Visit to the temple -1

On Prabhupada's arrival, Sydney Customs officials confiscated a new clay drum brought by Nanda Kumara for the temple. Since the heads were made of rawhide, they said, the drum would have to be quarantined and could be picked up a few days later. After completing arrival formalities, Prabhupada and his party had exited into the arrival lounge, but found no-one to greet them. Unfazed, Prabhupada suggested they take a taxi to the temple.


Harry: I had been quickly detailed to sweep out the bus which would soon be taking the devotees to the airport. Suddenly Raghunatha jumped aboard screaming: "He's here! He's here!" I threw down my broom and ran into the street just as a black taxi pulled up.

Some devotees prostrated themselves on the road. Jagattarini burst into tears. Mohanananda ran from the temple and, reaching into the front passenger window of the taxi, garlanded Prabhupada with shaking hands. "All glories to you, Srila Prabhupada," he said, with an emotion-choked voice. He attempted to apologise, but Prabhupada assured him that there was no problem.

Harry: As Srila Prabhupada got out of the car, Mohanananda, very emotional and crying, suddenly embraced Srila Prabhupada in his arms. Even though this was not the proper etiquette for a disciple, Prabhupada didn't say anything, nor did he shrug him off or shrink away. Mohanananda was a very flamboyant person and a little eccentric, but since he was displaying such true emotion of love for Prabhupada, Prabhupada took it very nicely and just stood there humbly.

While Harry assisted Pradyumna in taking Srila Prabhupada's luggage and storing it temporarily in the temple shop, Prabhupada stood surrounded by adoring devotees, most of whom were seeing their spiritual master for the first time. Many were struck with Prabhupada's gentle demeanour. Although quiet and sober, he was completely in charge. He seemed to be totally in control of his senses, yet soft at the same time, and without passion. The devotees noticed how brilliant Prabhupada looked and how meticulously he was dressed. He wore saffron shoes that matched his shiny saffron cloth. He appeared aristocratic, with his head held slightly back; he carried a cane; he wore a long garland and was impeccably clean. As the devotees stood lovingly by, Prabhupada reciprocated with smiles and fatherly, affectionate glances.

Mohanananda suggested a tour of the property. Prabhupada assented with a slight sideways movement of his head. Accompanied by a dozen or so devotees, Prabhupada entered the front yard through a creaky wrought-iron gate. Walking down the winding front pathway and following a route that led down the side of the building, he emerged in what had, until recently, been a double tennis court. Prabhupada's party crossed the yard, passing an old derelict house on the left, and approached some ramshackle sheds at the back right-hand side of the property.

"This is our incense factory, Srila Prabhupada," Mohanananda proudly announced, as Caru ran forward to open the shed door for a quick inspection. Prabhupada stopped as Caru picked up a piece of wood and began hitting a small plank that wedged the rickety door shut.

"Oh? You have to break in?" Prabhupada grinned with mock surprise, and the devotees laughed. The door sprang open, and Prabhupada peered inside at the rows and rows of incense drying on chicken-wire racks.

The combined smell of carnation, liquorice, bubblegum, strawberry, cherry, lime, patchouli and watermelon was overwhelming. Mohanananda was effusive. "We sell this incense wholesale to big stores, Srila Prabhupada. We market it as Spiritual Sky -- 'Krsna makes the best scents' -- people love it." Prabhupada nodded. He seemed to approve of the industriousness and enterprise of the operation.


- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT to add comments!

Join ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT


This reply was deleted.