Q&As: Dr. Patel
14 November 2008

November 14 2008

This one’s from Bhaktin Natalya in the CIS: 

 “In the Transcendental Diary you told about Shrila Prabhupada meetings with Dr. Patel in Bombay.

 Srila Prabhupada and Dr. Patel on Juhu beach

He received so much association with Shrila Prabhupada. Did he become a devotee? Did he write a manual book on Sanskrit as Shrila Prabhupada advised?”

 Dr. Patel did indeed become a devotee, at least in spirit. I don’t think he ever chanted any rounds, but he was certainly following the 4 regs. and he accept Srila Prabhupada as his siksa guru:

[TD 1] December 20 1975 – Bombay

As we walked back to greet Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari, the sound of children’s voices singing traditional Hindi songs loudly rang out from the playground of the junior school across the road. This scene reinforced the point that Srila Prabhupada emphasized during the morning walk — everyone must learn from another qualified authority.
Dr. Patel said, “Guru is necessity right from the birth. The first guru is the mother.”
Prabhupada answered, “And these rascals, they preach like that: ‘There is no need of guru.'”
“They are rascals, Sir.”
“Yes,” Prabhupada agreed. “Simply rascals. Rascal means he does not know the thing and he still preaches. That’s a rascal. Guru must be there. There are many, they say like that, ‘There is no need of guru.'”
When one visitor asked if some effort was required to obtain a guru, Prabhupada gave his confirmation. “Yes. Therefore Krsna says,
tad viddhi pranipatena. Pranipat means you have to surrender. When you submit somewhere, you must test and then submit. That is sad-guru.
“They say, sir,” Dr. Patel said, “that if you are very sincere then the
sad-guru comes automatically to you … as you have come to us.”
Prabhupada answered, “Yes. Because Krsna is there. If He sees somebody is actually serious to understand Him…. Therefore Dhruva Maharaja, he did not make any guru, but with fervent desire he went, ‘Yes, I shall find out Krsna.’ Mother said, ‘Krsna can be found in the forest.’ He went to the forest and began according to his own way. Then Krsna sent Narada Muni: ‘This boy is very serious; go and give him real mantra.’ That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
guru krsna krpaya paya bhakti lata bija. Two things required, guru and Krsna.”

The incident about the sanskrit grammar book occured on April 14 1976 on Prabhupada’s daily walk along Juhu beach:

[TD 1] Regarding Dr. Patel’s suggestion for learning Sanskrit, Prabhupada concluded that if a student is serious he can learn simply from reading his books, because in them he has given the word meanings. After studying a few sentences one can understand the verb, the subject, object, and so forth. Prabhupada told Dr. Patel that if he would have had more time he would have made a Sanskrit grammar based on Bhagavad-gita, but now he is too busy. He suggested Dr. Patel do it, since he knows both Sanskrit and English. “You can do that. People will read it, Bhagavad-gita grammar. On the Bhagavad-gita teach them grammar. Just like Jiva Gosvami compiled Hari-namamrta-vyakarana, similarly, you write. You have the knowledge of Sanskrit, and through English, [teach it using] Bhagavad-gita grammar. People will take it.”

As far as I know Dr. Patel never did it, but I am informed that there is now a book of Sanskrit grammar based on the Bhagavad-gita written by one of our ISKCON devotees (my apologies for not knowing who that is).

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