Memories (#108)

In Vrindavan, Prabhupada and his old godbrother Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor were together again after not having seen each other for many years. They had been friends for more than thirty years and were both disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. They enjoyed their renewed philosophical discussions and quick-witted, humorous exchanges. Dr. Kapoor, a great scholar and devotee, lived in Vrindavan, and he spent many hours with Prabhupada and his disciples. I was present during one of their meetings.

Sitting together, Prabhupada asked Dr. Kapoor, "Do you have all your teeth?"

Dr. Kapoor answered, "You could say I have all my teeth, if you consider that I keep them in a glass of water at night." We all laughed uproariously. He popped out his false teeth and showed Prabhupada.

Prabhupada puffed out his chest, opened his mouth widely and said, "See -- I have all my teeth!"

More Mercy

My foot was bleeding from a cut, and Prabhupada saw it. He immediately came over with some clean cloth and very carefully, very expertly, bandaged the foot. His touch and humility sped the healing.

"I Will See The Bomb As Krishna"

Another war between India and Pakistan was in progress. Srila Prabhupada and his entourage of foreign disciples were in Delhi when the war broke out. We were staying in a dharmasala in Old Delhi. At night there was a curfew, with a call for windows to be covered and lights to be extinguished during air raids. Prabhupada didn't really do anything differently. We went on our morning walks as usual, and at night we held the usual kirtan programs.

One night at the dharmasala there were about thirty guests and devotees. The sirens began to wail. Some devotees looked to Prabhupada as whether we should interrupt the program to cover the windows or not. Prabhupada continued chanting and didn't seem to pay any attention to the sirens. As his talk was about to begin, some were still awaiting an instruction. Meanwhile some dharmasala caretakers came in and quietly put blankets over the windows.

No bombs hit Delhi; in fact, the planes didn't make it past the border before returning with engine trouble. I figured something like that would happen, for we were with Srila Prabhupada. Later, as the war progressed, some Pakistani planes actually did make it into India. Indian citizens were frightened.

The next day two men were visiting Prabhupada and they asked, "Why didn't you cover the windows? Weren't you afraid of being bombed?"

Prabhupada said, "It is not under our control. If Krishna wants to kill, who can save, and if Krishna wants to save, who can kill?"

The men didn't understand. "But what if the bomb would --"

"You cannot even control your stomachache, your toothache," Prabhupada interrupted: "If I should see the bomb coming overhead" -- Prabhupada looked, wide-eyed and trusting toward the sky -- "then I will see the bomb as Krishna." He continued to look up, his arms spread wide open, "I will see the bomb as Krishna."
"If a devotee is slapped by Govinda,
he doesn't take it as an insult, but takes it as Krishna's mercy."
--A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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