|(continued from My Early Days, below…)
As the saffron-clad chef told me his tale, I found the Sanskrit names a bit confusing and got mixed up between Upendra and Upananda. “Who was Upendra, I asked, “and what was he doing in Kings Cross in the first place?”
Before he continued the story, Upananda directed me to lower the balls of dough into a large pan of warm, golden clarified butter, called ghee, placed over a low heat, and requested me to help him gently stir them. Together we slowly deep-fried the small balls in the warm ghee, and as we did so, they turned golden-brown and full.
As we methodically stirred the golden balls, Upananda explained that Upendra, along with another devotee called Bali Mardan, had come to Australia on the request of their guru – whose name was A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada .
Upananda referred to him during the rest of our conversation by his shorter title of ‘Prabhupada’.
Prabhupada had been asked by his guru to spread the teachings of India’s classic Bhagavad-gita in the west, and subsequently had established a small shop-front temple in New York four years previously in 1966.
Since then, the Hare Krishna movement had spread rapidly around the world, and by 1970 had taken root in Sydney due to the pioneering efforts of Upendra and Bali Mardan.
The balls had become quite dark in colour, so Upananda showed me how to lift them, one by one, out of the ghee with a slotted spoon, and put them to soak in thick sugar syrup. And as he did so, he resumed the story.
to be continued…
Posted by Kurma on 6/2/07; 6:59:25 AM