Cyavana Swami: Jaya Srila Prabhupada! "I was stationed aboard a Coast Guard Cutter at Boston Harbor, and on September 17th 1965, when Srila Prabhupada's Jaladutta was moved from the anchorage over to Constitution Wharf my ship was docked at the base nearby, I was on duty on the Quarterdeck.
It is a Maritime custom that when two ships pass they offer a "salute" by lowering, then raising again the Ensign or Flag at the stern of the ship. I offered the American Flag to Srila Prabhupada's Jaladutta in this tradition, and when I looked up I was looking directly at him and he was looking directly at me. I was transfixed by his effulgence, and stood frozen in time as his ship passed. He acknowledged the greeting by slightly raising his left hand, palm outward." I will never forget that moment, this is a picture of the original Jaladutta built in 1910 that Srila Prabhupada travelled on. Now 52 years later the wake of his ship will continue to flood the world with love for Krishna.
Yes, at the time I had no idea who he was other than a Holy Man from India. Constitution Wharf is located at the mouth of the Mystic River and the Coast Guard Base is only a few hundred yards across from it. Six years later I was initiated, also in Boston. Jai Srila Prabhupada! The night before the ceremony, Prabhupada called me up to his room, he asked me to read two verses from Bhagavad Gita, he commented briefly then ordered me to go to Africa to open centers and preach to the people there.
I have always hoped that my greeting with the flag made him feel happy and welcome after his long and arduous journey across the Atlantic.
(The first devotee of His Divine Grace to actually see him in America! Amazing!)