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I was always thinking of my Guru Maharaja, that "I met a very nice sadhu." Although I was doing business, I never forgot him

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Expressions researched:
"I met a very nice sadhu" |"I met a very nice saintly person"

Lectures

Festival Lectures

So I was at that time a fool, but I opined like this. And I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart. That was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I left Calcutta on my business tour. And I made my headquarter at Allahabad. Allahabad is about five hundred miles from Calcutta. So I was thinking that "I met a very nice saintly person." That was my thinking always.
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Disappearance Day, Lecture -- Los Angeles, December 13, 1973:

Prabhupāda: So anyway, it was Kṛṣṇa's grace. I would not go, but their point of view was that unless I certify that sādhu, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, he'll not be accepted. Therefore he dragged me. So I went to see Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura on that day. On the first meeting, just we offer our obeisances. It is the practice. So immediately he began his talking that "You are all educated young men. Why don't you take up Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult and preach all over the English knowing public? Why don't you take up this matter?" So I argued with him in so many... At that time I was nationalist. So I told that "Who will accept our message? We are dependent nation. Nobody will care." In this way, in my own way, in these younger days... But we belonged to the Vaiṣṇava family, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda, Rādhā-Govinda. That is our worshipable Deity. So I was very glad that "Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa cult, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult, this sādhu is trying to preach. It is very nice."

So at that time we had some talks, and of course I was defeated by his argument, my argument. (laughter) And then, when we came out, we were offered prasādam, very nice treatment, the Gauḍīya Matha. And when I came out on the street, this my friend asked me, "What is your opinion of this sādhu?" Then I said that "Here is the right person who has taken up Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's message, and now it will be distributed."

Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupāda: So I was at that time a fool, but I opined like this. And I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart. That was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I left Calcutta on my business tour. And I made my headquarter at Allahabad. Allahabad is about five hundred miles from Calcutta. So I was thinking that "I met a very nice saintly person." That was my thinking always.

So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Mahārāja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 because in 1923 I left Calcutta. I started my business at Allahabad. So I was always thinking of my Guru Mahārāja, that "I met a very nice sādhu." Although I was doing business, I never forgot him.
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Disappearance Day, Lecture -- Hyderabad, December 10, 1976:

So 1922 I met my Guru Mahārāja through the exigency of my intimate friend, Mr. Narendranath Mullik. And I would not go. He told me information, "There is a nice sādhu. Let us go and see." I did not like very much these sādhus in those days, national spirit. So I said, "I have seen many sādhus. They come at my father's care. I was not very much pleased with their behavior." So he dragged me forcibly: "No, I have heard this person is very exalted." So I went. And his first opening version was that "You are educated young men. Why don't you preach Caitanya Mahāprabhu's gospel in the Western countries?" I did not know. So this was his blessing in the first meeting. I did not know, but because we belonged to a Vaiṣṇava family we were very much worshiper of Lord Caitanya and Nityānanda, our family Deity. So I was very much pleased that "Here is a personality who is going to preach Caitanya Mahāprabhu's gospel." I was very much pleased.

So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Mahārāja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 because in 1923 I left Calcutta. I started my business at Allahabad. So I was always thinking of my Guru Mahārāja, that "I met a very nice sādhu." Although I was doing business, I never forgot him. Then, in 1928, these Gauḍīya Maṭha people came to Allahabad during Kumbhamelā. As the Kumbhamelā is going to be held this year, a similar big Kumbhamelā was held in 1928. In those days they came to open their branch in Allahabad, and somebody recommended that "You go to..." At that time I was running on my big pharmacy and I was very well known man in Allahabad as the proprietor of the pharmacy. So somebody recommended them that "You go to Abhaya Babu. He is a very religious man. He'll help you." So when they entered my shop I was very much pleased that "These men I met in 1922, and now they have come." In this way I became reconnected. And in 1933 I was officially initiated, and my only qualification was when I was introduced to my Guru Mahārāja for initiation, so Guru Mahārāja immediately said, "Yes, I shall initiate this boy. He is very nice. He hears me very patiently. He does not go away." So that was my qualification. The high standard of philosophy which he was speaking at that time, practically I could not follow what was, he was speaking, but still, I liked to hear him. That was my hobby. Whenever... I was asking that "When Guru Mahārāja will speak?" So he took it very seriously.

So all the disciples of Guru Mahārāja, they approached my shop, my store, drug store. And because I was thinking of them, so I thought, "Oh, here is the men." You see? You see? I was very glad—"So they have come again"—because I was separated from them in 1923, and again I saw them in 1928 after five years, and I was thinking of Guru Mahārāja simply in this way, "Oh, I met a very nice saintly person. Very nice saintly person. If I can see him again?" Like that.
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Appearance Day, Lecture -- Los Angeles, February 7, 1969:

I talked with him in so many ways: "Who will hear your Caitanya's message? We are dependent country." At that time I was Gandhi's devotee. In 1920 I gave up my educational career and joined this Congress Movement. Because Gandhi's program was to boycott the university education and the British law court, so we took this opportunity and gave up education. You see? (chuckles) So then Dr. Bose, he was my father's friend. So he asked, "What this Abhaya is doing?" And my sister told him, "Oh, he has appeared in the B.A. examination, but he is not doing anything." So Dr. Bose was my father's friend. So he appointed me the manager of his laboratory. I did not know anything; still, he appointed me. So that was in 1921. In 1920 I gave up my education. Of course, I was married in 1918, and I got my first child in 1921. So in 1922, when I saw my Guru Mahārāja and when I was convinced about his argument and mode of presentation, I was so much struck with wonder. I could understand that "Here is the proper person who can give real religious idea." That I appreciated at that time. And at that time I thought, "This great personality is asking me to preach. I would have immediately joined, but now I am married. It will be injustice." Of course, I thought like that, in that way. Of course, Guru Mahārāja did not say anything, that "You give up your family life." No, never said. He simply gave the idea. So I thought that "It would have been better if I was not married." Anyway, then, 1923, I left Calcutta on my business, and I established my headquarter at Allahabad. So all the days I was thinking of this, "Oh, I saw a very nice saintly person. But I am now off from Calcutta." So I was thinking like that. Practically he initiated me because I was thinking of..., always.

Then, in 1928, there was a big fair which is called Kumbhamelā. At that time I was doing business in Allahabad. My business was very flourishing. It was well-known drug shop. So the persons who went to organize our Gauḍīya Maṭha's camp in that fair, somebody has told that "Here is a Bengali gentleman's business. You can go, and he is very religious man. He will help." So all the disciples of Guru Mahārāja, they approached my shop, my store, drug store. And because I was thinking of them, so I thought, "Oh, here is the men." You see? You see? I was very glad—"So they have come again"—because I was separated from them in 1923, and again I saw them in 1928 after five years, and I was thinking of Guru Mahārāja simply in this way, "Oh, I met a very nice saintly person. Very nice saintly person. If I can see him again?" Like that. So in this way, with my help, the Allahabad center of Gauḍīya Maṭha was established. Then I was initiated in 1933. In 1933.

In 1923, I left Calcutta on business account, and I started my business at Allahabad. But I was always thinking of my Guru Mahārāja, although I was that time not initiated. But the impression was there. I was thinking, "I met a very nice saintly person." So in this way, I passed from 1923 to 1928.
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Appearance Day, Evening -- Gorakhpur, February 15, 1971:

So I was trained up in this line, but in my youthful age, when I was college student, gradually, by their bad association or something, gradually, I lost my activities. But when this friend, Mr. Mullik, took me to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he immediately asked me that, "You are educated young boys. Why don't you take up Lord Caitanya's message and preach in the Western world?" In the very first sight, he told me. At that time, I argued with him that "We are dependent nation, and who is going to hear about our message?" So he defeated my argument. (aside:) There is no necessity of closing. Yes. He defeated my argument. He was learned scholar. What I was? I was still boy. So I agreed (chuckles) that I was defeated. So after finishing our visit with Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, I got some impression that "Here is a person who has taken Lord Caitanya's message very seriously. Now it will be preached." My friend asked my opinion, that "What is your opinion?" So I gave this opinion, that "Here is a person who has taken Lord Caitanya's movement very seriously, and now it will be preached."

So that was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I left Calcutta on business account, and I started my business at Allahabad. But I was always thinking of my Guru Mahārāja, although I was that time not initiated. But the impression was there. I was thinking, "I met a very nice saintly person." So in this way, I passed from 1923 to 1928, I think. Then during Kumbhamelā... (child making noise) Stop that noise he's making. In 1928 my Guru Mahārāja, along with other disciples, came to Allahabad for starting their branch there. So some gentlemen known to me might have told them that "The proprietor of such and such business, Prayāga Pharmacy, he's a very nice gentleman. He can help you in so many ways." So they came to me, and I saw the same saintly persons whom I met 1922. I was very glad to receive. In this way, my connection was more intimate with my Guru Mahārāja. And in 1936, or 1933, I was initiated officially, although I was initiated 1922. But officially, I was initiated in 1933, although from 1922 to 1933 I was always thinking of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.