Çréla Prabhupäda Uväca 89
On the Eve of Becoming Prabhupäda's Servant
September 7, 1972, ISKCON New Vrindavan,
On the Eve of Becoming Çréla Prabhupäda's Personal Servant
Çréla Prabhupäda had been in New Vrindavan for a week and all I saw was the inside of the Bahulaban kitchen. I was extremely envious of my godbrothers and godsisters who had been going up the hill to see Çréla Prabhupäda and hearing him speak every day. I was cooking for a few hundred devotees from 3:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. They all came to see Çréla Prabhupäda during the annual Janmäñöamé festival. Since I didn't have time to chant my rounds, I was distressed. While visiting Los Angeles, I had grown attached to having Çréla Prabhupäda's personal association and reading Kåñëa Book in his garden. Now, my self-pity was mounting.
Around 9:00 p.m. I was lamenting my misfortune when Kértanänanda Mahäräja came into the kitchen with a huge smile on his face.
"Guess what?" he said. "You are going to be Prabhupäda's personal servant. You'll be leaving tomorrow morning with him to go to Pittsburgh."
I was speechless, ecstatic and very nervous. It happened so quickly that I didn't have time to be mental about it. I was ecstatically exhausted.
At 6:00 a.m., Kértanänanda Swami brought me to Madhuban which was a small, one-story farmhouse where Çréla Prabhupäda was staying. I was still in a state of shock. We walked into the small sitting room and I offered my obeisances.
"This is Çrutakérti, Çréla Prabhupäda," Kértanänanda said. "He cooks very nicely.""That's very good," Çréla Prabhupäda said smiling.
"But, he doesn't know how to massage," Kértanänanda continued.
"That's all right," Çréla Prabhupäda said. "Anybody can massage. It is very easy."
Then, Çréla Prabhupäda picked up a lota on the floor by his desk and said in a deep voice, "OK. Come with me."
He went out the back door of the farmhouse and walked to the edge of the pavement. He stopped there for a moment and turned to me.
"All right, wait here," he instructed.
Çréla Prabhupäda walked about another 50 feet into a wooded area. After a few minutes he returned to the edge of the pavement where I stood according to his instructions. As he walked by me he handed me the lota and said, "All right. Wash this with some dirt and water." He then walked back into the farmhouse.
It was wonderful how he dealt with me that morning. There was no "chit-chat," no "please" or "thank you." He immediately let me know that my position was to be his menial servant, assisting him in whatever way he wanted and taking care of his bodily necessities. I was in complete bliss knowing what my service was. I didn't have the ability to do anything that required intelligence, so for me, this service was ideal. I had been given the most wonderful service of taking care of the transcendental body of the servitor of God.
This was the first day of my life. For the first time I could understand what my body and mind were meant for. Unfortunately, due to my youthful restlessness and inability to sincerely take to the process of Kåñëa consciousness, I lost my service after a few short years. Now, with great regret, I am begging the Supreme Lord Kåñëa to please give this fool another chance to serve my spiritual father.
Çréla Prabhupäda, without you, I feel very lost and alone. I do not know what to do with myself. It is very painful. When I don't think of you, my beloved spiritual master, there is no reason to live. When I remember you, Çréla Prabhupäda, there is much pain knowing I have wasted my life in useless sense gratification. Çréla Prabhupäda, I could have been with you, cleaning your lota.