Room Conversation , Vṛndāvana , 1976-10-03

Prabhupāda: ...position. It is not a good position.

Hari-śauri: [looking at photo] No, it's not very clear. I was just wondering who the other two were.

Prabhupāda: I took sannyāsa from him.

Hari-śauri: Who is that?

Prabhupāda: Sannyāsa has to be taken from a sannyāsī, so I took sannyāsa from him.

Hari-śauri: Yes, I was wondering what his name was.

Prabhupāda: Oh, his name is Keśava Mahārāja. He's one of my Godbrothers. He's also one of my Godbrothers.

Hari-śauri: And he took it the same time.

Prabhupāda: They are now dead and gone.

Hari-śauri: Yes. This man, he looks very old already. The other one.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. He was... He is of my age, middle. The other one, he was older.

Hari-śauri: Harikeśa said the day before you took sannyāsa you were gored by a cow or something? A cow hit you in the stomach?

Prabhupāda: Before?

Hari-śauri: The day before you took sannyāsa?

Prabhupāda: No. No. [laughing]

Hari-śauri: I was told that. I don't know whether it was... Or some time around then.

Prabhupāda: That was long before.

Hari-śauri: Oh, that was a long time.

Prabhupāda: I took sannyāsa sometime in '59, and... No, that is after I took sannyāsa. No, no. Before, yes. Before or after...

Hari-śauri: He said it was the day before. [laughs]

Prabhupāda: No. That was an incident in Delhi. Now I think it was... It was before. Before. That was sometime in 19..., 56.

Hari-śauri: Oh, that's a long time before.

Prabhupāda: And I took sannyāsa in 1959.

Hari-śauri: That was in Vṛndāvana or Delhi?

Prabhupāda: No, Delhi. Vānaprastha. I was alone. But my paper was going on, Back to Godhead. In Delhi I was alone. I was doing everything---editing, selling, collecting, cooking[?].

Hari-śauri: There was no Godbrothers helping at all?

Prabhupāda: I did not take. They wanted. I did not like.

Hari-śauri: Did you ever think at that time that you would be able to expand or...

Prabhupāda: I was trying to do. It was a struggle at that time. At that time I lived with some of my Godbrothers, but I did not like, and I left their temple and I was living alone. Then in Imlitala... You know there? Imlitala, Seva-kunj there is a...

Hari-śauri: No, I'm not familiar.

Prabhupāda: My Godbrother's temple. He had a temple in Delhi, Karol Bagh. I left Jhansi and came to Mathurā. I lived there for few months. Then I went to Delhi. In this way, here, there.

Hari-śauri: The boy at the front, he's reading one of your old Bhāgavatams. He has one of your original Bhāgavatams. The boy at the front that's on guard.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Hari-śauri: Akṣaya, the boy that guards. He's been reading one of your original Bhāgavatams, the 1.1.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Hari-śauri: And I was looking at the front, and it gives your residence in Vṛndāvana at Rādhā-Dāmodara and your office in Delhi.

Prabhupāda: It was not unpleasant. When I was living alone, doing everything, it was not unpleasant. I was... Very nice. That was an accident. Otherwise, it was not unpleasant. Alone, everything I was doing. Rather, I had not so much anxiety for management. Even my, this son came to live with me. I said, "No, you don't."

Hari-śauri: Who was that? Vrindavan there?

Prabhupāda: Hmm. They sent, my family, to go and live with me. He came twice, thrice. The reason is that I asked him, "If you want to live with me, then you have to live with me as sannyāsī, brahmacārī."

Hari-śauri: And he couldn't.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise... From 1954, '55. No, up to '54... 1950... I left home 1950. From '50 to '54 I lived in Jhansi.

Hari-śauri: That was when you started the League of Devotees?

Prabhupāda: Hmm. At that time there were many students. They were not my disciples, but they were coming. Like..., that Prabhākāra?

Hari-śauri: Yes, Prabhākāra Ācārya.

Prabhupāda: He was the head.

Hari-śauri: [laughs] You were teaching Vaiṣṇavism or...

Prabhupāda: Yes. I wanted to start from there. It was very nice, big house. But this K. Munshi's wife tactfully wanted me to... The Governor's wife. That was a very big house.

Hari-śauri: Oh, there were some politics. I didn't know.

Prabhupāda: But he peacefully took it. I could have fought, but I did not like. All the pleaders in Jhansi, they said, "Don't leave." She was pressing through the collector, to the manager. That house belonged to some zamindar, but it was under the management of another man, Reba Shankara[?]. So he was proprietor of one cinema hall. So the governor's wife was pressing him through the collector, because the license has to be renewed from the collector. Collector was insisting that "You give that house, Lilavati Munshi." Indirectly. "Otherwise, your license will not be issued."

Hari-śauri: They didn't leave you very much choice.

Prabhupāda: I thought, I could not do something tangible. That's a fact. Somehow or other, I thought, "Let me go to Vṛndāvana. What is the use of fighting?" Otherwise, all the big lawyers in Jhansi, they were my friends. They said that "You not go. We shall arrange." I thought that "I have left my home, for this reason I am going to, again, litigation. I don't want this house. Let her do something."

Hari-śauri: The League of Devotees, was that Godbrothers again? Was that some Godbrothers that you joined up with, or was that just...

Prabhupāda: No, after leaving Jhansi I went to this Godbrother.

Hari-śauri: Keśava.

Prabhupāda: I lived there for few months. Then I went to another Godbrother, that Imlitala, Delhi. Then I left there. I used to live alone in Delhi. Then I took one house in Keśī-ghāṭa. Then the Rādhā-Dāmodara men, they called me that "You can live here. We give you two rooms. We don't charge. We give you the place." I came to Rādhā-Dāmodara. And from Rādhā-Dāmodara temple I went USA.

Hari-śauri: I was just wondering what exactly the League of Devotees was.

Prabhupāda: Oh, League was that, that was... I was trying to collect some devotees. Some of them, they were medical... Yes. Medical students. So they came and used to live with me. But still, I lived there for two years, from 1954 to '56. I had some surgical operation in my testicles there. They were taking care. This Prabhākāra and... They were not full time; they were students, that's all. They were living with me.

Hari-śauri: But your Bhāgavatams, it says they were published by the League of Devotees. Does that just mean yourself, or there were others?

Prabhupāda: [laughs] That was... League of Devotees was my organization. Therefore I gave that name.

Hari-śauri: But actually it was just you. Oh.

Prabhupāda: That League of Devotees, I was alone doing. [laughs]

Hari-śauri: [laughing] I was trying to understand who it could be.

Prabhupāda: I am everything at that time. There were some students, but they were not many active. I was doing everything. That League of Devotees means I am everything. I wanted to organize with this Prabhākāra Miśra and others, but they were not interested to be...

Hari-śauri: Not to become Vaiṣṇavas.

Prabhupāda: No, to devote whole time. They were... Just like Prabhākāra comes still. But if you ask him to do full-time work, that he'll not do. Therefore I did not initiate others. He was initiated, Haridāsa. But they were all learned scholars, Sanskrit.

Hari-śauri: Do any of them come now?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Hari-śauri: Do any of them come now apart from Prabhākāra?

Prabhupāda: Hmm? No, they are, they have gone in the... They are practicing as medical men. They were students, medical students. Now they are practicing.

Hari-śauri: They don't come to see you or anything now?

Prabhupāda: Sometime they came. Long time it is passed. That was in 1956 or '55. No, '54.

Hari-śauri: In Jhansi.

Prabhupāda: So, twenty years past. More than twenty years. You can speak of twenty years' history. What is that?

Devotee: Um. [end]