Prabhupada was teaching me a lesson Balabhadra: In 1975, when Srila Prabhupada again came to Hawaii we went to the airport to greet him. Then we went back to the temple and had darshan. He spoke to all of the devotees until it was time for him to have his massage. As the devotees were leaving, Sudama grabbed me and said, "Massage Prabhupada." My heart skipped a few beats. I said, "Massage Prabhupada?" I thought he was kidding. Sudama said, "Prabhupada is ready for his massage, and he needs somebody to massage him. I would like you to please give Prabhupada a massage. You have strong hands." Krishna had given me a strong physique.

I was petrified. I put on a gumsha and went into Prabhupada's room. Srila Prabhupada indicated to me how he wanted his massage. He wanted his head massaged very vigorously for a long time. For his chest and back, I knelt in front of him and went up and down on his chest. Now, when you push on somebody, you can feel him resist you, but this was not the case with Srila Prabhupada. I was kneeling in front of him and going up and down on his chest, but I couldn’t budge him. Yet there was no resistance whatsoever. For about fifteen minutes, I massaged his chest, and he kept saying, "Harder." I was giving everything I had. His eyes were closed, and he kept saying, "Harder." Yet there was no resistance coming from him at all. I was completely devastated because I had been thinking, "I'm so strong.' Prabhupada was teaching me a lesson. Here was this "old man" who was like a boulder that I couldn't budge.

The same thing happened when I massaged his back. He kept saying, "Harder." His skin was as soft as velvet, yet he was so solid, sitting there with his eyes closed. It was no big deal for him. At the end of the massage, he stood up, put his finger on his leg, and said, "Too much oil." And that was that. I learned that the spiritual master is the strongest, and I should humbly follow in his footsteps.

Chewing the chewed

 Balabhadra: We came back from town through sugarcane fields. Srila Prabhupada said, "Pull over here. Go and pick that tall sugarcane." We picked that sugarcane, which was about ten feet tall, and when we got back to the temple, Srila Prabhupada changed from his dhoti into a gumsha.

On one page of one of the Vyasa-puja books, there are four small pictures of Srila Prabhupada sitting on a big plantation chair eating sugarcane. What you can't see in the picture is that we're all sitting at his lotus feet.

He said, "If you're trying to enjoy in the material world, it's like chewing the chewed. After the juice has been sucked out of the sugarcane, there is nothing left, there is no sweetness." However, after Srila Prabhupada chewed the sugarcane and discarded it, we scrambled for it and found that it was still sweet. We wondered about Prabhupada's sugarcane analogy, but we concluded that because the sugarcane was coming from Srila Prabhupada's lotus lips, its sweetness had become magnified.

Prabhupada was just like a little boy happily chewing sugarcane, and we all got special mercy.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare