back when, I was out on Sankirtan with my old friend Amburisa das once
again and Chandra Mali Maharaja, who is now a "Guru-Maharaja" due to a
popularity contest some time ago. However, back in those days we were
somewhat tight as friends. He was a full time Sankirtan Man. In any
event, Chandra Mali, myself, and Amburisa were heading south for the
winter while doing sankirtan, book distribution, etc. The winters at
New Vrindavan are usually very brutal, so this was a great opportunity
for some relief in that respect. Krsna's mercy.
We arrived in Florida after many long days and nights chanting, dancing
and, feasting. Prabhupada used to say, "There is no work in Krsna
consciousness, only chanting, dancing and feasting." So, here we were
in sunny Florida when we decided to stop at a local K-Mart for some
supplies. The parking lot was pretty full so Amburisa decided to do a
little book distribution. Those
who didn't know Amburisa, I have to inform you that he was somewhat of
an eccentric character both physically and mentally.
any event, Chandra Mali and I were walking over to the van, and just
before we opened the door we heard numerous police sirens. About five
or six police cars surrounded the van with guns drawn. Rifles, hand
guns, the whole bit. As we held up our hands in total and complete
shock, they slammed us against the van to perform a body search. They
forced open the doors of the van to search it also, while keeping us
face first up against the van at gun point. Bear in mind that Chandra
Mali always dressed in complete sannyasa garb. While they began to
search the van, they kept screaming, "Where's the guns? Where's the
bombs?" Chandra Mali and I looked at each other in wonder as to what
they were talking about. They were yelling, pushing, shoving, tearing
the van apart. It was like we were written into a script of a
current-day cop show. I'm yelling back, "We're priests, giving out
books!" Of course they paid no attention to my words. Finally we spot
Amburisa being escorted by three or four other cops over to the van.
He's as freaked as we are. They then proceed to tightly handcuff us and
put us all in separate cars down and drive us to the police station.
We were placed in a kind of holding room while the officers explained
to their superiors what had taken place as they showed them some of
Prabhupada's books. After some time, the captain of the police
department came in alone and asked us to sit. As we did,
he amazingly began speaking in a very humble manner, apologizing for
the "misunderstanding" and practically begged our forgiveness. We
instinctively began to preach to him. Because he was mostly embarrassed
but somewhat humbled, he would listen to what we had to say. It was
very cool. Well, that part anyway.
The windup was that Amburisa had approached a woman as he left the van
and she became quite frightened—so much so that she phoned the police
to say that terrorists were in the K-Mart parking lot in a van loaded
with guns and bombs. In any event, we accepted his apology, gave him
some books, picked up our van, which was nicely parked right out front
of the police station, and we returned to our sankirtan journey.