Let the starvation committee go to hell! You feed me.
Prabhupada said his health was still not good. His sleep was often disturbed, and he spoke of a "gong-gong-gong" sound in his head. He had occasional headaches and a ringing in his left ear. An Ayur-vedic doctor in India had told him to take cinnamon buds, and he had seen a doctor in San Francisco. But the doctors' prescriptions had not helped.
I may inform you in that connection that I am at the present moment physically unfit; I am having always a buzzing sound in my brain. I cannot sleep at night, but still I am working because I try to be on my position of spiritual platform.
Prabhupada was in good spirits, however, despite his age and lingering sickness. He appeared strong, and six months in India had tanned him a golden, healthy hue. He always sat straight and smiled often. He walked with a cane, yet upright, with a quick step, tiring his young disciples who attempted to keep up with him. He even mentioned that if his inability to sleep continued, he would have more time for writing his books.
Gone was the mindlessness of his young followers who had previously thought that Swamiji, because he was a pure devotee, should be let to do any strenuous activities he liked, working all night or singing and playing the mridanga for hours in the park. Now the devotees had become concerned and protective, trying always to arrange for his ease, suggesting when they thought something was too strenuous for him. Usually, however, Prabhupada would give the last word on what he would or would not do. When Yamuna and Janaki arrived from San Francisco, they decided that if Swamiji were to get well he would require a special diet. So they devised a regimen featuring small servings of boiled vegetables without salt, spices, or ghee. At first Prabhupada gently submitted to their requests. But on trying their meals, he commented, "These vegetables are nasty. They are not fit for eating." After three days, when Govinda dasi told him of some new reductions in his diet, he roared, "Let the starvation committee go to hell! You feed me."
Again Prabhupada began taking his regular lunch-dal, rice, capatis, and a couple of sabjis with ghee. One day when Govinda dasi brought him his lunch, he commented, "Oh, this is very nice. When I was in India everyone told me, "Oh, Swamiji, you cannot go to America. You will starve there. They have no food. They eat only meats and potatoes.' So I said, "What is that? I shall live on bread and potatoes. There is no problem. I can survive on bread and potatoes.' So I was thinking like that when I came to your country-that I shall live on bread and potatoes. But now I have come here, and Krishna is so kind. He has not only given me everything in the way of nice food, but you are also cooking all sorts of nice vegetable preparations-capatis, dal, rice. Everything is there. So this is Krishna's kindness."
Although when Prabhupada had first arrived in America he had been alone and had had difficulty finding even a single sincere person, now he was surrounded by sincere students eager to learn from him. Still, he accepted this new position in the same spirit as he had accepted the lonely months in New York City. He was doing his beloved duty to his spiritual master: writing books, seeking to engage others in the Krishna consciousness mission, and speaking about Krishna always.
Reference: Prabhupada Lila
Author: Satsvarupa Das Goswami