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Remembering Srila Prabhupada - Unless good father, son cannot be good

Unless good father, son cannot be good

Having settled the course of action to be taken against Blitz, Prabhupada turned to Pradyumna prabhu. He asked him if he would like to personally worship the salagrama-sila given by Sampath Kumar, which was still sitting on his desk. He obviously had changed his mind about sending the Lord to the Bombay temple.

Pradyumna was readily agreeable and so Prabhupada gave him some simple instructions. "So we can carry, and every morning just put in a simhasana and tulasi and water and flower and little fruit. That's all." Then turning to the rest of us he said, "He has got tendency to worship."

"He is brahmana, pandita," Gargamuni added.

"Panditji," Prabhupada smiled, calling Pradyumna by his popular sobriquet.

Gargamuni mentioned that Pradyumna was also training his son, Aniruddha, and Prabhupada smilingly added, "Yes, his son will be great pandita. Both of them are devotees -- husband and wife; therefore nice son is born. Yatha bijam yatha yoni. Yoni is the mother, bijam is the father."

Then Prabhupada digressed a little, fondly recalling how his own father, following the advice of his spiritual master, always traveled with salagrama-sila hanging around his neck wrapped in a linen handkerchief. "Yes. So it is safe always, kantha. My father used to carry. Wherever he would stay, ganga-jala, tulasi, decoration; say, half an hour business. My father was a great devotee, yes."

"You dedicated the Krsna book to him," Gopala Krsna recollected.

Srila Prabhupada smiled. "Yes. Because he was a pure Vaisnava. And he wanted me to become like this. He was praying to Radharani. And any saintly person would come, he would simply say, 'Give blessings to my son that he may become a Radharani's servant.' That was my father's prayer. He never prayed that 'My son may become very rich man.' He never prayed like that. Actually, his ardent desire that his son may become a Vaisnava and my Guru Maharaja's training, has put me this position. That I have admitted, later on. What is that word I have given? Hmm? Find out."

Gopala Krsna knew just what Prabhupada meant. He quoted, "Which was later on solidified by my eternal father."

Prabhupada's eyes lit up. "Ahh! Read it."

Gargamuni read Srila Prabhupada's dedication from the front of the Krsna book: "To my father, Gour Mohan De, 1849-1930, pure devotee of Krsna, who raised me as a Krsna conscious child from the beginning of my life. In my boyhood ages he instructed me how to play the mrdanga. He gave me Radha-Krsna vigraha to worship and he gave me Jagannatha Ratha to duly observe the festival as my childhood play. He was kind to me, and I imbibed from him the ideas later on solidified by my spiritual master, the eternal father."

As we expressed our appreciation, Prabhupada's features softened with natural humility and affection. "That is a fact. I got good father and good spiritual master."

Gargamuni contrasted that with our fortune. "We have gotten bad father, but now we have spiritual father."

But Prabhupada didn't agree. "No bad father. Unless good father, son cannot be good. Yatha yoni yatha bijam." He added that his father had never chastised him.

I thought I remembered him saying that his mother was always very strict and I mentioned this.

Prabhupada smiled. "Because he was very lenient; so mother had to be little strict for my education."

As the meeting broke up and everyone filed out, Prabhupada finalized Pradyumna's new duty with him. He told him to buy a small simhasana, a panca-patra waterpot, and some fine linen from which he should make a small dhoti and chadar for the Lord. He was to worship Him with flowers, tulasi and gopi-candana. He referred him to the painting in Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila, where Sri Advaitacarya was depicted worshipping the salagrama-sila, and told him to follow that example.

He instructed Pradyumna, "First thing is that when you take salagrama-seva, wherever you stay, this worship must go on daily. That you cannot stop. One day, if you are sick, your wife will do that. But that half an hour puja must continue. That you must decide. So both of you are initiated. In case you are little sick, your wife will do. In that platform you have to do it. Seva shall not be stopped. Gradually as your son grows, he will also do it."

- From "A Transcendental Diary Vol 4" by HG Hari Sauri Prabhu

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