Open in App
Open in App

Srila Prabhupada Articles

Srila Prabhupada Articles

Sex, Rum & Gulab Jamun

Madhudvisa:  An old social worker, who was a very meticulous gentleman, came to see Srila Prabhupada. He had a well-tailored suit, a starched and cuff-linked shirt, a silk tie, spotless shoes, and neatly combed hair. Everything was just proper. Prabhupada started to talk about sex life and how, if a person just wants sex life, then he is like a dog. This gentleman said, "But I like sex life." Prabhupada said, "But to just want sex life is a doggish mentality. Does that mean you are a dog?" The gentleman said, "I guess so. That's what I like."

The conversation went on in that way, and at the end, although the gentleman was soundly defeated, he didn't feel bad. Prabhupada said, "Bring prasadam." The gentleman said, "Oh, no. I am not eating anything right now."

Prabhupada said, "No, no. You must take prasadam." Prabhupada knew that although this man was defeated philosophically, it really didn't affect him. Prasadam would enable him to make a little spiritual advancement. So Prabhupada insisted that this man take prasadam.

Then a devotee brought a gulabjamun, a big sweet full of juice. The devotee plopped this particularly big gulab in the man's hand, a gulab that, like a sponge, had soaked in sugar water for a long time. The man had developed a nice, friendly relationship with Prabhupada and was saying some final words, like "Maybe we can see each other again." At the same time he was trying to balance this gulab in his hand so that it didn't drip. The juice from the gulab started to run down between his fingers. He was trying to tilt his hand up while talking to Prabhupada so that the gulab juice didn't drip. But the juice ran down his wrist, over his starched shirtsleeve, and dripped from his cufflink. He didn't know what to do with this gulab. Prabhupada said, "Eat it." "No, no. I don't want to eat it. I can take it with me."

Prabhupada said, "No, no. You must eat it now."

The man thought, "Well, I'll take a little bite of this gulab, and it will be all right. It will satisfy Prabhupada." So he took a little bite of the gulab, and it ruptured, and a deluge of sweetball juice ran out of the gulab and down his tie, on to his patent leather shoes. Juice was all over the place. Prabhupada said, "No, no. Eat it all. Eat it all."

By this time the man didn't care. He threw it in his mouth, and the juice started to run down his face. His hand was full of gulab juice, his cufflinks, his tie, his pants, his shoes, and it's coming down his face. But he finished the gulab, smiled, and said, "That's very good." Prabhupada said, "Yes." Then the man said, "I'd like to have another one of those."

Prabhupada said, "Very well." The man then said, "I think it will go well in my rum." Prabhupada said, "Wait a second. This is not to be put in your rum. This is prasadam, food offered to the Lord."

The man said, "No, no. It tastes sweet. It will go well in my rum. I drink rum every night. I will put this gulab in my rum." Prabhupada called for another gulab and gave it to the gentleman. The gentleman got up and said, "Thank you very much, Prabhupada. It was nice meeting you" and started to walk out the door, when Prabhupada said, "Now, don't put that in your rum."

The gentleman said, "All right. I will just eat it," and went out smiling with gulab juice all over him.

It was hilarious. We couldn't believe what was going on.

Seeing God's Form

A short, stocky Indian man asked a leading question. “I would like to ask just one question. I would like to hear your explanation on how you have seen the form of God, if you have had any enlightenment on this, in what form you have..?”

Prabhupada did not wait for him to finish his question: “Here is the picture of Krsna. You don’t believe? You have not seen a picture of Krsna?”

Yes, I have.”

Then why do you say there is no form of Krsna? When you see a photograph of a person, how do you know that he has no form?”

The man did not understand Prabhupada’s question. Prabhupada repeated. “If you see a photograph of your father, how do you say that he is impersonal? That he has no form? How do you conclude? First of all answer me. I have seen the form of Krsna. You have seen also the form of Krsna. There are hundreds and thousands of temples in India. Do you think they are all fools? And they were established by big acaryas like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami and Lord Caitanya. There is Jagannatha temple. Every day hundreds and thousands of people are going to see. In Vrndavana there are 5,000 temples of Krsna. Five to ten thousand people are going. You know in India, there are so many pilgrimages. So do you think all these temples established by our predecessors, they are all fools?”

The man asked, “So therefore you conclude that when you become enlightened, you will see God in the form of human nature?”

Yes. That is after.” Prabhupada answered the man’s doubt at length, and in conclusion told him “Chant Hare Krsna mantra with your tongue. Take Krsna prasadam. You will gradually develop your Krsna consciousness and you will understand what is God. That is the process.” 

Persecution and Triumph

Bhaktivinoda Thakura's prediction that one day Bengalis, Americans, and Europeans would all gather in Mayapur-dhama and chant,  Jaya Sacinandana,  actually became fulfilled under Prabhupada's personal presence and inspiration in 1974, at ISKCON'S first annual Mayapur festival. And in the 1970s, Lord Caitanya's prediction that the holy name of Krsna would be known in every town and village was well on the way to becoming a reality.

The 1970s also saw almost all of Prabhupada's books published, and he personally said that in the future, everyone would recognize that these books had saved the world from barbarism.

Less auspiciously, the '70s saw the rise of the first anti-cult activity to challenge ISKCON; but even that, Prabhupada told us, had its place in the total scheme of things. He said the movement would first be laughed at, then become an object of persecution, but finally it would pass into a period of fuller acceptance.

January 29th, 1976
A short report arrived from Hamsaduta, who is now back in Germany. He stated that relations with the government are getting worse. They are harassing the devotees and threatening more raids on the temple. Although after months of investigation and persecution the only offense they can attribute to us is a very minor one of collecting money without permission, on this basis they are freezing our bank accounts and withholding 700,000 DM. The German devotees are becoming discouraged but are still struggling to distribute books.

In the meantime, since he left our party, Hamsaduta has been busily purchasing vehicles for the formation of an all-India village-to-village traveling sankirtana party. Two forty-five-seater Mercedes buses and a van will be driven overland to India to arrive by the festival. As well as this, he has decided to introduce the program in Germany, and two other buses have been purchased for touring there.

Hamsaduta expressed his devotional sentiments in his concluding paragraph. "I feel helpless in this matter, and pray to Krsna to give me intelligence to combat these rascals. I know that Krsna can reverse the situation in a minute, and if He likes I may go on struggling a whole lifetime to convince them of the value of your message without success; still I am thankful that by your mercy that I have been awakened to devotional service which is the ultimate goal of life. I shall try to spread your teachings under all circumstances to everyone."

Srila Prabhupada sent a short reply of encouragement comparing their struggle with the fight between Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada Maharaja, and to Kamsa's fight with Krsna. "Prahlada must come out triumphant," he told him. So similarly, in this case Krsna will come out triumphant without a doubt. Prabhupada also approved his plan for village preaching.

Life Question

Gaura Hari: The first time I saw Srila Prabhupada was in 1967 or '68 when he first came to San Francisco. At that time the mayor had called a meeting of various groups around the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco as he anticipated thousands of kids coming for the "Summer of Love". I was with a group called the Diggers which was kind of a revolutionary group that would beg, borrow or steal food, and set up free kitchens in Golden Gate Park and elsewhere.

The Diggers were invited by Lou Gottlieb to go out and help farm his land in Sebestopol called Morning Star Ranch. I went out there to live and one day we heard that the devotees from the temple along with Prabhupada were going to come. We had built a platform, a little vyasasana for him in the woods on top of a hill underneath a cross that was on the property. I remember going out and picking yellow Scotchbroom flowers and decorating the vyasasana for Prabhupada.

Lou Gottlieb drove Srila Prabhupada out to the farm in his Volvo. When Prabhupada got there, I was digging potatoes in the garden, naked as most of us were at that time. Lou Gottlieb brought Prabhupada over to where I was. I shook Prabhupada's hand and Prabhupada said, "What are you doing?" I said, "Digging potatoes." He said, "No, what are you doing with your life?"

I was dumb-founded, as I don't even remember what I said to that, but I knew my spiritual life had been awakened.

Prabhupada then went up to the hill and we all chanted.

The thing was that after Prabhupada left, when all the people who were living there used to gather together for a common meal, everybody started chanting Hare Krishna before we ate. On that farm were many other people like Vishnujana, Tamal Krishna, Madhu-dvisa, Revatinandana and so many others who became devotees because of Srila Prabhupada's visit

Srila Rupa Goswami's bhajan kutir, Vrindavan.

Srila Rupa Goswami's bhajan kutir in Sri Sri Radha Damodara Temple, Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupada stayed here in the early 1960's, did bhajana and service here before leaving for the West.

Courtyard of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Temple, Vrindavan.

Courtyard of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Temple, Vrindavan. The tamala tree in the courtyard under which Srila Prabhupada sat during kirtan, especially in 1977, is still there.

Srila Prabhupada's guru puja, Vrindavan.

Srila Prabhupada's guru puja - Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Temple, Vrindavan.

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Matha, Nabadwip.

In the early days, Srila Prabhupada visited and stayed at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Matha, Nabadwip. He visited there again with his foreign disciples, to meet his god brother Srila Sridhara Maharaj.

Srila Prabhupada's bathing sponge, Vrindavan.

Srila Prabhupada's bathing sponge - Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Temple, Vrindavan.

Srila Prabhupada's bath towel, Vrindavan.

Srila Prabhupada's bath towel - Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Temple, Vrindavan.