AT THE Mayapur festival in 1975 I was posted outside Srila Prabhupada's room to run errands for his servants. One morning as I waited on the veranda, Prabhupada came out to wash his hands after breakfast. He noticed a couple of sannyasis looking over the balcony, so he paused and looked over the balcony too.
The sannyasis were looking at an old lady and her child going through a pile of leaf plates that had been thrown out after breakfast. Evidently the woman and her child had missed the mass prasadam distribution, and so they were picking through the plates looking for some remnants of food.
One of the sannyasis turned to Srila Prabhupada and said, "Prabhupada, sometimes I feel sorry for these people."
Prabhupada turned with the most deep, compassionate, penetrating look and said, "Why just sometimes?"
IN JULY 1976, during Srila Prabhupada's visit to Paris, two other devotees and I went into his room to report about our difficulties in maintaining our large temple in Schloss Rettershof, an old castle near Frankfurt, Germany. We proposed that we close the Schloss and develop smaller temples in various cities in Germany. We felt these centers would be easier to maintain and would therefore increase the overall preaching.
Srila Prabhupada heard the report. There was a long, great silence in the room, and we felt very uncomfortable.
Finally Srila Prabhupada sat up, leaned forward by supporting himself with both hands on the table, and spoke very loudly and strongly, as if we were hard of hearing.
"And even if your child has been born deaf and blind, does it mean you kill it?"
Another extended silence. We sat greatly uncomfortable, embarrassed, and unable to say anything.
He repeated: "Does it mean you kill it?"
Silence. A minute went by that seemed like years.
Finally he concluded, "Don't kill it develop it! Don't become rolling stones."
We left the room in great embarrassment. It was clear what he thought about closing a temple of Krsna.
ONE EVENING in Bhaktivedanta Manor in London, Srila Prabhupada was sitting in his room with his disciples and a few guests, including a woman reporter who had come to interview Srila Prabhupada. Despite the chilly English summer weather, the reporter was dressed in a miniskirt. Her first few questions revealed her skeptical and almost cynical attitude toward the Hare Krsna movement. As usual, Srila Prabhupada coolly and expertly answered her questions.
Somewhat exasperated and in a challenging mood, she brought up the old question, "Why do you people have bald heads?"
Srila Prabhupada immediately retorted, "Why do you have bare legs?"
She was speechless.
Srila Prabhupada then offered, "Better to have warm legs and a cool head."
Everyone, including, the reporter, laughed with delight.
Prabhupada added, "You must have a cool head to understand this Krsna consciousness philosophy."
From Prabhupada Nectar, Volume I, by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami