Chapter 30: Popcorn

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 30

October 7, 1972, Berkeley, California

One evening, Śrīla Prabhupāda spoke at the University of California in Berkeley, the heart of the hippie capital. The San Francisco devotees enthusiastically received him and relished his lecture. They prepared barrels of popcorn and distributed it following Śrīla Prabhupāda's lecture.

"What is that?" His Divine Grace asked.

"Popcorn, Śrīla Prabhupāda," Jayananda explained. "Would you like some?"

"Yes, give me some," Śrīla Prabhupāda said.

The devotees gave him popcorn which was being distributed in little bags printed with the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Śrīla Prabhupāda ate the fluffy, spiced kernels with great relish.

"Oh, this is nice," Śrīla Prabhupāda told them.

All the devotees, especially those who had cooked and distributed the prasadam, felt so much pleasure. Now they were certain their offering had been accepted and their lives were successful. When Śrīla Prabhupāda finished eating the popcorn, he endeared himself to all the Vaiṣṇavas present by contentedly leaving his hand in the little popcorn bag. It was sweet. All the devotee's attention focused on every movement of Śrīla Prabhupāda. The childlike actions of His Divine Grace continued to enthuse the hearts of the devotees.

Overjoyed, the devotees then performed Hare Nama Sankirtan on Telegraph Avenue, a place famous for its hippie inhabitants. On the way home, Śrīla Prabhupāda continued to enthuse the devotees by slowly driving past the sankirtan party. They energetically chanted and danced being encouraged by Śrīla Prabhupāda's present supervision.

The next night Śrīla Prabhupāda had another preaching engagement. This time the devotees brought Śrīla Prabhupāda popcorn and offered it to him.

"No, I am old," Śrīla Prabhupāda said. "I cannot do things like that very often. It is good, but it is very difficult for me to digest." He refused saying, " It is very good. I like it."

Jai Śrīla Prabhupāda!