(10/11) Behind Closed Doors
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
I do not come to anybody's house to waste their rice. Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur also said this. One time, Srila Prabhupad went for preaching at a seven-day continuous programme (56-prahar kirtan) in Kasimbazar (Cossimbazar). He came there by train with his associates. When he started giving a class, he spoke the truth, but aul, baul and kartabaja people did not like it, so they told him, 'Please sit down! Sit down!' They stopped Srila Prabhupad's class. Srila Prabhupad went to his room. The host of the programme sent very opulent prasad, arranged beautifully on a plate, to his room, but Prabhupad only took a Tulasi leaf from there and drank some water. He stayed in his room without eating anything for three days. On the fourth day, Srila Prabhupad told the host, 'I am sorry, but I have some job in Mayapur. I have to leave now.'
'But my festival has not finished yet!' The host was upset.
'What can I do? I cannot stay. I have much service in Mayapur, so I have to go now. I have not come to your house to waste your food.'
'What do you mean "waste"?! Have you not eaten anything?'
Srila Prabhupad did not say anything, but his servant said, 'No. Prabhupad took only Tulasi leaves.'
We cannot stay without taking prasad (we cannot tolerate hunger for so long, so we take prasad), but Prabhupad had power to endure it, so he fasted for three days taking only Tulasi leaves. He said, 'I did not come to waste your food. I have come to do some good for you, but I could not do it, so what is the use for me to stay at your house? I will not stay here.' One time, I went to the house where Prabhupad stayed during that programme. We have a disciple of Gurudev there now. It is a very big area, guarded by government people. That house is shrouded in jungle now. Where is all that 56-prahar kirtan? Where is that great zamindar? And where is all that wealth now? That house is now government property. When we were on a parikrama in that area, I wanted to see the house where Prabhupad had come, but we could not enter the house – the whole place is now full of jungle. The disciple who stays in that area calls me from time to time and invites me to come.
Anyhow, I have spoken for a long time. Let us chant some kirtan now. I remember there was a programme at some house. Somebody said, 'Oh, I was not invited there, why must I go there? So what if gurudev comes there? What is the use hearing Hari-katha? If I cannot take prasad there, then what is the point coming there?'
So, I tell everyone that you can make a programme, but to do it, you need to arrange for prasad for about three hundred people. If you do not have this capacity, make prasad for some people and at least give fruit to everybody else.
[Somebody comes to offer a garland to His Divine Grace.] You can give it after prasad. This is what Mahaprabhu did, but in this country they do it the other way round...
The other day, a devotee who stays at one of the temples asked me, 'Maharaj, why should we do archan behind the closed doors? What is the problem if I do it when the doors of the Deities' altar are open?' In our temple, it is done behind the closed doors, he said. 'Archan' means bathing and dressing the Deities, that is why we close the doors. On the days when you dress the Deities, you should close the doors, but we do not bathe and dress Deities every day – on most days, it is done by reciting mantras. So, when you do it by reciting mantras, you do not need to close the doors. There is actually no such rule. Do you not know why they close the door when they recite the mantras? So that nobody hears it if they recite the mantras wrong. When I told this to the devotee, he said, 'Yes, it is right! I thought the same! But I remember the whole archan book by heart.' I said, 'Well and good, then you can recite the mantras with the doors open, no problem.'
Hari bol. Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna. Say together with me:
শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য প্রভু নিত্যানন্দ ।
sri-krsna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda
হরে কৃষ্ণ হরে কৃষ্ণ কৃষ্ণ কৃষ্ণ হরে হরে ।
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
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