Chapter 95: High Fever Can't Stop His Appreciation
Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 95
High Fever Can't Stop His Appreciation
While Śrīla Prabhupāda was ill, there was difficulty with the construction of the temple. My knowledge of what occurred is limited because I only heard bits and pieces of conversations in Śrīla Prabhupāda's room. There had been a problem procuring cement. This, of course, created major setbacks in completing the project. A politician from Mathura was able to supply a large quantity of cement, however, and was coming to the temple to observe what was being done.
Śrīla Prabhupāda was determined to attend the program at the temple in honor of this gentleman. This caused great concern for his disciples who didn't want Śrīla Prabhupāda to expend so much energy. Some were advising His Divine Grace not to attend because he was very weak and had a high fever.
"This man has come," he said. "I have to go out and speak something."
The day of the gentleman's arrival, I helped Śrīla Prabhupāda put on fresh clothing. After that, he applied tilak. When he was leaving his quarters he asked me,"Tilak, have I put on my tilak yet?"
I told him that he had put it on.
"Okay, let's go," he said nodding.
I couldn't believe his determination. His fever was so high, yet he was still
focused on his mission of spreading the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness movement. He did not consider his condition. It was an opportunity to preach the glories of the Supreme Lord.We carried Śrīla Prabhupāda to the temple where he gave a short lecture and publicly expressed his appreciation to the politician for helping to complete the construction.
Toward the end of Śrīla Prabhupāda's illness, I contracted malaria and was confined to bed for a few days. Actually, I was on my mat on the floor of the servant's quarters. Śrīla Prabhupāda's health was beginning to improve and he was walking without assistance. As he walked past the servant's quarters, he saw me lying on the floor. There were other devotees in the room taking prasadam.
"What is he doing on the floor?" Śrīla Prabhupāda asked. "He is very ill. Get him a bed."
He looked at me with a compassionate glance just as I was in the middle of a malaria attack.
"Have you been given anything?" he asked.
"No, Prabhupāda," I said.
He turned to Pallika and said, "Make him some hot lemonade and take care of him."
I can't remember if I took any medicine, but it wasn't long before I was out of bed. It was a wonderful feeling to know that you cared so much about me, Śrīla Prabhupāda. You always made me feel special. A year ago, I was asked at a 26 Second Avenue reunion if you ever treated any of your disciples "special." I didn't have to think long before saying, "Yes! All of them."
If there is one service I can perform for you, it would be to try to express how much love you have for all of your followers and how much appreciation you have for their assisting you in your mission. If I can realize the depth of your love for me, I would never be distracted from serving your golden lotus feet, not even for one second. I beg for the intelligence to comprehend a fraction of your love for me.