His Givning the Morning Srimad-Bhagavatam Class
No matter what else he was doing, Srila Prabhupada put it in his schedule, even when he was ill. Wherever he traveled, he lived with the devotees and joined them to give the morning class.
Here was the opportunity to watch his gestures and expresseions as he spoke, absorbed in Srimad-Bhagavatam. A dull student might think that Prabhupada was saying the same things, using the same repertoire of verses, but Prabhupada was always quoting the verse to prove different points in different contexts. He was always discovering new lights. And he also said that repetition was necessary to thoroughly learn. For most devotees in the later years, this was the one sure time to be with him in his personal form, to sit and hear. It was formal, and one might wish for other situations in which to ask personal questions and do have a reply just for oneself, yet the lectures were great mercy, and to the receptive student they were also very personal. Devotees have testified how in a large audience, when Prabhupada said "Distribute books," they took it to heart and formed their lives on that order. And many testified that they found Prabhupada looked at them and spoke especially to them in his lecture, even though they knew he was speaking to everyone else as well.
This was the time for all to be with him. Each morning without fail he would begin, looking at the verse and speaking, like entering a sacred river, immersing himself at once in Srimad-Bhagavatam. He hardly ever chose another literature to speak in the morning. What an example, that the Srimad-Bhagavatam contains all else and is perfect for all our days!
He sat in one place, in the traditional posture of the guru - legs crossed, sitting on the vyasasana - with spectacles, with book in hand, with microphone, gesturing and looking up. He was a hundred percent Vyasasdeva's representative, giving us the transcendental wisdom. Seeing Srila Prabhupada's personal example even today, by means of movies or tape recordnings, all the devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement may adopt the same procedures and also do as he showed. Like him, we can precede the class by singing "Jaya Radha Madhava," with karatalas, and then reciting om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, then the Sanskrit, synonyms, translation, purport - we have no need to invent something new. After he showed us hundreds and hundreds of times, how can we fail to grasp the instruction - that we should continue the morning tradition of sitting together and hearing and speaking?
A devotee once told Srila Prabhupada that many disciples slept during classes, and Srila Prabhupada replied that he knew. He said that his classes were for advanced students. Srila Pabhupada gave untiringly as the loving instructor, but it was up to his disciples to benefit. I confess, I was one of those who sometimes was sleeping during Srimad-Bhagavatam class. Once I even asked Srila Prabhupada what to do about my sad plight. At first he replied by making a joke. He said there is an atheistic joke in India, "Srimad-Bhagavatam is a sure cure for insomnia." When Srila Prabhupada said this, I laughed, but I didn't want it to be true of me. Sometimes when Prabhupada found a devotee sleeping in his class, he would tell him to stand up and go to the rear. Srimad-Bhagavatam class was for his advanced students, but he kept givng us chances to become more advanced.
Srila Prabhupada spoke with rhetorical power and emotions, straight from his deep convictions. He had great oratorical skill, making emphasis with aesthetic effects, but none of it was done for show or with lack of realization, not like the rasa-dance talks of bogus Bhagavatam reciters. Srila Prabhupada wrote Bhagavatam purports and he lived the life of the Bhagavatam. He was also the Bhagavatam's ideal preacher - and so when he spoke, the emotions were always right.
Srila Prabhupada kindly gave all of those classes, and now, by tape recording, we hear them still, even as wake in the morning, while taking prasadam, or driving the car, or flying in the plane, in sick bed or death bed; these matchless gits continue in our ears, to cleanse our hearts and remind us that we are his sisya, and we are followers of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Prabhupada Nectar Volume 4