Cow-hooves Clapping

[excerpt from 1008 Ways to Remember Srila Prabhupada, by Govinda das ACBSP]

“While living together with Srila Prabhupada in New Jersey, we would have kirtan, just the four of us or if guests came from New York we would also have kirtans and Srila Prabhupada would talk. He was recovering from the stroke, so he would not give regular lectures as before when we were in New York temple but he was always eager to talk about Krsna to whoever would listen.

So while sitting on the sofa one day, Srila Prabhupada began talking about kirtan, and he began to demonstrate the different ways to play kartals. He taught us the basic ching-ching-chang and other beats as well; we sang “Govinda jaya jaya” and Srila Prabhupada began to play the kartals exactly like the sound of cow-hooves running. I was amazed. Then he showed me how to do it – slowly and carefully so that it is in perfect timing with the regular kirtan; yet it sounds exactly like cow-hooves running across the fields.

Other times he would sit and talk about Krsna, His pastimes in the forest of Vrindavan and his mother and father and friends. Srila Prabhupada would close his eyes and say: “Oh, the cowboys are going to their homes in the evening and tell their mother: “Oh mother, today Krsna has killed one very big demon”. Srila Prabhupada’s eyes would grow big as he said this. “He has saved us from danger”, and then he would smile, “and their mothers are happy and they simply talk of ‘Krsna is so wonderful’. Not that He is God or anything and He is their friend, and Krsna is so wonderful”.

When Srila Prabhupada would talk in this way his eyes would close in a trance-like mood and the atmosphere in the room would become surcharged with spiritual energy. I would forget everything else, and when he stopped talking I would be so happy and all other thoughts and concerns were completely erased by the absorption in the spiritual bliss.

It was like a quick trip to the spiritual world and I loved it. Thus I loved to hear him speak about anything but especially about Goloka. It became the most important thing in my life.”


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