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January 28, 1976 : Mayapur

Hari Sauri: I found Tamal Krishna Maharaja sitting in his room before a plate of prasadam, clearly upset. He had just had an argument with Harikesa over who should get the remnants of Srila Prabhupada's prasadam. Several days ago, Tamal Krishna had asked Prabhupada if he could eat the extra that was cooked for him because he found the kind of rice the devotees eat here in Mayapur too coarse for his digestion. Prabhupada had approved.

However, Harikesa had previously received instructions from Srila Prabhupada while we were in Vrindavana that all his remnants could not be monopolized by his immediate servants, but should be distributed to other devotees. As cook, Harikesa resented Tamal Krishna's acquisition of all the leftovers; while Tamal Krishna argued that he was only taking what was left in the pots and not what was left on Prabhupada's plate. Thus the dispute.

Prabhupada called them both onto the veranda. After hearing their arguments, he managed to resolve the issue to everyone's satisfaction. Prabhupada said that Harikesa should not have interrupted Tamal Krishna while he was eating. Respecting prasadam is a very important function, and there should be no disturbance. He gave his permission for Tamal Krishna to eat what was left in the pots, but also confirmed his desire that his prasadam be distributed.

Then he went on to explain that the Vaishnava attitude in dealing with one another is one of humility. "Actually," Prabhupada said, "one has to be blessed by a devotee to become a devotee. And he who is the servant of the servant of the servant - one hundred times removed - is not worse than one who directly serves the guru. If one thinks, 'Because I am direct servant, I am better than others,' then he is not a Vaishnava. To offer one's respects to guru and not to his disciples, this is wrong. This is not Vaishnava. One has to be humble and try to serve all Vaishnavas - not some and not others."

Reference: A Transcendental Diary Volume 1 - Hari Sauri Dasa