Speaker: Premanjana Dasa
Source: The Affection of Srila Prabhupada
Haridas Prabhu had the habit of stealing money from the temple; he had a habit for stealing. He used to get money for the deity kitchen, devotee kitchen etc. As a habit, he generally used to steal Rs. 1 or Rs. 2 (in 1972) it used to be a ‘very big thing’ at that time.
There was one such incident that Haridas recalls, “Srila Prabhupada was here as he used to come to Hare Krishna Land. He used to get extra money for buying fruits and vegetables for the deity kitchen and Srila Prabhupada kitchen. So one day when he went for shopping, he saw a huge hoarding (billboard) for Cadbury’s 5-Star chocolate. He bought some chocolate from the money he stole from the ‘laxmi’ he used to get for purchasing vegetables for the kitchen. He stole Rs. 5 from the deity kitchen to off load the fruits and vegetables and went to Srila Prabhupada’s kitchen.
To go up Srila Prabhupada’s kitchen, Haridas had to go through a room in which he would have darshan of Srila Prabhupada. It was ‘Srila Prabhupada’s darshan room’ where He would meet guests and visitors. Haridas Prabhu went through that room to go to Srila Prabhupada’s kitchen and paid obeisances to Srila Prabhupada. As he was doing so, the chocolates hiding within his bead bag, just slipped out and fell right in front of Srila Prabhupada, there was no one else other than Srila Prabhupada and Haridas at that time in that room.
Srila Prabhupada said, “What is this?”
Haridas Prabhu had no means to escape or lie as he was caught red-handed. So he gave one chocolate as bribe to Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada took one bite from the chocolate.
Then Srila Prabhupada said, “What have you given to me?” (Spontaneously)
“Show me the packet. It has coco!” Srila Prabhupada said looking at the ingredients. “We don’t have coco. Why do you eat all this?”
Haridas Prabhu said. “This is sweet.”
Srila Prabhupada kept all that on one side. After this, Haridas Prabhu went to the kitchen to wash fruits and vegetables to keep them in the fridge. Just at that time His Divine Grace entered into the kitchen and made ‘halwa’ by his own hand. He gave him the ‘halwa’ in a bowl to eat.
After having made so much offence and being caught red-handed, Srila Prabhupada gave him ‘halwa’ as the ‘punishment’.
Haridas says, “Srila Prabhupada always gave a higher taste just to help us to give up lower taste”.
Srila Prabhupada always used to give this example if you want someone to not leave ‘guru’ you give Him ‘rasgulla’.
Haridas says, “This is how Srila Prabhupada taught us preaching, He taught by example. Not just by speaking on Krishna.”
After this incident, Haridas Prabhu gave up chocolates at that very moment after having ‘halwa’.