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Part 4 – An American Mayor in Vaishnava attire?

Rupanuga Goswami is already here to assist Balavanta’s campaign and organize his strategy. Amarendra has come from the Gainesville temple to further help in promoting Balavanta. They are out late into the night giving speeches, meeting the press, and putting up posters all over town. Just like Vedic Vaishnavas, they do everything themselves.

Balavanta: At all the engagements in the campaign I wore a dhoti. Everyone else was saying isn't this country great, isn't this city great, elect me and we'll all go forward together. I would stand up and say this is bad, we're missing the purpose of life, our civilization is doomed, we have no God consciousness, we're simply materialistic, we don't know any ultimate values, and when we die we're all going to suffer because we have no spiritual life. I would just take the opportunity to put it in their face. That was our mood in those days. That's what wearing a dhoti and having a shaved head was all about. It was a challenge. At first they would chuckle, but after I spoke they were fearful. It touched them in the sense that maybe he's telling the truth. I was the fly in the ointment. Later, I took to wearing a coat and tie.

While the mayor's race is going on in Atlanta, Srila Prabhupada arrives in New York. His servant, Srutakirti, calls Atlanta to say that Prabhupada wants Balavanta to come and see him. "Srila Prabhupada says you should come directly to the Brooklyn temple." Prabhupada wants to talk to Balavanta about the mayor's race. He has been getting good reports and is pleased with the program.

Reference: Radha Damodara Vilasa II - Vaiyasaki Dasa