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July 26, 1972 : Amsterdam

Satsvarupa: When Srila Prabhupada visited the ISKCON temple in Amsterdam in July 1972, he agreed to the devotees' request to install Deities of Lord Jagannatha. Due to the temple leaders' mismanagement, however, the event turned into a fiasco. TV cameramen were present, as well as reporters from the biggest newspapers in the city, and the temple room was crowded with guests, but when Prabhupada came into the temple room and sat to perform the yajna, he saw many discrepancies.

"Where are the fruits and grains?" he asked. The temple president replied that the fruits had all been used in the fruit salad. Prabhupada became angry. "Where are the flowers?" he asked. The reply was, "We forgot." "Who is responsible for this?" Prabhupada demanded. In his transcendental anger, Prabhupada was not the least bit intimidated by the presence of the TV, press, and guests. He was more concerned about Lord Jagannatha and the installation - and his disciples' incompetence.

Despite the mistakes, Prabhupada proceeded with the ceremony, but when it came time to actually place the Deities on the altar, major miscalculations became evident. The devotees suddenly discovered that the altar they had built was too small. The Deities could not fit. The whole throne had to be taken apart and carried to a corner of the hall. Finally, the curtain opened and the Deities were placed on the altar.

The Deities were dressed and decorated very plainly, and Prabhupada's visage remained displeased. But after his initial, fiery expressions, his anger abated. He proceeded with the ceremony, chanting the mantras and delivering a full Krishna conscious lecture. Prabhupada did not care as much about the audience as he did for Krishna and Krishna's pleasure. The devotees were able to see how Prabhupada was actually aloof from public opinion. He was concerned only with pleasing Krishna and spreading Krishna consciousness.

Reference: Srila Prabhupada Nectar - Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami