Sivananda Dasa: “Srila Prabhupada told me that he wanted to open a bank account. I took him to the nearest branch of the Hamburger Sparkasse, on Eimsbutteler Chaussee. A young woman attended us, and while she filled out the forms, I tried to get a glimpse of the checks that Prabhupada wanted to deposit. But he held his hand over them the whole time. When he signed, I curiously watched, and it struck me how he moved the pen deliberately and conscientiously, writing his name slowly, one letter after another.
“A few days later, during our walk, we saw the same girl, the bank clerk. Being a brahmacari, I thought that the proper thing to do was to avoid looking at her, especially while walking with my spiritual master. So I ignored her and turned my face to the ground. But Prabhupada cordially nodded to her and greeted her. Then he turned to me and said, ‘That was the lady from the bank.’
“Once, Srila Prabhupada asked me why the German people are so fat. So I thought, ‘It’s probably because they eat a lot of meat,’ but I didn’t feel right saying something about eating meat to Prabhupada. So I replied, ‘Well, Srila Prabhupada, I think they eat a lot of potatoes.’ Now, I am not sure whether or not he could read my mind, or whether he simply knew the reason, but he immediately countered, ‘No, they eat a lot of meat.’
“Another incident gave me the feeling that Srila Prabhupada actually could read my mind. One day we walked near the Christuskirche, a church, and I was thinking about why we become sick. I was meditating on disease and its origins. Maybe it comes because we are in maya or maybe for some other reason. Somehow I couldn’t formulate a question properly, but Srila Prabhupada suddenly stopped walking and said to me right out of the blue, ‘Ninety percent of all sickness is caused by the mind.’
“As his visit came to a close, I sort of apologized to Prabhupada for what I felt had not been a nice experience for him: the inadequate storefront temple, the lack of preaching programs, the cold weather, the few guests and mere handful of inexperienced devotees. But Prabhupada didn’t seem to mind. He simply said, ‘We are doing our preaching work whether there are a lot of devotees or not.'”
From “Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany” by Vedavyasa Dasa
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