My Memoirs -- Srila Gurudeva
In recent conversations, Srila Gurudev recollected His olden days and shared His childhood pastimes with devotees inside His room. It all started when I was seeking answers to the questions devotees sent us through mail over the last few days. While answering He shared these pastimes.
Relish the nectar, devotees.
Sri Guru Kripa Prarthi,
Prahlad Das (Prasad)
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All people, whether Hindus or Muslims, knew me very well in my village. When I went there after finishing my M. A. degree, people were after me. Everyone would ask me to teach their children. I taught one child for 2 days but I did not like. After that I did not go. When I met on the way, his father asked, "What happened? Why have you not come?" I did not say that I am going (to join Math). He said, "You have to teach at least for a month." But I denied. I said, "Can you pay me for two days?" Later he paid me for entire month. The village people used to trouble me so much saying "Teach my child, teach my child." Somehow I escaped from there. It is very difficult if you are the only educated person in a village (laughs).
Our grandfather was our enemy (laughing). Whenever we used to play he used to come with a cane in his hand to beat us. One day all of my friends ran away but I could not run. He has caught me and taken me. Out of fear I went to my mother and sat in her lap. My fear was gone. My grandfather would come and say, "You!" and would show me the stick. I did not fear as I was in my mother's lap. Even now I remember. If you are in your mother's lap you are fearless, is it not? I have observed it many times.
I used to play daily in the veranda. One day I hit a stone and fell down. I could not breathe properly. There were many old women and grandmothers sitting little far. I was signaling them but nobody came. All of a sudden my mother came there, somehow. She came towards me but suddenly took a turn in another direction because she did not see me. Later she saw me and came to me running. Then she rubbed me and I could breathe properly after that. Then I understood that even if mother is far from the child she knows about him. Those who were close by did not come to me. I have seen this practically. That relation (mother-child) is very different. She was some where; somehow she knew that her child is in trouble. She came running and none of those who were sitting there came. There is a gulf of difference.
Our Radha Mohan Prabhu was clerk to my uncle, who was an advocate. When Guruji stayed at his (Radha Mohan Prabhu's) house, I wanted to see him. Sri Radha Mohan Prabhu said, "Guruji is a great saint. Because we worship Radha Krishna, Mahaprabhu at house, all devotees like us. So he is in our house. We also do not eat items that are not offered." So I went there to see Gurudeva. Along with me was my college friend. Guruji was speaking there at that time and I heard him. But I did not understand anything that Gurudev spoke. The language (philosophy) was totally new to me. Now I use those words but that time I did not know that terminology. I used to wear shoes and have hair on my head that time as I was a student then. Listening to Gurudeva, I only understood that he is a Krishna Bhakta. I thought, "I want Krishna Bhakti, I'll go." I did not understand anything more than that.
Wherever Gurudev went I followed him. After few days Gurudev was supposed to go to another village and a river was needed to be crossed. Now-a-days there is steamer but that time there was only boat. Many people from my village went there to take darsan of Gurudev. They said to me, "You have inclination to hear Harikatha. Come there. We are going, you also come there." My father was next to me that time. I was afraid. So I did not say anything; I was silent. Neither could I go nor could I ask my father. I did not have enough courage to speak to my father. So many people went there but I did not go. Later I had written a letter and sent it through Radha Mohan Prabhu. Guruji also replied to his address. I used to go to his place and listen Hari katha from him. Sometimes after I returned home from Radha Mohan Prabhu's house, my grandmother used to serve food and I used to say, "I ate there because here the food is not offered." She used to scold me, "You have gone mad."
After I joined math, I got a letter from my father. I asked Guru Maharaj if I can reply. He said, "No. If you reply, you will go home. You will not be able to stay in Math." My heart was floundering. After few days I got another letter. My mind got disturbed. I went to Guru Maharaj. He said, "I told you already. If you reply, you will not be able to stay here." Some days later, about 32 - 34 persons from my village came there to Hazra Road (Kolkata) in search for me. I was sent by Guru Maharaj to another place. I did not understand the reason. They searched for me there but did not find me. They made all arrangements for my marriage. They wanted to take me and get married. Guruji asked one devotee to take me to station. I was surprised why Guruji wanted me to go all of a sudden. If those persons had seen me, it would have been difficult for me.