[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, U.K. 1996 (Radlett, 23 May), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]

Have all your questions been answered? I think most of them have been answered.

Devotee: Maharaja, I want to ask this question humbly. You just said, “Why waste time in teaching not to take eggs and intoxication.” So, why did Prabhupada seem to think that it was very necessary to this day and age? He seemed to think it was very necessary to preach these particular things over and over again.

Devotee 2: Maharaja’s statement refers to those who have already accepted devotional services and heard these things already.

Srila Gurudeva: This is where misguidance comes.

Devotee 3: Maharaja lives in Mathura and Vrndavana. People there don’t eat meat and eggs.

Devotee: When you initiate Western devotees here..

Srila Gurudeva: I have already stated these rules and regulations. These instructions will surely be given to those who are beginners, because these prohibitions serve as the platform of bhakti. But there is no use of speaking on these prohibitions in Vrndavana. The residents there are above these prohibitions; they already have spontaneous love and affection for Krsna and Srimati Radhika. They don’t tell Krsna’s name. Instead, they say, “Radhe Radhe, Radhe Radhe.”

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: The sweeper will stand at your doorstep and say, “Radhe Radhe.”

Srila Gurudeva: I think they are superior to me. I often do parikrama of the Radha-Damodara temple in Vrndavana. Have you been to the Radha-Damodara temple? Prabhupada used to live here for many years. Once, when I was doing parikrama of the temple, it was mid-day and I was alone. The time was about eleven. A lady was also doing parikrama in front of me.

As she did parikrama, she would weep and say, “Oh Radhe! Oh Radhe!” when she chanted Srimati Radhika’s name, tears continuously flowed from her eyes. Except for me, no one saw her crying. Her tears were not an artificial display. I took the dust of that lady’s feet and told her, “You are so fortunate. Although I give lectures and you don’t; your devotion is superior to mine. I will have to take many births to be like you.”

So, the devotion of the Vrajavasis is very exalted. In Mathura, the residents invite me to their homes very honorably. But when I go and see their kirtans and the moods of their kirtans represented by their tears, I become astonished. Seeing them, I think, “They are above me.” Hence, I give them much honor. Without their knowledge, I would steal their footdust. Daily, I go all over Vraja and take the dust of all the places I visit. How can a common person know all my feelings? I don’t want to express all my feelings.

Devotee: I have another question.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Devotee: Again, this can be more propaganda. I heard from the masses that when all the big devotees of ISKCON were coming to you like Tamala Krsna Maharaja, Sivarama Maharaja, and so many others, so some were saying that you were giving them their svarupa and giving them a gopi name.

Srila Gurudeva: This is quite false. I have never given this to anyone; anyone cannot prove me otherwise. This is quite false and ridiculous as I have told you before. Can anyone say that I have given them gopi names and their siddha-deha? There can be nothing more absurd and false than this.

[Laughter]

Devotee 2: They are trying to discredit you.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: They are collecting many offenses.

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