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the saffron-clad chef told me his tale, I found the Sanskrit names
a bit confusing and got mixed up between Upendra and Upananda. "Who
was Upendra, I asked, "and what was he doing in Kings Cross
in the first place?"
Before he continued the story, Upananda directed
me to lower the balls of dough into a large pan of warm, golden
clarified butter, called ghee, placed over a low heat, and requested
me to help him gently stir them. Together we slowly deep-fried the
small balls in ghee, and as we did so, they turned golden-brown
As we methodically stirred the golden balls, Upananda
explained that Upendra, along with another devotee called Bali Mardan,
had come to Australia on the request of their guru - whose name
was A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada . Upananda referred to him
during the rest of our conversation by his shorter title of "Prabhupada".
Prabhupada had been asked by his guru to spread the teachings of
India's classic Bhagavad-gita in the west. Prabhupada had established
a small shop-front temple in New York four years previously in 1966.
Since then, the Hare Krishna movement had spread rapidly around
the world, and had taken root in Sydney due to the pioneering efforts
of Upendra and Bali Mardan.
The balls had become quite dark in colour, so Upananda
showed me how to lift them, one by one, out of the ghee with a slotted
spoon, and put them to soak in thick sugar syrup.
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