Do You Agree?
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
So, I was going to tell you about Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. One time, two new people came to Prabhupad saying, "Prabhupad, we want to take initiation from you."
Prabhupad asked them, "Why do you want to take initiation?"
"We want our family to run smoothly."
Prabhupad said, "Then I will not be able to give you initiation."
The couple got upset, and Prabhupad said then, "There is no need for you to worry. I will tell you what you must do—I will give you a room, stay here for a few days, go to arati, parikrama and when I give class in the morning and evening, come and listen about the Lord."
Then, during seven days they went to the aratis, sang the kirtans... Sometimes people come to the temple and stay in their room without coming out for the arati or parikrama of the Lord, but this is not a hotel—this is a place of kirtan of the Lord's Name and a place of Lord's service. This place is not for enjoyment, you come here to serve... So, they stayed here, went to the aratis, parikrama, listened to Prabhupad's Hari-katha. Prabhupad is "kripaya Hari-kirtana murti dhara." Do you understand the meaning of these words? He did not chant so many kirtans with mridanga, kartals. He was Hari-kirtana murti dharam (the very embodiment of the Lord's kirtan) through his Hari-katha. So, the couple listened to his Hari-kirtan for seven days, and after that Prabhupad asked them,
"You have listened to some lectures, what do you think about it?"
"Prabhupad, we like it very much. Now we have understood the meaning of initiation, we have understood everything. Please give us initiation."
"If you are to take initiation, I want something from you."
"We are poor people, we cannot give so much money, etc."
"I do not want you money and wealth."
"Then what do you want, Prabhupad?"
"You must give me a room in your house. Let me stay there and feed me three-four times every day."
The people were surprised, they thought, "How is it possible? We have a small mud house and Prabhupad is staying in such a grand house, how can we give him a place at our house? How will we arrange food for him?"
They hesitated a lot and in the meantime, a sannyasi (Prabhupad's disciple) saw them and asked, "Why are you so upset? You have stayed here for seven days, is Prabhupad not giving you initiation?" The couple explained, "Prabhupad says he wants a place to stay and we must give him food four times a day. How will we be able to do this?" The sannyasi said, "Fools, you do not understand Prabhupad. Make a small room in your house, make an altar there and keep a picture of the Lord and Prabhupad on it. Offer bhog to Prabhupad, take his prasad. If you do this, then it will mean Prabhupad is staying at your house." The couple got excited, "Yes, true, we did not understand it! Then there is no problem. We will buy a small altar and keep Prabhupad's and the Lord's picture on it, we will offer flowers, etc. bhog to him. Prabhupad spoke about this at his lectures, and we did not think of it!"
Then, they came to Prabhupad, prostrated in obeisance and said, "Yes, Prabhupad, we will give you a place to stay and feed you, we will do everything."
Prabhupad replied, "So, do you agree?"
"Yes, we agree."
"Good, come tomorrow in the morning, I will give you initiation."
Prabhupad showed that it is necessary to give Guru and Vaishnavs a place in your heart.
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