The ISKCON founder acharya srila prabhupada
‘The Great Transcendental Adventure-‘Colonisation by Sankirtana’
Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada
Melbourne, Sydney & Auckland, 1973-Kurma das
The Arrival of Sri-Sri Radha-Krsna Deities in Melbourne.
Wednesday, 7th February 1973
Prabhupada departed out of Calcutta for his flight to Melbourne via Bangkok. Two devotees accompanied him. Srutakirti, a bright young brahmacari, acted as his servant. Bali-mardana, now returning to Australia as a sannyasi, was his secretary.
Prabhupada had planned to install 60cm marble Radha-Krsna Deities in Melbourne. The Deities had been acquired in India and now Bali-mardana and Srutakirti carried one Deity each on the flight out to Australia. It was certainly a difficult task to carry the heavy marble Deities on and off planes, while simultaneously looking after Srila Prabhupada’s luggage and seeing to his comfort on the journey. Prabhupada was encouraging. He stressed to Srutakirti that this difficult austerity was very pleasing to Krsna. “To make spiritual advancement,” he assured, “one has to simply satisfy Krsna. There are so many ways of satisfying Krsna and this is one of them. Krsna is very pleased with your endeavours.”
During the two-hour transit early next morning in Bangkok, Srila Prabhupada decided to bathe in the airport washroom. He asked Srutakirti for a change of fresh clothes and bathing paraphernalia.
Srutakirti: To accomplish this, I had to first locate our luggage, which was being changed from one airplane to another. After I managed to do that, I accompanied Srila Prabhupada to the men’s room. This particular airport had no shower facilities, but Prabhupada wanted to use whatever they had. He walked up to the small sink and said he would bathe there. In the bathroom with us was the local Thai attendant, and when he saw what Prabhupada was about to do he became a little upset. But Prabhupada proceeded coolly. Using his lota, he obtained water from the tap, and, covering the lower portion of his body with a gamcha, began washing with soap. The attendant didn’t directly confront us with words, but he became increasingly upset, mumbling to himself as Prabhupada spilled water all over the floor. When Prabhupada finished, I handed him a towel and he dried off and then put on his fresh clothing.
Only as we started to leave did the attendant come forward. He approached me and began speaking in Thai. I couldn’t understand what he was saying but he was obviously angry. I told him to go away — nicely — but inside I was thinking, “Actually, you’re very fortunate to get to wipe up Prabhupada’s bathing water.” I told Prabhupada, “I think he’s a little upset”. Prabhupada laughed mildly and Srila Prabhupada said: “But I had to bathe. I was feeling very tired.”
Biographies and Glorifications of Srila Prabhupada-‘The Great Transcendental Adventure-‘Colonisation by Sankirtana’–Melbourne, Sydney & Auckland, 1973-Kurma das
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