Mystic Bard Droppings

Prabhupada stopped beneath a large tree and pointed to some bird droppings on the ground. “What does this mean?” he asked, turning to a new boy who stood beside him. Prabhupada’s face was serious. The boy blushed. “I… uh… I don’t know what it means.”

Prabhupada remained thoughtful, waiting for an explanation. The devotees gathered around him. Looking intently down at the bird droppings, the boy thought the Swami might be expecting him to decipher some hidden meaning in the pattern of the droppings, the way people read the future in tea leaves. He felt he should say something: “It’s the… uh… excreta, the defecations of… uh… birds.”

Prabhupada smiled and turned toward the others for an answer. They were silent.

“It means,” said Prabhupada, “that these birds [he pronounced the word “bards”] have lived in the same tree for more than two weeks.” He laughed. “Even the birds are attached to their apartments.”

(from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta)


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