May 1, 1968
The first devotee to meet Prabhupada in Boston was Jadurani, walking forward at the airport with a flower garland for her spiritual master. As they rode in the taxi together back to the temple, Prabhupada asked Jadurani about her painting. She complained that in preparing for his visit she had had to sew material for the altar, put up curtains, and make posters and post them all over the city-because the men in the temple were working at their office jobs. Consequently, she hadn’t been able to do her real service of painting. “Don’t worry,” Prabhupada said, “I won’t stay long.”
The taxi stopped at Prabhupada’s house on Hester Street. It was a two-story building, the first floor being Prabhupada’s apartment. Up stairs were some Boston University students, who had agreed to play their music softly while the swami was visiting; their motorcycles were parked beside the house. Walking slowly up the wooden stairs and across the front porch, Prabhupada entered his apartment. Prabhupada found Satsvarupa in the kitchen, standing over the stove, cooking. Satsvarupa offered obeisances and immediately returned to his cooking, apologizing that he hadn’t been able to meet Swamiji at the airport. He had three burners going at once, and he appeared both very happy and very nervous.
“What are you cooking?” Prabhupada asked.
“Sweetrice, halava, puris, and a vegetable,” Satsvarupa replied, stirring the sweet rice and watching over the other preparations as he spoke. It was more like the Sunday feast than Swamiji’s daily fare of rice, dal, and capatis. But these rich dishes were all Satsvarupa knew how to cook.
Prabhupada smiled. Looking around the kitchen, he saw against the window a poster: “The Spiritual Master of the Holy Name is Coming to Boston.” It was a photo of Swamiji with a list of speaking engagements at various universities. As Prabhupada read it his face brightened. “You have given me a full month’s engagement!” he said. Then he walked leisurely out of the kitchen, leaving Satsvarupa anxiously trying to hurry lunch without burning anything.
Next Episode: An Invitation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology