(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 31 December 2012, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.7.4)

Prabhupada and Tamal Krsna-222x300
Srila Prabhupada was in Japan and he went to Dai Nippon which  was a printing company and they had so many dealings. Prabhupada used to go with Tamal Krsna Maharaja. The Dai Nippon representatives would offer a price, then Tamal Krsna Maharaja would argue with them mercilessly and quote a real low price. Then Prabhupada at the end would say, ‘Oh, I have heard both parties.’ Prabhupada would act like the judge and he said, ‘I’ve heard all the arguments and I think that Tamal Krsna’s offer is not fair.’

So a sigh of relief from the printers and Prabhupada would say, ‘Yes, I think he has offered too much.’

And then Prabhupada would offer a price even lower and they were so blown out! And then it was finished. So like that, they had these kind of dealings. Then on one occasion, they were there again but this time the director he wasn’t even fighting back. It was easy victory. He was sort of absent minded, so Prabhupada said, ‘What is wrong?’ I don’t know what the man’s name was, maybe something like Kowasaki or Yamada. He said, ‘What’s wrong with Mr Yamada?’

They said that his son of only 18 years old has died. So yes, that was one of those situations, where the man didn’t want to hear philosophy. So what to say? So Prabhupada didn’t give him one of those verses – the soul never dies verses. No, Prabhupada said, ‘You know, I heard about your son, so I guess it is like a great tragedy. It is a very difficult situation because what can you do in this situation? I see only one solution for you, and that solution is that you turn to Krsna. Because once, the same thing that happened to you, happened to Krsna’s teacher and Krsna brought his son back from death!’

That was what the man wanted to hear. He didn’t want to hear, ‘Your son didn’t die.’ He wanted his son back, and that is what Prabhupada said, ‘If you want your son back then the only one who can do it is Krsna. Turn to Krsna!’   

And in this way, he preached to that man. That makes a lot of sense. One has to preach to a person according to where that person is at. It is not just, ‘Here’s a book. Preach, preach, preach…’ No, you have to look at it like, ‘What is in this person’s heart? What is going on?’ And relate to what the person is going through. Prabhupada did it like that.

But from a philosophical perspective, we know that there was no problem. In the story of Maharaja Chitraketu who had a son that died and the father was so upset. Narada came and temporarily called the son back for a moment and then the son started speaking, ‘Why have you called me back?’

Narada, ‘Your father and your mother, they are very aggrieved that you passed on.’

And then the son said, ‘Which father? Which mother? I have so many fathers and so many mothers.

So at that point, he was totally detached. That shocked the parents so much who still had all the attachment and their son had totally no attachment to them and was just looking at them. So many fathers and so many mothers with all attachments cut and that cut their attachment. So you can come with all these kind of things from Srimad Bhagavatam but that won’t pacify a person who is emotionally affected, because such a person is not ready to hear philosophy.

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