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21 : Prabhupāda Thought Small

Everyone knows that Śrīla Prabhupāda thought big: “Take over the world with Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” But Prabhupāda also thought small. He did not like over-centralization or top-heavy management. When he saw devotees in Hawaii living simply on the land and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, he told them to go on like that. He said that there was no need to construct a big temple, or for any other grandiose plans.

Small is beautiful. Kṛṣṇa is the master of multi-universes, but in His original feature He prefers to live as a simple village boy. Similarly, Śrīla Prabhupāda had all the glory of a great world ācārya but was happy to sit with a few devotees and discuss about Kṛṣṇa or chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda!

Śrīla Prabhupāda worked hard and traveled constantly to establish Kṛṣṇa consciousness and impart his vision to others. Even though he was so busy traveling, preaching, translating, managing, and overseeing his disciples, still he would sometimes cook or listen to a reading of his books. Somehow or other he sometimes found time to sit and sing a bhajana, or to give personal attention to a lesser-known disciple. Sometimes he would speak with his disciples in a relaxed manner, joking and laughing with them. Although having become a great world guru, Prabhupāda was still always very personal and never lost his natural appreciation for the simple, basic activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.