Chapter 26: Bhajans at the Manor

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 26
Bhajans at the Manor

August 1973, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England

After one year of being with Śrīla Prabhupāda, I became accustomed to his transcendental rhythms. At times I sat in my quarters and heard the sweet sound of the harmonium coming from his room. I knew I could invite any nearby devotees into Śrīla Prabhupāda's room while His Divine Grace sang, but no one was around on this particular day. I went into his room alone and offered my humble obeisances. As I sat up I was filled with the nectar of Śrīla Prabhupāda's melodious bhajan. Just by hearing him play the harmonium and by listening to the sound of his voice my stone heart was softened. Without moving, I quietly sat and listened, not wanting to distract him while he was in this mood. It amazed me how he had so many responsibilities, but always found time to chant rounds, sing bhajans and read his books.

After a minute, he looked up from the harmonium and nodded at me. I knew that meant to accompany him with his karatals. He continued singing for some time.

"Śrīla Prabhupāda," I said when he was finished. "Your kirtan and bhajans are always different from any others I have heard."

He started laughing and replied, "Yes, I have my own style of chanting."

Śrīla Prabhupāda's style was sometimes imitated, but never duplicated. After all, who could create an international society by chanting under a tree?