Drops of Nectar Along the Path #2
Swamiji told the story of a priest sermonizing to some coal miners. Doing both voices, he said, "If you don't worship God, you will go to hell."
The miners asked, "What is hell like?"
"Oh! Hell is dark and hot, and deep underground."
The miners said, "This hell sounds like where we work every day -- it's not so bad."
The priest thought a moment and said, "There are no newspapers in hell."
"Oh," said the miners, "then we don't want to go to hell!"
Telling this story Swamiji would laugh softly and say, "We must find what attracts people and show them how Krishna is the all-attractive."
Equality Once More
Regarding rich and poor, Prabhupada once remarked, "Water tastes the same in an iron pot or a gold pot."
Walking by the ocean in Madras one day, Prabhupada said, "There are more demigods than waves in the sea." On another occasion, while walking on the same path, he said, "The waves look beautiful from the shore, but when you are in them it is very difficult." He explained that the ocean waves are like the captivating effect of Maya: "She appears attractive, but is entangling."
What Great Men Do
"Whatever action is performed by great men, common men follow in his footsteps, and whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues." (Bhagavad-gita 3.21)
One morning we were riding in a car with Srila Prabhupada on our way to visit the ancient temple of Thakur Haridas. Even though Shyamasundar, the driver, had to honk the car horn constantly on the crowded road, the atmosphere of the Bengali countryside was restful, and we were intrigued and interested by the many surrounding scenes: cows and dogs wandering about, women drying and sifting dahl, rickshas going here and there, and pedestrians quickly scurrying to the side of the road when they heard the horn. Probably because it was used so much, the horn broke and became silent. Consequently, we came close to hitting some people beside the road. Someone started shouting "Hare Krishna" loudly out the window at anything that moved. This only seemed to scare people instead of warning them, but it would have been all right had they suffered cardiac arrest because the holy name was yelled into their ears!
Suddenly Prabhupada turned in his seat and said, "Give me my plate." He took his cane and banged on his metal plate out the window whenever we neared a bicycle or some pedestrians. Sure enough, they would veer automatically to the side of the road. Prabhupada repeated the banging a few more times and then handed the plate and spoon to Akshayananda Prabhu. "Now you do it." Akshyananda banged the plate successfully.
Prabhupada laughed and said: "They will think it is a new American invention and want to imitate it!"
"Krishna consciousness means to be
obligated to Krishna, to be a little grateful."
--A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami