About five or six police cars surrounded the van with guns drawn.
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted December 3, 2006]
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At the Front Line Sankirtan Story

Priyavrata das (ACBSP)

Way 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.

In 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.

Your servant,

Sri Guru and Gauranga
Sri Guru and Gauranga

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