1. In Delhi, Srila Prabhupada meets a Sikh

    Rajasekhara Prabhu recalls:

    That particular afternoon, a few visitors came and went then at around 6 P.M., a Sikh gentleman came to see Srila Prabhupada, bringing along with his wife and two young children. He had been regularly visiting the temple for a number of months and was very eager to meet Srila Prabhupada. He entered the room and sat before Srila Prabhupada, who warmly greeted him and they began discussing various topics.

    Srila Prabhupada had been talking in a very friendly and intimate way with the Sikh gentleman, and also shared a few laughs. Suddenly Srila Prabhupada asked him in a nonchalant sort of way, “So what do you think, this married life is simply full of suffering.” The Sikh gentleman was completely taken aback and utterly surprised by Srila Prabhupada’s question. After stuttering to find an answer for a few moments, he replied saying that it was a matter of doing one’s duty. Srila Prabhupada said, “Yes, duty is there, but it is simply suffering, don’t you agree?”

    I could see that the Sikh gentleman was feeling uncomfortable and perhaps somewhat embarrassed by such direct questioning, especially as he was sitting there with his wife and children; once again he tried to avoid giving a straight answer, replying instead that there were many things in life that were unpleasant, but out of duty we must do them. There was a momentary pause as Srila Prabhupada looked at the Sikh gentleman and everyone was wondering what Srila Prabhupada would say next. The tension in the room was palpable as the exchange took place because the Sikh gentleman was deliberately avoiding a direct answer. The entire room became silent and one could have heard a pin drop. Srila Prabhupada was obviously not satisfied by the Sikh gentleman’s answer and once again posed the same question saying, “Doing your prescribed duty to your family is one thing, but do you admit that it is simply suffering?”

    Realizing that there was no escaping Srila Prabhupada’s questions, the Sikh gentleman went momentarily silent as he looked into Srila Prabhupada’s eyes. Then, heaving a huge sigh of relief said, “Yes Srila Prabhupada, it is true, family life is full of suffering.” The tension suddenly dissipated and Srila Prabhupada was extremely happy that the Sikh gentleman was honest enough to admit the factual truth. Even the devotees in the room felt relieved; it was as if every single person in the room was being directly asked the same question. The great illusion of so-called happiness in family life lay shattered and the Sikh gentleman’s vision on life had been completely changed forever.

    Rajasekhara Dasa Brahmachari. Glory of India: History of The Hare Krishna Movement in Delhi, p. 98-99