By Srutakirti dasa
October 7, 1972, Berkeley, California
One evening, Srila Prabhupada spoke at the University of California in Berkeley, the heart of the hippie capital. The San Francisco devotees enthusiastically received him and relished his lecture. They prepared barrels of popcorn and distributed it following Srila Prabhupada’s lecture.
“What is that?” His Divine Grace asked.
“Popcorn, Srila Prabhupada,” Jayananda explained. “Would you like some?”
“Yes, give me some,” Srila Prabhupada said.
The devotees gave him popcorn which was being distributed in little bags printed with the Hare Krsna mantra. Srila Prabhupada ate the fluffy, spiced kernels with great relish.
“Oh, this is nice,” Srila Prabhupada told them.
All the devotees, especially those who had cooked and distributed the prasadam, felt so much pleasure. Now they were certain their offering had been accepted and their lives were successful. When Srila Prabhupada finished eating the popcorn, he endeared himself to all the Vaisnavas present by contentedly leaving his hand in the little popcorn bag. It was sweet. All the devotee’s attention focused on every movement of Srila Prabhupada. The childlike actions of His Divine Grace continued to enthuse the hearts of the devotees.
Overjoyed, the devotees then performed Hare Nama Sankirtan on Telegraph Avenue, a place famous for its hippie inhabitants. On the way home, Srila Prabhupada continued to enthuse the devotees by slowly driving past the sankirtan party. They energetically chanted and danced being encouraged by Srila Prabhupada’s present supervision.
The next night Srila Prabhupada had another preaching engagement. This time the devotees brought Srila Prabhupada popcorn and offered it to him.
“No, I am old,” Srila Prabhupada said. “I cannot do things like that very often. It is good, but it is very difficult for me to digest.” He refused saying, ” It is very good. I like it.”
Jai Srila Prabhupada!