Bahulaban Prasadam Scenes

by mrupa

circa early ‘70s

Bahulavana Prasadam Room, Ekadasi:

Picture the large front room of the old Bahulavana temple just before the little walkway into the temple room.

Picture devotees in work clothes and old saris sitting around the walls honoring prasadam, while Kutila brings out the serving pots.

One of the main preps is made from the government food program issued peanuts and raisins.

A devotee innocently asks Kutila where the occasional bits of plastic in the prep are from. “Oh”, she says matter of factly, “that’s where the mice in the store room nibble on the bags the raisins come in.”

The first speaker’s neighbor in the prasadam line notices some non-descript somewhat raisin-ish bits; puts two and two together, blanches and weakly asks the devotees in general, “Does anyone want my peanuts and raisins?”

Catching his understanding, devotees have several different reactions. Some push aside their own peanuts and raisins. Some shake their heads in the negative. Some, knowing its all there is or is likely to be that day, put all the literal faith they can in Krsna’s prophylactic, and antiseptic qualities and nonchalantly take the opportunity to have a small feast of peanuts and raisins on that particular Ekadasi.


Summertime. Out on the low stone wall along the walkway leading to the Bahulavana temple side door, devotees are honoring lunch prasadam. Suddenly, into the quiet air the then temple commander Radha Kanta’s distinctive Georgia drawl exclaims, “Oh my Lord! I thought it was a chaunce!” as five flies do the backstroke through his half empty dhal bowl.

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Reader Comments

In approximately 1983, I think it was during Gaura-Purnima, in the rear room beyond the prasadam hall in Bahulaban, there was a Video screening of the Ramayana movie as done by ITV filmed partially in Prabhupada’s Palace with Puru’s wife, Janaki playing Sita — I sat crunched into seats along side gurukula boys.
I awaited the ‘battle’ scenes, but alas these difficult to stage scenes where done in a sparing way to save production costs, not showing actually fighting but just cinematically representing a chaotic blur of noise rather than kung-fu like fights. So, during these symbolically represented scenes I got up out of seat to re-enter the prasadam room proper and load-up on sweets from the feast earlier that same day.
As I exited the screening room and enter the prasadam hall I was hit by a shower of Laddu balls. They hit hard on the body and I protected my head from injury as I thought, ‘Hey I want those laddu-balls to eat. Wait till I tell the Temple President what is being done with this prasadam.’
Then I looked up and saw Kuladri, Sudhanu, Syamasudhar, Kumara, Jayamurari, Janmastami and many others were all involved with targeting anyone who entered the scene—I collected as many Laddus as I could and returned to the movie.

I remember once during a cookie throw, a cookie ended up landing on the top of one of the beams in that same prasadam hall.

I climbed on Samba’s (who has since left his body) shoulders and tried to reach it. Someone else did a similar thing and soon their was a great battle scene with lots of bumping and shoving.

In the end, I managed to snag it and, out of fear of losing it, I gobbled it immediately.

When I got to the ground, Sambe gae me a disappointed look and said, “You could have saved me some.”