In Juhu Srila Prabhupada would go on the roof in the evening and give darshan. One evening there were five or ten devotees around him, and a few Indian guests, including a famous movie star and his wife. Somebody had brought mangoes for Prabhupada, and at one point he called for a knife and told a devotee to cut a mango and distribute it as prasada. So a brahmacari got a knife and sliced the mango, but it was dripping juice all over—it was a mess.
“You cannot cut it?” Prabhupada asked.
“The knife is not very sharp,” the brahmacari replied.
“That is not the way to cut it,” the movie star’s wife interjected. “Give it to me.”
“Yes,” Prabhupada agreed. “You do not know how to cut. One who knows, let him cut.”
So, the woman took the mango, cut it into two neat halves and scored the flesh into crisscrossed cubes. Then she popped the insides out, and it was a simple matter to pick the cubes off the peel.
Prabhupada laughed at how expertly and neatly she had done it. “Just see,” he said, “even for cutting a mango, one requires a guru. ” Then he quoted from the Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.12): “Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet”—“To learn the science one must certainly approach a spiritual master.” The guests and devotees all laughed, and Prabhupada told the brahmacari to distribute the prasada, one piece to everyone.
“Everything requires a guru,” Prabhupada repeated. “Otherwise one remains a fool, rascal—that’s all. In every item you require a guru. And to understand Krishna, or God, everyone thinks they are independent. Just see the foolishness. Yata mata tata patha. ‘Ah, you consider about God in your own way. It doesn’t require any guru.’ This foolishness is going on. For cutting a mango one requires a guru, and to understand Krishna, he doesn’t require a guru. This foolishness is going on. And Krishna says,
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti tad jnanam
[“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”] Krishna says you have to understand like this. But everyone is thinking, ‘Why shall I go to guru?’ ”
Prabhupada saw everything in the light of Krishna consciousness, and he shared his vision with others—to their great delight.
Yours in service,