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The Cost of Blessings by Giriraj Swami


My godbrother Bhagavata Asraya Prabhu told me the following story, which he heard from our godbrother Gunarnava Prabhu.

Srila Prabhupada was visiting Bombay for what turned out to be one of the last times. Although the building was still under construction, at his request his quarters had been hastily prepared, and he had moved in.

Srila Prabhupada was by this time in poor health, and everything was a great effort for him, but still he was giving darshan to some devotees and guests. At one point an Indian man stood up in the midst of it all and, making something of an exhibition of himself, folded his hands and requested, “Swamiji, give me your blessings.”

Srila Prabhupada fixed the man with a stare that lasted long enough for the man and everyone in the room to start to feel uncomfortable. When the situation seemed to reach the point where it was intolerable, Srila Prabhupada began to speak. Addressing everyone, he said, in effect, “Such a big organization, this ISKCON . . . worldwide organization . . . with so many problems. All coming on my head. Every day all problems coming to me . . . so many letters from all over the world. All on my head.”

He gently tapped his head a few times, saying, “You don’t know the headache I have.” Then he gave the man another look and said, “So, if you want my blessings, you take some of my headache.”


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