Besides doing paintings for the temple, one of my other daily services was to replenish the water in the dais’ vases of carnations and gladioli. Later that morning, as I poured the old water down the drain, a baby cockroach fell into the sink. Before I could rescue him, he was flushed down the drain — and maybe drowned! I stared blankly at the sink and my heart sank with the realization that I had just killed a living entity. Even though it had merely a cockroach body, still it was a spirit soul, a son of Krsna. I didn’t know what to do, so I ran upstairs to try to explain to Prabhupada what had happened.

“That’s all right,” Prabhupada assured me as he sat calmly behind his desk. “You are in Krsna’s service; He will forgive you.”

* * * *

The next morning I was very embarrassed to find myself falling asleep during Prabhupada’s class, and it seemed to be almost a regular occurrence. It was doubly humiliating when one of the devotees told me that Prabhupada slept only three or four hours a night, working the rest of the night on his Bhagavad-gita translations and commentaries or chanting. So after class I knocked on his door to tell him I didn’t mean to be rude.

“Come on,” he said, as I knocked—in his usual fatherly way.

When I entered his room, I found him sitting on the floor with his back against the wall, his japa beads in hand. He looked regal and serene, and yet so small and humble, as I stood, towering above him. I stuttered my attempt at an apology, “I just came to say that I’m sorry I keep falling asleep in your class. I’m not used to getting up so early.”

Prabhupada waved his hand dismissively as if he were telling me to think nothing of it. “That’s all right, he said, “Krsna will forgive you.”

I prayed that since Krsna was kind enough to forgive me, He might also be kind enough to guide me to improve.

Copyright 2001-2002 Jadurani/Syamarani dasi.
All Rights Reserved.