Two Late-Comers Arrive at Ananda Ashram
Bruce was a newcomer and had only been to one week of meetings at the storefront, so no one had told him that the members of Ananda Ashram, Dr. Mishra’s yoga retreat, had invited Swamiji and his followers for a day in the upstate countryside. Bruce had just arrived at the storefront one morning when he heard someone announce, “The Swami is leaving!” And Prabhupada came out of the building and stepped into a car. In a fit of anxiety, Bruce thought that the Swami was leaving them for good – for India! “No,” Howard told him, “we’re going to a yoga asrama in the country.” But the other car had already left, and there was no room in Swamiji’s car. Just then Steve showed up. He had expected the boys to come by his apartment to pick him up. They both had missed the ride.
Bruce phoned a friend up in the Bronx and convinced him to drive them up to Ananda Ashram. But when they got to Bruce’s friend’s apartment, the friend had decided he didn’t want to go. Finally he lent Bruce his car, and Swamiji’s two new followers set out for Ananda Ashram.
By the time they arrived, Prabhupada and his group were already taking prasadam, sitting around a picnic table beneath the trees. Ananda Ashram was a beautiful place, with sloping hills and lots of trees and sky and green grass and a lake. The two latecomers came walking up to Swamiji, who was seated like the father of a family, at the head of the picnic table. Keith was serving from a big wok onto the individual plates. When Prabhupada saw his two stragglers, he asked them to sit next to him, and Keith served them. Prabhupada took Steve’s capātī and heaped it up with a mound of sugar, and Steve munched on the bread and sugar, while everyone laughed.
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