(Srila Prabhupada taking his massage in his Vrindavana garden on November 29, 1976)
October 27, 1976
The search is still on for a chef for the guesthouse. Aksayananda Swami brought a new Madwari cook this morning, and Srila Prabhupada discussed what he wanted with the two of them before sending the man off to demonstrate what he could do. He was not prepared to allow the managers to confirm the cook's appointment before testing his ability himself. Some of his preparations were brought to Srila Prabhupada later in the day and Prabhupada was satisfied. He said that his dishes were very palatable and so the man was duly hired. It was a relief, the closure of another saga in the Vrndavana managerial foibles, which only Prabhupada has been able to solve.
When Aksayananda Swami and the cook left Srila Prabhupada's room, I lingered a while as Prabhupada, relaxed and in a warm and candid mood, talked about the art of cooking. He said that by this art, a man becomes the servant of a woman. Through her ability to cook she controls these three organs: the tongue, belly, and genitals. And she also becomes subservient to the man through the satisfaction of her belly and genitals, and through the acquisition of nice ornaments, jewelry, and clothes. In this way they become servants of each other, and a very hard knot is formed, binding them to material life.
When I observed that it was inconceivable for such karmis to even think of leaving home and family, Prabhupada laughed reflectively and nodded. "Yes," he smiled, "I also did not want to take sannyasa -- of course not for these things, but for another reason. But Prabhupada forced me to. He arranged things in such a way that without taking sannyasa, I was always disturbed. I was dreaming; he would come and take me away and tell me I must take sannyasa, and I was following him, but I was afraid. I did not want to take sannyasa, but I was thinking, 'Oh, it is Prabhupada's order; I must do it.'"
"That was one thing," he reflected gently, his features softening. "I always had a sublime interest in Prabhupada's instructions. Therefore I am having some success. Prabhupada himself noted that. He said, 'This boy is very nice; he does not go away. He is keen to hear.'" It is always a wonderful privilege to share these intimate moments when Prabhupada, freed from the pressures of formality and management, confides a little of his personal relationship and service to his Guru Maharaja.
Hari Sauri Dasa
From A Transcendental Diary, Volume 5. Just released in March 2005. This volume covers Srila Prabhupada's activities during October and November 1976, in Aligarh, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Vrindavana-dhama.