Lokavarnatamma Prabhu and the Power of Persuasion

By Srila Jiva Goswami dasa

Different Devotees manifest different miraculous potencies. Devotees who exhibit yoga seem to me either not aware You are flying, floating, appearing in more than one place simultaneously, or You take it as normal behavior.

An example of this latter circumstance is the gift of superb Powers of Persuasion, regularly manifested by the owner of the beautiful name: Loka Vahrna Tama Prabhu. This week I offer a few examples of Loka displaying that facility.

It was a warm, quiet afternoon one day at the Simply Wonderful Restaurant in Columbus. On High Street, cars moved back and forth like blue, red and green rays of light.

Business was slow, that summer day. I was looking at the steam table, particularly at the stainless steel tray which was filled with Lord Caitanya’s Remnants in the form of Chakra Pani’s fabulous Cauliflower Pakoras.

It was beginning to look like time for a mid day break. The sandwich, drink and salad bars were stocked. The serving line was clean. Across High Street, on the lawn of Ohio State, Chakra Pani sat in the Lotus Position, as he did at the same time every day. He was reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books.

Loka appeared, wearing a kurta and a pair of dungarees. “I’m going out to drum up a little business,” he announced, as he wiped his hands in his heavy kitchen apron, untied it and tossed it to me.

“Go ahead,” I called. I didn’t see how anything was to be done which would generate customers. I was swimming in Pakoras.

The front door opened, Loka stepped out and ushered a couple directly in. The new comers came along the chute formed between the beautiful lattice and the right hand wall. When they turned the corner and saw me waiting to serve them, another guy entered. More people followed along quickly. Before long, I had to move up the line to the register. Narasingha Guru came out and worked the steam tables.

Guests were starting to stack up. We served them and moved them along. Another Devotee had to come on from upstairs to clear the tables. Suddenly, we were humming. We started to call to each other; “Avocado Delite!” and, “Strawberry Smoothee!”

Customers, mostly new ones, seemed to be enjoying themselves. From their point of view, the food was great and the price was right. The cash register was ringing, but it was Prasadama we were distributing.

Perplexed but happy with the sudden influx, I came away from my post to see if I could find out what was causing our sudden good fortune. Moving upstream, against the burgeoning line, I side stepped and “excused me” until I was at the front door.

I could see Chakra Pani, still across the street in the Lotus, with the Bhagavada Gita As It Is in his lap. I glanced to my left, and there was Loka, with his broad, white shirted back to me, just in the act of guiding more new customers in. I stood close to him to see if I could hear what he was saying. I wondered how it was that he was channeling practically any and everyone he chose. The people he spoke to were laughing and smiling. I listened carefully. I heard the words, “Big, big,” but I could not tarry. The line was stacking up. I had to go back to the register.

The afternoon sailed by. We did record business. More importantly, we distributed huge amounts of Prasadama. At the end of the day, I asked Loka what he had been doing to get such results. “I just talk to the people,” he said. He saw nothing unusual.

I heard you say, “Big, big …” I prompted. “What was that about?”

“Oh,” Loka smiled at me. “I was just telling them about the drinks. You know, big big.” He laughed.

The next day, I tried the same approach. People avoided me. I was self conscious. Loka came along and once again took up what he called “drumming up a little business.” Again, the restaurant filled quickly with happy delighted customers. Loka did not seem to think of his gift as unusual or extraordinary.

I thought deeds such as these came from On High. The key to success, to me, is in somehow making the objective in accordance with the precepts of Krsna Consciousness. To do that, one needs to understand those principles, and getting to that place is done by a lot of chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

Another instance of Loka’s Powers of Persuasion occurred down at the Dodge Dealership on Route 2, just north of Moundsville. I had occasion to bring my car in for maintenance, and I wanted a loaner. Loka was with me. I asked the service manager about a loaner. I was turned down flat. “We don’t provide loaners, the service manager declared.”

Loka saw my agitation. “What’s the matter?” he asked. He always had a certain friendly happy grounded demeanor.

“I have to leave my car, but I can’t get a loaner,” I reported.

“They’ll give you a loaner,” Loka said.

“I already asked. They won’t,” I responded.

Loka beckoned and I followed him upstairs. There he stood a moment, with me beside him, at the owner’s door. Presently the owner looked up. “What?” he said.

Loka gave him a smile and pointed at me with his thumb, as if he was hitchhiking. “He wants you to give him a loaner,” Loka said. That was all there was to it. No song and dance, no long sad story, just “He wants it, let him have it.” I was presented as a solution.

The loaner was pretty good too; a used police cruiser.

“How’d you do that?” I asked. Although my body is older than Loka’s I felt like a boy at his side.

“You just have to show them they can do what they want to do,” he replied.

Loka was known as one of the very physically strongest of the Brijabasis at New Vrindabana. I’m talking about muscles. I was fascinated with arm wrestling. A couple of times I challenged Loka to arm wrestle. He beat me with the smiling ease of a kid who blows the tendrils from a dandelion.

I screwed my will and built my strength, exercising and harboring physical resources. My body is taller than Loka’s, I weigh more, I should be able to beat him at arm wrestling, I thought. I spent a few weeks preparing. I just had to beat him, I thought. At last, I felt ready. I approached Loka at Bahulabhana.

“Let’s arm wrestle again,” I said. I moved my elbows back and forth and stuck my hand out on the hood of Dodge Rama dasa. This time, I knew I had a chance.

Previously, Loka had always quickly accepted. This time he did not proffer his hand in return. He eyed me quizzically, then laughed and declined. He’d seen something.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he responded.

I thought about that. I considered the way I’d built my strength and the determination I had not to get beaten again. Loka was right, to beat me, he would have hurt me.

I am sure that is part of how Loka does this communication facility. He sees and relates to the other person. Perhaps the feat is unconscious, but the effect is never the less real. That insight comes from the Ultimate Connection.

I think of Loka and the New Vrindabana Brijabasis like the brightest of shining Spirit Souls, burnished by years of Service and pure in their causeless actions. Lokavarnatamma Prabhu is to me the epitome of Denizens there.

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Reader Comments

Loved the article on Lokavarnattama. He is a great soul. May I someday have the priviledge of having the dust from his feet on my head.