Govinda's restaurant

While I was in Puerto Rico I took Shubhra to do a little shopping. After that we went to an Indian restaurant called Govinda's. A few years ago when I went there, I told the workers there that I had known their Guru, that he used to come to the Indian Consulate and talk to us. One disciple said, "You are so fortunate that such a great soul blessed you."

This time, as soon as I entered the restaurant, a young black man came up to me and said, "Namaste, Guruji, Namaste! I went to New York in 1974 for your initiation. I used to go to your St. Louis Centre. I came five or six times, and then I had a dream that you would initiate me. So I went to Jamaica. You gave a concert there and your meditation was so powerful. Even now it is still so vivid in my consciousness. I went to be initiated by you and I saw Alo Devi. She greeted me with kindness and said that you would take me to the destined Goal.

"Once I even came to meditate at a meeting held in your backyard. As soon as you came out, everybody stood up and meditated so powerfully, with such love and devotion. Again I asked for initiation, but Alo Devi said that you rarely initiate people outwardly. So right from New York I went to India and got initiated by Swami Bhaktivedanta."

Again and again this young man came to me with folded hands to tell me how powerful my meditation was.

I bought food for Shubhra and myself. Then I gave the lady at the counter a ten-dollar bill. It was the same old lady who had been there the last time I had come. She gave me five dollars and five cents change. Right in front of the counter was a box marked "Donations." So I put the five dollars in the box. The restaurant was self-service. I thought that Shubhra had got dal for me, and she thought that I had got it. She hadn't taken any and I hadn't taken any either. So we went back and got some dal. They charged us one dollar for that, even though I had just put in a five-dollar donation. Business is business!

As we were leaving, the young man came up to me with his Master's biography. He said, "I will be so grateful if you take this book." As a sign of respect he gave the book to Shubhra to give to me instead of handing it to me directly. He said, "Please give this book to Guruji."

Then I said, "I can tell you an amusing incident about your Guru. One time when he came to the Indian Consulate, he was very mad at four or five of his disciples. They had taken his typewriter and thrown it out of the window. It had fallen on the street and broken into pieces. They had also stolen his Bengali manuscripts, because they thought that they contained occult knowledge. That is why he called them beasts."

The boy said, "That very incident is described in this book."

This disciple was given a long Indian name by his Master. It started with Mani, which means ruby. He was very sweet.