Room Conversation – January 19, 1976, Mayapur
Tamala Krishna: We should make many types of sweetmeats. There should be so many preparations, all offered to the Deity. People can purchase maha-prasadam. Oh, it will be very big. When you read in the Caitanya-caritamrta, every time Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's devotees are purchasing prasadam from Jagannatha temple, all the time.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the system.
Tamala Krishna: It sounds like they make a huge quantity at Puri, huge quantities of foodstuffs.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Any time you can get one thousand man's eatables.
Tamala Krishna: Any time? But we only offer one little plate at arati.
Prabhupada: No, that you can increase as the demand is increased.
Tamala Krishna: There is such a demand in Puri?
Prabhupada: Yes. Everyone goes. They do not cook. He purchases prasadam and eat. Everyone.
Tamala Krishna: It's so famous. Yes, whenever someone visits there they always bring back prasadam from Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: It is… Fifty-six time, prasadam is offered there. Fifty-six time.
Harikesa: It's constant.
Harikesa: It's constantly being offered, all day long.
Prabhupada: Yes. Once offered, arati is performed. Then it is taken away, washed, the room. Again half an hour after… Why half an hour? Fifteen minutes after. Throughout the whole day and night, fifty-six times.
Tamala Krishna: Night also.
Prabhupada: Night…, not night. But up to late night. So fifty-six time, chappanna, within twenty-four hours, so just imagine.
Harikesa: Four or five times an hour.
Tamala Krishna: So we have to do that at this temple.
Prabhupada: Every fifteen minutes new set, prasadam.
Tamala Krishna: You need a whole lot of Shantilals to do that.
Prabhupada: And these ingredients are supplied by Jagannatha's own field. They grow it, and they… So there is no, I mean, difficulty. They grow and they sell. They get money so they can maintain the establishment. A long time. There are potters. Daily they will supply for each prasadam a new pot. It cannot be used again. So few people purchase with pot, original pot, and they have got a fixed price. This big pot, say, five rupees; this pot, two rupees; this pot, one rupee. So as you like, you can purchase. Very nice system.
Tamala Krishna: You went there sometimes to take prasadam?
Prabhupada: Yes, I became a guest. A gentleman was our tenant, and he gave me introduction letter to his brother-in-law. He was a pleader in Jagannatha Puri. So he received me very well. So he offered me lunch, and I saw there was something, a small ball-like, in the pot, bowl. So I asked, "What is this?" He said, "It is meat." [laughs] He was eating meat, so he thought it is good reception, the guest is offered nice meat. So I said, “No, you… What is? I never took meat. I never expected; this is Jagannatha…” So then he became very much ashamed. He said, “I did not know. I thought this is the best…” Then, “Never mind.” Then I stopped eating there. At that time I was a boy. After appearing in my B.A. examination there was holiday, so I went to Jagannatha Puri in 1920 or something like that. So I was married in 1918. So some of the friends of my wife, they said that “Your husband now gone. He is not coming back.” So after returning I understood she was crying. [laughs] So anyway, then I used to purchase prasadam in the market. They were bringing, and I was eating. I stayed for three, four days, that's all.
Tamala Krishna: You said that when you were very young you always used to calculate what was the cost of a ticket to Puri.
Prabhupada: Yes. Every day I was seeing how to go to Jagannatha Puri and how to go to Vrindavana. At that time a fare was, for Vrindavana, four or five rupees, and similarly for Jagannatha Puri. So I was thinking, "When I shall go?" That's all. I took first opportunity to go to Jagannatha Puri after my examination, and in business connection when I went to Agra, then I first of all took the opportunity to go to Vrindavana from Agra. This was in 1925, and I visited Jagannatha Puri sometime in 1920. And '25 I went to Vrindavana. I remember, in those days I was sitting within the car, and there was some prasadam. One monkey entered and took away everything.
Tamala Krishna: In the train compartment.
Prabhupada: Hmm. They are very clever. Many times in Vrindavana the monkeys have taken away from my hand foodstuff.
Tamala Krishna: While you were eating.
Prabhupada: Hmm. Thrice… At least thrice, four times I remember.
Tamala Krishna: You wanted them to take it? You were offering…
Prabhupada: No, suppose a big monkey comes and takes. You are stumped. [laughter] You have to give him. No other way.
Tamala Krishna: They will attack otherwise.
Prabhupada: In Radha-Damodara temple I was cooking, the other room. So although the door was closed, he knew. He opened the door and took away. Sometimes they would take away the… [door opens] Come on. The, what is called, dough? For…?
Tamala Krishna: Chapatis?
Prabhupada: Chapati. So they will eat that.
Tamala Krishna: Raw dough.