July 1967: NEW YORK CITY – “Swamiji,” Srila Prabhupada’s room at 26 2nd Avenue

Prabhupada told us to go and open the crates.

Brahmananda: This painting, which was done by Jadurani, is a painting of Vrindavan.

It’s the Madan-Mohan Temple.

This is one of the first paintings that Jadurani did and it’s Madan-Mohan, Madan-Mohan Temple that Sanatan Goswami erected for the first deity in Lord Chaitanya’s movement.

Prabhupada would give her a picture, and she would copy that into a painting.

Prabhupada…he hung it right above his head, he sat underneath this.

So it’s the first Western connection, you might say, with Vrindavan, and here’s the personification of Vrindavan sitting there.

Here’s the Jagannatha deities that Shyamasundara made. He made four sets.

When Prabhupada came to the airport, we had to collect the baggage.

We walked over to the baggage place where the baggage came out.

These big wooden crates came and Prabhupada pointed…there was his suitcase and then he said, “Also these wooden crates.”

Of course, we had no idea what was in them, neither did we ask, and we brought the crates back.

So these crates were in the next room, and Prabhupada told us to go and open the crates.

So we went and opened the crates and there were these Jagannatha deities, but we had never seen Jagannatha in New York because Jagannatha came from San Francisco, Puri.

Just as Prabhupada made Vrindavan in New York, he made San Francisco Puri.

So we look at these Jagannatha deities, we can’t figure out…it’s not Krishna – what is it?

Then somebody was making jokes that these look like North American Indian…it’s a totem pole, and there’s three parts to the totem pole.

So we were trying to figure out which one is on top, which one is in the middle, which one is on the bottom to make the totem pole.

That’s what we were thinking.

There’s the ladder that I was painting the apartment with, I didn’t quite finish.

And then Prabhupada walked in and he saw us, and we were joking, “Wow, this is really far out – an Indian totem pole.”

Then Prabhupada said, “This is Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe! Bow down!”

And everybody, boom, hit the floor.

That’s how Prabhupada introduced Jagannatha worship.

So those deities were worshipped.

But we had drunks coming into the storefront and so on, it wasn’t proper to have Them available or vulnerable, so we kept Them in the apartment and worshipped there.

—Brahmananda Dasa

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare