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Havi, what are you doing???!!!

Havi: In 1975, Srila Prabhupada came from Mexico to Caracas, Venezuela. In those years we had buses and we were distributing lots of books. When Prabhupada arrived, another devotee and I were asked to wash Prabhupada's feet. Our hearts were joyful. I jumped so high I almost touched the ceiling.

Srila Prabhupada came, sat down, and a devotee told me, "Havi, go and wash his feet." But I was not trained in how to do it. I was in front of Srila Prabhupada along with the honey, milk, water, yogurt - but what was I supposed to do? I concluded that I should offer it from thick to thin.

Prabhupada had his socks on, and I waited for him to spread his legs, which he did. I took his socks off and I touched his feet, which were warm. I understood that the principle behind washing a saint's feet was that in traveling from one town to another, walking long distances, the host refreshes the holy man by bathing his feet with nice ingredients.

So, although I was very nervous, I started to pour honey on Prabhupada's right foot while the devotees chanted sri-guru-carana-padma. Then I poured the yogurt, then the milk, and with my fingers I started to massage his feet and toes. Behind me a devotee said, "Havi, what are you doing?" and Nitai kicked my behind to tell me that I was doing something wrong.

I stopped and slowly lifted my head towards Prabhupada. Prabhupada smiled at me and nodded his head as if to say, "Don't listen to them. Go on." I went on with enthusiasm. Tamoha was supposed to wash Prabhupada's other foot, so I called him. But Prabhupada said, "No, no, no. You." Then I did something childish. I showed off. I lifted Prabhupada's feet and he had to brace himself by putting his hands behind him.

Anyway, after I washed both his feet, I had a big bowl with yogurt, honey, milk, and ghee. I thought, "Let me distribute it," and I started to sprinkle it on the devotees while they were chanting Nitai-Gaura haribol. After everybody was wet, what was I supposed to do with the rest? There was still a lot left and I wasn't going to throw it away. So I drank it.

Reference: Srila Prabhupada Rememberance - Siddhanta Dasa