(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 30 July 2016, London, England, Initiation Lecture) Endeavour is required to make progress in this material world and austerity is part of it but austerity is not the … more
So again we see how Prabhupada is glorious and we also see that Prabhupada is also made of mercy and that he was not a self made man, a self made acharya – he was also made of mercy of others, that the mercy of Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakur made a huge part in his life and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakur became the lord of his life.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada was everything to him, whatever his spiritual master said, that was important. And when we are reading about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and how he did things then we see how Prabhupada also did.
Like for example Prabhupada used to say my spiritual master used to like diorama exhibitions by making dolls of various personalities, Krishna’s pastimes and depicting the pastimes in that way, and Prabhupada asked several of his devotees to make such kind of dioramas…
… in the early days in Mayapur there was a sign to make such diorama exhibitions and Prabhupada wanted in Mayapur a wonderful exhibition, he wanted an exhibition of all the preaching of the world and show what was going on. Srila Prabhupada was exactly following in the footsteps of his spiritual master because it was actually Srila Bhakti Siddhananta Sarasvati Thakur who organised this theistic exhibition – which was a huge thing in Calcutta….big field near the Victoria memorial.
And there Srila Bhakti Siddhanta..for example he had one acre land, that’s a huge area of land- he had a map made of concrete in 3 D, a relief map, and this map was showing, the whole path that Lord Chaitanya went to south india in all the holy places and it was also showing all the temple s of the Gaudiya Matha in all of India. And people could walk into this map which was coloured and very beautiful, they could see little temples in all these holy places, and they could also see many dioramas depicting different aspects of the philosophy. Prabhupada used the same tool of preaching from his spiritual master.
His false ego did not get in the way, that is the one thing that we see in Srila Prabhupada, abscence of false ego – when he first went to preach in Ameriaca one person tried to understood what he had to say, – this newcomer described it:
‘Here I saw this elderly Indian gentleman, he looked scholarly with his glasses, book…he had this big book that he was reading from like a really old looking Indian book and he looked very scholarly and he was very serious about what he was saying, and it was difficult to understand because he had such a heavy Bengali accent, but he was definitely really trying, really trying to communicate something and therefore I really wanted to hear what he had to say because I thought.. “it might be important” the fact that he had took so much trouble and was so serious about communicating his message, so I listened very carefully. And as I began to listen , I began to understand him better and I realised here is someone with no pretence, there is no show, he is not trying to impress anybody…this person is not trying to impress anybody – he is simply trying to give the truth’
and that was the point that struck that person. He later on became a leading devotee in Prabhupada’s movement. And that was a very good observation, a very interesting observation, which I always remember – that Prabhupada didn’t try to impress anybody. That means he didn’t have any false ego – that is what false ego is to impress somebody:
Look at me- false ego – to add something to what we are, we all try and make an impression and we are very concerened with the impression that we make – any maybe if we are not making the good impression we are all disturbed… or if someone says something that damages our reputation – big thing!
‘Oh how can you say this about me!”
So it is so nice that Srila Prabhupada had no desire to impress anyone…but he could impress people for Krishna! Oh yes! Oh yes he could, he could! He could also dress in silks, he could also say that the spiritual master should be offered the best – and when they picked him up in a Rolls Royce and the press jumped on it … They asked him ‘Oh so you came in a Rolls Royce’
And Prabhupada said: ’Yes the spiritual master should be offered the best, in fact an ordinary Rolls Royce will not do, it should be a golden Rolls Royce!’
So you can imagine the press! They were making notes!! They sure were:
“Swami wants Golden Rolls Royce” … big headlines!
Absoluteley , so Prabhupada was ready, ready too impress but still Prabhupada had this unique aloof mentality of not caring about public opinion!
(Kadamba Kanana Swami ,Croatia Sep 2010)