Is that just flattery or do you actually acknowledge that?
Today is India's Independence Day, so at noon some of the karmis who live on our land assembled in the modest park in front of Srila Prabhupada's building. They stood in silence for a minute before a small statue of Gandhi before holding their celebration. As I gave Prabhupada his massage on the balcony adjoining his bedroom he made some practical observations about it. "Where is the question of independence?" he asked. "We are all dependent at every step on Krishna's mercy. Indians have struggled to become independent of the British, but who is independent of the laws of material nature?"
As an example he cited the present drought in England. It is afflicting so many people. The vegetation is drying up, animals are being killed prematurely because there is no fodder, factories in Wales are closing and there is talk of importing water. No one can do anything about it and they think it is all happening by chance. Prabhupada said there is not a single person in the whole world who actually knows anything.
So I said, "No one except you, Srila Prabhupada." He smiled and without ostentation or false modesty said, "Is that just flattery or do you actually acknowledge that?" I assured him it was not just eulogy and Prabhupada accepted it with pleasure as a heartfelt submission. He recalled how his Guru Maharaja used to call everyone bokha, a strong word meaning a complete fool or rascal. "I used to think 'Why does he call everyone like that?' But now I see it is a fact," he said. "All big, big scientists, philosophers, they are all fools and rascals."
Reference: Transcendental Diary Volume 4
Author: Hari Sauri Dasa