw you display them. You read the minds of your disciples and dealt with them accordingly. Often, it was to my joyful and appreciative amusement.

Please, Śrīla Prabhupāda, grant me your association always by allowing me to remember that you reside in my heart. You know I have no qualifications, but I know how merciful you are. After all, you have allowed me to personally associate with you.