Swamiji’s Eternal Servants Rediscover Themselves
At the storefront in 1966 Prabhupada said that in our past lives some of us must have been Indians and now had been born in this part of the world to continue the sankirtana movement. When I heard that I started to think how firm I had been in my other identity—when I was a young man who dressed all in black and who had broken away from his parents on Staten Island and had now lived for two years on his own on the Lower East Side. I wasn't doing so well actually, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I didn't go home except to try to get some money and feel bad again.
Prabhupada took me beyond that identity to a completely new consciousness. Talk about quantum leaps! I remember one devotee telling about his own change. He was a student at the University of Buffalo. He talked about his change from "buffalo to disciple." We were buffaloes, ignoramuses. Then we became disciples of the pure devotee of Krishna.
If Prabhupada would come back again, maybe I could make another quantum leap from vaidhi-bhakti practitioner to something more, from someone who has lost some of his daring and who is making an all-out effort to convince himself and Krishna that he can go on writing and reading, chanting and hearing, developing his inner life, and who thinks that somehow this will do. I could be transformed into something more pleasing to Prabhupada, or at least I could know what Prabhupada wants. It's not that I have to change the nature of my activities. Prabhupada might say, "This is good. Go on doing it. Now I'm going to show you the means to intensify it. You want to be an obscure prayer-maker? You want to be addicted to reading my books? That's good. You think that by doing this you will become a potent preacher of my message? All right, I'll allow you to do that service.” Whatever it is, Prabhupada can tell us. Or he might tell us something completely different. He might say, "Go to a new city and start up Krishna consciousness. Do what I want. Be with me. Be like me."[ meditations ]