Vatsala das: My friend Vatsara, he came to visit me in San Francisco, and we started going to different spiritual communities. By this time, I had kind of accepted this spiritual master, Swami Satchidananda. I didn’t really know that much about him, but I had read Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita and I said, “Geez, I need a spiritual master.” But I didn’t really think of the author of that Bhagavad-gita, Prabhupada – the old one with the blue Vishnu on the cover. So anyway, we went to this group and that group and he said, “Well, let’s go to the Hare Krishnas.” I said, “Oh, I’ve been there,” because I had been there for a Sunday Feast, and I was kind of a yogi and this and that and the devotees are running around here and there. I said, “It’s a little bit…there’s running around too much for me.” So I said, “You go ahead.” So he went, and he spent the whole day there. And he came back and he talked about, “God, I went there and I met this guy, the garbage man, and he was so far out, he told me all this stuff,” and he was going on and on and on. It turns out that that was Jayananda. He spent the whole day with Jayananda, emptying the garbage and going here and going there. So he said, “They’re having another program in the evening,” and so I said, “OK, I’ll go with you.”
So we went and that was it. The next day we went out and bought cloth for dhotis and cloth for saris and beads; and by the time we got back home, we had decided we’re going to shave up. So we shaved up and we shaved up the kids, and then we showed up at the temple the next day. All the devotees said, “What are you doing? You can’t do that!” Anyway, we said, “Here we are, we’re doing it.” So it was from this association with Jayananda that we became devotees. So me being a practical, mechanically minded person, I naturally fell in with Jayananda because he was always doing something, fixing a car or… We’d go out and work, and I was kind of like Jayananda’s right-hand man at that time. We’d be out working on the carts and stuff like that, or going to pick stuff up to bring back for the carts, or at the temple preparing something for Rathayatra. Prabhupada came and, like I said, Jayananda’s mood was that “What are we going to gain really by going to see Prabhupada? He wanted this service done.” So that was better than being in Prabhupada’s presence. That was more satisfying to Prabhupada and, therefore, it would be more satisfying to us. So we did that. Jayananda, of course, didn’t say that and then run off and go be with Prabhupada.
Actually after Rathayatra, later that day Jayananda finally went over to go see Prabhupada, and he wasn’t there two minutes and he fell asleep. Prabhupada made some comment, I think, about Jayananda sleeping, some nice comment how he’s worked so hard and now he’s sleeping.