Sep 072023

Srutakirti dasa: We were on an airplane from Mexico City to Caracas, and Prabhupada started taking his puffed rice and peanuts. He ate for about ten minutes, and then he just looked and said, “Okay.” So I moved the puffed rice over, and I gave half to Paramahamsa and had the other half in front of me. After a few minutes, a stewardess was walking down the aisle and she stopped right in front of us and reached over, put her hand in my plate, and grabbed a handful of puffed rice and threw it in her mouth. She said, “Oh, this is wonderful. What is it?” I said, “Puffed rice.” She said, “Why are you eating this?” I said, “We have our own diet, and we’re vegetarian.” She said, “Oh, is there anything else I can get you?” I looked at Prabhupada, and he looked at me and said, “Hot milk.” She said, “Fine.”

After about ten minutes, she came back with three plates. She left, and I turned to Prabhupada and said, “Prabhupada, that’s amazing, isn’t it?” Prabhupada said, “No, women, they have a natural propensity to serve.” I was thinking it was amazing that she took Prabhupada’s maha-prasada right off of my plate. Somehow or other, she got what all of us were mad after—Prabhupada’s remnants.

One day I was giving class, and I told this story, and after class a devotee boy came up to me and he said, “That’s an amazing story. Can I tell you a sankirtana story?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “We would go out to the villages far from all the cities in Brazil in different places. You have to go by four-wheel drive. One day we were in the rain forest really far away from everywhere, and we found this village and we did our hari-nama. Then we began going door-to-door to distribute books. I went to this one house and knocked on the door, and a woman answered, and I tried to distribute books. As soon as she saw me—I was in dhoti and kurta—she invited me in. I went in and saw that there were pictures of Krishna on the wall and she had an altar with Deities, and I was so surprised. Then I said, “You’re a devotee,” and she said, “Yes, yes. It’s so wonderful to see a devotee here.” And I asked, “How did you become a devotee?” She said, “The first time I met devotees was when I met Prabhupada on an airplane. I was a stewardess.”

So, this was the woman—ten years after she took the maha-prasada. Then she met devotees again and got a book and that was it. That was the beginning of her spiritual life. Just seeing what Prabhupada has done, it’s mind-boggling to understand how Prabhupada has made devotees, and it just goes on and on.