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40 : Haraye Namaḥ Kṛṣṇa

ISKCON London, Bury Place, circa 1976. Another long, busy, blissful day in Kṛṣṇa’s service is over. Three or four devotees sit on the floor of the underground prasāda room, sipping their late-night nectar, Rādhā–London-īśvara’s hot milk remnants. As ever, twenty hours a day Śrīla Prabhupāda’s voice reverberates from the adjacent kitchen, a tiny cubicle that constantly turns out amazing preparations never heard of or imagined within the three worlds. Prabhupāda is singing “Haraye Namaḥ Kṛṣṇa” in a voice strained with emotion. We have heard this tape many times before. But somehow or other this time all of us become struck by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s intensity. We stop talking and listen in silence. As Prabhupāda’s voice cracks and he cries, we look at each other in awe and humility. We wonder, “Who is this great personality who is our spiritual master?”

Some years later a Godbrother from London told me how the same tape had sustained his life. Sitting in Nairobi, serving as a matter of duty in difficult circumstances, he was proofreading a book in Swahili, a language he had no knowledge of. As he struggled with Swahili and his mind, his only solace was hearing that cassette over and over again, hour after hour, day after day.

tāṅdera caraṇa sevi bhakta-sane vāsa
janame janame hoy ei abhilāṣa