swami bhaktivedanta history

How Swamiji Became Prabhupada.

by Govinda Dasi

A significant thing that happened in Boston was that Swamiji became Srila Prabhupada. Gaurasundar was studying various forms of address in Sanskrit and he learned that “ji” is an affectionate form of address, which was news to us. I was sitting in Srila Prabhupada’s room taking dictation, as I often did, and Gaurasundar, at the doorway, said, “Swamiji, is it okay if I call Govinda dasi ‘Govindaji’?” Swamiji said, “No, ‘ji’ is a third-class form of address. You should not.” I said, “Why are we calling you Swamiji if it’s a third-class form of address?” He said, “It is not very important.” I said, “No, it is very important. What is the best thing we can call you?” Swamiji said, “You could call me Gurudeva or Guru Maharaj or Srila Prabhupada.” I said, “Which of those three is best?” and Swamiji said, “Srila Prabhupada is nice.” I said, “Okay,” and told all the devotees. From that day he was no longer Swamiji but Srila Prabhupada.

(Memories of Srila Prabhupada)

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