By Satsvarūpa dāsa Gosvāmī
In January or February of 1971, Srila Prabhupada wrote us from India. He said that in April he would be coming back to America and would visit our Boston temple, where I was president. So we booked a beautiful suite for him in the Sheraton-Boston Hotel and cleaned the place ourselves. We had rented the hotel suite because we didn’t think the temple was very suitable. In that old building we did have two rooms Srila Prabhupada could use, but in many ways they weren’t adequate.
Surprisingly, when Srila Prabhupada arrived and heard that we wanted him to stay in a hotel he refused. “I would rather stay in the temple,” he said. “A hotel is like a brothel.” And he explained, “If you live in such a place, you are living in the mode of ignorance. Generally, though, living in the city is in the mode of passion, and living in the country is in the mode of goodness—but if you live in the temple of the Lord, you are living in the spiritual world.”
Srila Prabhupada accepted his quarters in our old place and assured us he didn’t find them inconvenient. He was glad, he said, to be in the temple. Of course, he made us glad, too—by gracing our temple with his presence and giving it more prestige than the Sheraton-Boston.
[An excerpt from Back to Godhead Issue 5, 1978]