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Srila Prabhupada did give me his mercy

Ameyatma Dasa: It was about 2 days before his arrival. A devotee had been working for weeks on making a new asana (seat) for the garden, but the seat wasn't going to be done by the time Prabhupada arrived. Nara Narayan was in charge of the art department in L.A. He called me over and said, "Hey, Ameyatma, you have been asking to be allowed to do some art work for a long time, well, here is your chance. Prabhupada will be arriving in 2 days and his asana in the garden isn't complete yet." Nara Narayan had another devotee put together a large 3' foot square by about 18" high wooden box. He showed me the box that was being painted white and told me, "Here, paint something 'artistic' on it." He said that Prabhupada will sit on that box for a few days until the asana is completed. "What should I paint?" Nara Narayan had lots to do, so he said, "You want to be an artist, you figure out something artistic." So, he handed me a box of acrylic artists paints, which I had never used before. After some thought I decided to paint a cow surrounded by flowers. I don't know if it was proper to have Srila Prabhupada sitting on a cow, since the cow is one's mother. But, Prabhupada didn't object.

The cow I painted was sitting and I put flowers along the sides. I left the top white thinking it would be covered. Nara Narayan liked the cow and told me to add something to the top since they would put just a small pillow on top for him to sit on. I had been studying the Vedas for years before I joined the temple and I had previously seen and drawn lotus mandalas - a mechanical looking depiction of the lotus. So, I painted a lotus mandala on the top. I completed it the day Srila Prabhupada arrived and only hours before he was to go out to the garden to meet with some devotees. The paint had just dried. Nara Narayan came in to take it to the garden and saw the design on top for the first time. He starred down at it and loudly asked, "What is that???" "It's a lotus design." I said. Nara Narayan said it was horrible. He said it didn't look like any lotus flower he had ever seen. He said he could not have Prabhupada see it. He knew Srila Prabhupada would not like it. There was no time to repaint it, so he ordered a devotee to run and find a cloth to cover it over.

They took the seat away and I went off to do my other duties. A few hours later, Nara Narayan came looking for me. With big eyes and lots of excitement he said, "Ameyatma, you won't believe what just happened in the garden. Srila Prabhupada has given you his mercy." He told me that when Srila Prabhupada first walked into the garden and saw the cow on the box he was very pleased. Then he went to sit down, but just before he did he lifted the cloth that was covering the top. Nara Narayan told me at that point he was thinking that Prabhupada would object to the painting of the lotus mandala I made and would make some complaint. But to Nara Narayan's great surprise, Srila Prabhupada said, "Oh, very nice, why have they covered this?" Then he sat down. Nara Narayan said that again Prabhupada lifted his knee and lifted the cloth and looked at the top very approvingly. Then he asked Nara Narayan, "Who has painted this?" Nara Narayan told him a new devotee named Ameyatma Das. Prabhupada said, "Oh very nice, tell him he has done very nicely." So as soon as their meeting was over, Nara Narayan came running to tell me what had happened and what Prabhupada said. Even though I never got to have Prabhupada's darshan in the garden personally, he did give me his mercy there. Srila Prabhupada was so kind.

Reference: Facebook post of Amerendra Dasa