The Chief Pujari of ISKCON, Vrindavan and the Pope are in a meeting in Rome. The Pujari notices an unusually fancy phone on a side table in the Pope’s private chambers.
“What is that phone for?” he asks the pontiff.
“It’s my direct line to the Lord!”
The Pujari is skeptical, and the Pope notices. The Holy Father insists that the Pujari try it out for himself, and, indeed, he is connected to the Lord. The Pujari holds a lengthy discussion with Him. After hanging up, the Pujari says, “Thank you very much. This is great! But listen, I want to pay for my phone charges.”
The Pope, of course refuses, but the Pujari is steadfast and finally, the pontiff gives in. He checks the counter on the phone and says, “Alright! The charges were 1000,000 Lira. ($560)
The Chief Pujari gladly hands over a packet of bills. A few months later, the Pope is in Vrindavan, India on an official visit. In the Chief Pujari’s chambers, he sees a phone identical to his and learns it also is a direct line to the Lord. The Pope remembers he has an urgent matter that requires divine consultation and asks if he can use the Pujari’s phone. The Pujari gladly agrees, hands him the phone, and the Pope chats away.
After hanging up, the Pope offers to pay for the phone charges. This time, the Chief Pujari refuses to accept payment. After the Pope insists, the Pujari relents and looks on the phone counter and says: “Rs 10.00 !” ($0.25).
The Pope looks surprised: “Why so cheap!?”
The Pujari smiles: “Because it’s a Local call.”