Nectar from Chowpatty

Radha Gopinath Mandir

Hare Krsna Prabhus,

Radha Gopinath Mandir had a very special guest and visitor during the Pune yatra, H.G. Durgama Prabhu, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada since the early 1970s. During his three-week stay in Mumbai, he inspired all the devotees with his steady and determined book distribution everyday. His day started immediately after the morning Bhagavatam class, when he would be seen at the book godown, filling his bag with many books. At 1.30 p.m. he would be back for lunch and at 2.00 p.m. he was out again. Devotees were amazed to see that despite his advancing age and the unfamiliarity of Indian streets, he had an untiring zest for going out and reaching to the conditioned souls. In Italy, he could easily pick up a conversation with a stranger because of the familiar culture and language. But in India, we felt he would get lost in huge unfamiliar crowds. However, he was at home meeting the simple Gujarati housewives, unsophisticated police constables, pot-bellied 'bhaiyas' selling pani-puris at the beach and even young children racing off from school. One couldn't miss his attractive smiling visage as he greeted all with a warm 'Hare Krishna'. H.G. Narottama Prabhu, who had the opportunity to be out with him on a few occasions, was enthralled seeing his contagious enthusiasm. "It was difficult to keep pace with him", recollects Narottama, "Just when I thought that the heat of Mumbai has caught up with him, he would, in all defiance, run to a stranger across the street and greet him with a resounding "Hare Krishna." Invariably, every time he did that, the apparent stranger would smile back and instantly strike a conversation as if with an old friend. Usually, the man would leave with a Bhagavad Gita or some small book, feeling happy about it all."

H.G. Nityananda Prabhu too accompanied him once, and was deeply touched by H.G. Durgama Prabhu's humility and genuineness. He reveals, " We went to the nearby residential colony and chawl. Believe it or not, in each house, people were polite and courteous to us. This was unusual for me because I would, on my own, rarely attract sympathy from these people for disturbing their afternoon siesta (nap). However, Durgama Prabhu was most endearing to all, and in a few houses, we were even invited for lunch. I still cherish those sweet dealings of Durgama Prabhu with people, whom we conveniently brand as 'karmis' and 'sense gratifiers'." Durgama Prabhu made a startling revelation. " In my last 32 years of Krishna Consciousness in the movement, I have not met any envious blasphemers." We realized soon what he really meant. Since he is kind to all and refuses to be intimidated by anyone, he never meets with opposition. Even the most diehard person confronting him, at the most, leaves with only a gentle refusal for a book offered.

He was incidentally the top book distributor for the month of March 2002. And he topped it all with an interesting confession. " Yes, there have been those occasional moments in the past when going out has been difficult. However, just forcing oneself to be enthusiastic pays off rich dividends. At such times, Krishna is more Merciful and fills our heart with so much more joy and contentment. I have no other desire but to continue on serving my beloved spiritual master, by distributing his books till the last breath of my life."

Durgama Prabhu Ki Jaya!!!

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