Talking With Krsna
It was sometime in 1974, maybe early 1975. It was in the older temple room at the Watseka temple in LA (what is now the FATE doll museum). Srila Prabhupad made a number of visits to the LA temple, it was then the world headquarters. Other times Srila Prabhupad had come I had gone to the airport to greet him. But, this time there were things to be done and I was asked to stay back to help finish up the preparations for his arrival. I completed those duties just as Srila Prabhupad arrived, so I was in the temple when Prabhupad entered, followed by a throng of 100's and 100's of ecstatic devotees. Srila Prabhupad entered and offered obeisances, and so did we. The curtains immediately opened. Srila Prabhupad then went up to Sri Sri GaurNitai's altar. I was then standing by the caritamrita bowl which stood outside the altar between Gaur Nitai's altar and Rukmini Dwarakadish's altar. The temple rapidly filled up with a sea of devotees.
Srila Prabhupad then came before Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakadish, where I was standing. Devotees were chanting and singing, I think the Govindam tape was still playing. But, the devotees were loud. I had to back up to give Srila Prabhupad room, but there was a sea of devotees behind me. I found myself standing just next to Srila Prabhupad as he greeted Sri Sri Rukmini-Dwarakadish. I was no more than a foot. I had to push back onto the devotees now and then to keep from touching Srila Prabhupad.
I was so close, even though it was so loud in the temple, I could hear Srila Prabhupad very clearly. His hands were folded and he was looking directly at Krsna, in His murti or Deity Form. Srila Prabhupad began speaking, not at all loudly, normally, not a whisper. But, I am sure I was the only one who could hear him, the devotees were all chanting and all. Prabhupad had his hands folded and he asked, "So, how are you doing? How are my disciples treating you?". There would be a short pause, I could not hear Krsna speaking, I am no way near so pure. But, Srila Prabhupad did. After a short pause he said, "Oh, very nice, very nice." "Good". "How is the food, are they cooking nicely?" (pause) "Oh, very good. That is nice". "And, I see you are dressed so nicely, are they dressing you nicely when I am not here?" (pause) "Oh, very good. Very nice." It was a very special moment. I felt like the loud chanting of the temple faded away when Srila Prabhupad spoke to Krsna. Everyone just faded away. Tt was just Krsna, Prabhupad and myself standing there. I was actually feeling so blessed, so fortunate to be a witness to this, and felt Srila Prabhupad was giving me special mercy. I knew, in my heart, that what I was experiencing was very special, that no one else could see this or hear this. Still, I could only hear Srila Prabhupad's speaking, I could not hear Krsna.
Srila Prabhupad then moved to Jagannath's altar and at that time I was no longer able to be right next to him. A few minutes later Srila Prabhupad gave a short 15 minute address in the temple room, an arrival address. During his talk he mentioned how he had noticed how the devotees who taking so good care of Krsna. The same questions he had asked Krsna, he raised in his address. He told that if the devotees can just go on and maintain the same level of service and devotion they were doing, then at the end of their lives they would be able to go back home, back to Godhead. It was revealing to me how Srila Prabhupad knew how the devotees were carrying on, how things were going. He had a spy at that temple. A secret (or not so secret) witness. Krsna. All he had to do was ask Krsna, how are my disciples treating you? How is the food, are they cooking nicely? I see you are dressed so nicely, are they dressing you like this everyday, even when i am not here? And Krsna would answer him and tell him, yes, they are treating me very well, the food is very good, yes, they dress me nicely everyday. Prabhupad knew because all he had to do was directly ask Krsna, and Krsna would tell him. Somehow or the other Krsna and Prabhupad gave me special mercy that I was able to see this exchange, and hear half of it.
Thank you Srila Prabhupad, for being so merciful to such an insignificant devotee such as I.