Govinda Dasi: In early 1968, just after Srila Prabhupada's illness and his return from 6 months in India, we spent time in LA, SF, and then later NY, Boston, and Montreal. At that time I was his secretary and cook. There were only a few temples, and only a handful of devotees. It was a special time, unmatched for its sweetness and spiritual tranquility. It was the time when the lotus was just beginning to open, and the fragrance of the Holy Name was wafting over the sleeping Western world.
Each day, when I would bring Srila Prabhupada's lunch plate, heaped high with fragrant Basmati rice, three tasty sabjis - all Bengali style, steaming dahl, and chappaties - always brought in one at a time - like round piping-hot puff balls, Srila Prabhupada would exclaim: "Ah! Just see! Before coming to your country (USA), everyone warned me: 'Oh Swamiji! You cannot go there to USA! They have no food for you - there they eat only meat and potatoes!'"
"So I said, what is that! I shall simply live on bread and potatoes!"
"And now, just see, Krishna has sent everything! So many nice preparations, nice fruits, vegetables, milk, everything. Krishna is so Kind!"
And Srila Prabhupada genuinely meant this. He REALLY did plan to survive on bread and potatoes. He even brought with him in his luggage some flat rice from India.
This is an example of Srila Prabhupada's incredible austerity, marked with determination and willingness to undergo any amount of personal inconvenience for the sake of pushing on this great movement of Lord Chaitanya. He struggled alone in NY for nearly a year, yet he never once lost faith in his Guru or Krishna, or in the mission he was sent to ignite. What an incredible example of faith and determination! If we had only a smidgen of such faith!