One day in Montreal, during afternoon guest hours a young devotee from
the temple asked me for an appointment to see Srila Prabhupada. I agreed
and told her to come in the late afternoon, as it was his custom to visit
with guests and devotees after his afternoon nap. This girl was an artist,
her name was Madhavi Lata and she had come from New York. She was now living
at the Montreal temple and I assumed she wanted to discuss her paintings
with Srila Prabhupada and ask questions about them, as did Jadurani and
the other artists from time to time. However, her intention was different.
When she came, she began to explain her problem to Srila Prabhupada, and
Srila Prabhupada having difficulty understanding her, called me into the
room. I was working in the kitchen nearby and heard his call: 'Govind Dasi!'
He always pronounced my name with 4 syllables: Govind Dasi, other than
Govinda Dasi. I rushed in and made obeisances and he told me to bring prasadam.
Then he motioned for me to sit down and listen to the discussion. Madhavi
Lata was explaining to Srila Prabhupada that as a brahmacarini at the temple
she was having difficulty being around all the other girls as they were
often dressing and sometimes wearing only slips and cholis while putting
on their saris. She tried to explain to Srila Prabhupada that this was
a great agitation for her and she needed a different living situation.
She was very upset and didn't know what to do. Srila Prabhupada was having
difficulty understanding her problem. Srila Prabhupada was encouraging
her to chant Hare Krsna, read his books and do her wonderful art work.
He inspired her and preached to her and talked to her about Krsna and the
temporary existence in the material world. I sat quietly listening to the
conversation nearby and observing that he was giving her the highest instruction
that was applicable in every case. However, there was clearly a lapse in
communication. Eventually, the girl graciously respected prasadam and left.
Then I sat down in front of Srila Prabhupada's desk and he asked me: 'What
is her problem?' I groped for words, trying to find a way to express it
and finally said: 'Srila Prabhupada, in this country there are some women
who are attracted to other women sexually, not to men. So she is having
this problem living with the other girls and doesn't know what to do about
it'. Srila Prabhupada's eyes grew large and round and he said: 'Oh'. He
saw the whole thing immediately. Then he said in a very surprised tone:
'In India there are some such low-class men but not women, never women'.
His face was full of surprise. I said: 'Yes, Srila Prabhupada, in the West
there are such women also'. Then he leaned back and wagged his head side-to-side,
Indian fashion in a very amused and almost amazed look. 'Just see, this
sex life. Men to men, women to women. Men to women. Sex life is the bondage.
It is all bondage. But, he opened his eyes wide: the sex life between man
and woman can be sanctified by marriage. That is the difference. Krsna
says in the Gita that I am the sex life within marriage. So within marriage
it can be used for having nice Krsna conscious children but not like this.
This is very low class'. Srila Prabhupada you clearly cut through the illusion
of homosexuality, simply and concisely. Never mind arguments one way or
another. You saw it simply as another form of bondage, one that cannot
be sanctified by God or purified within the marriage institution of God.
Nowadays, Western society has begun to aggressively promote homosexuality
but their promotion cannot change the truth. It is simply another form
of bondage in the material world, forcing the soul to take birth after
birth of endless suffering. Unlike us, Srila Prabhupada you never became
swayed by personal likes or dislikes, preferences or passions. You cut
through our illusions with the swift and sure knife of knowledge and irrefutable
truth. Then you stitched the wound with your divine love and instruction:
chant Hare Krsna and be happy. Thank you. Your opinion, Srila Prabhupada
is as valid today and unchanged by time as it was in 1968. All these various
modern trends of society you once commented to me, that nothing is new,
they are all old, these things have been done again and again and Krsna
knows them all. He spoke about them and he deals with each on in the Gita.
Thank you, Srila Prabhupada, for being above everything and being able
to teach us so that we also can see things from the window of spiritual
realization. Thank you, Srila Prabhupada.
- From the 1008 Ways to Remember Srila Prabhupada by Govinda dasi ACBSP