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Srila Prabhupada’s human teachings – Part 2

Later his anger subsided and he shifted to Mr Mahadevia’s house where he was sensitive to his host and his family members. Once Mr. Mahadevia mentioned how the sound quality of Srila Prabhupada’s tape recorder was good, and Srila Prabhupada smiled. He interacted with his wife and daughter, and exchanged pleasantries with the servants of the house. After a few weeks, when Srila Prabhupada’s house was ready and he was leaving Mahadevia’s residence, he offered a nice sari as a gift for both Mrs Mahadevia and their daughter. Then he gifted Mr Mahadevia, his tape recorder. He had sensitively noted his host’s appreciation and reciprocated appropriately. He even gave money to all the servants. When the hosts insisted that they were happy to serve and didn’t want anything else for their services, Srila Prabhupada said this was his small way of expressing a thank you.

When he entered the completed and furnished house, Srila Prabhupada smiled and thanked Surabhi and others. “I can never repay your debt” he said, “You are so kind to me. I can only pray to Krishna that He blesses you and protects you. Without your help, I can’t do anything.”

Due to his old age and ill health, Srila Prabhupada didn’t come down from his room and stayed indoors, translating his Srimad Bhagavatam. Devotees were sad at not being able to see him, although they wanted Srila Prabhupada to get all the privacy and rest he needed. One day Srila Prabhupada came to the temple hall, and the surprised devotees spread the word and soon the temple was filled with devotees who came running from all directions. Srila Prabhupada sat on the Vyasaasan and sincerely apologized for not coming to see them daily. “I want to cook for all of you and serve you daily” he said in an emotion choked voice.

Such loving gestures of Srila Prabhupada endeared himself to his disciples. Just as they were controlled by him, he too was a prisoner of their love. He fully reciprocated with their loving devotional service.

This humanity in spiritual life is as divine as one’s ability to remember Krishna. Srila Prabhupada insisted we always make Krishna as our number one priority, yet he gave tremendous respect and importance to other human beings- even his own disciples and strangers and servants of his well-wishers- as he did at Mahadevia’s house; after all he saw them as representatives of Krishna, sent by his spiritual master to assist him in his services.

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