Hari Sauri das: We were all sitting on the stage facing Prabhupada and everybody else was on the ground facing Prabhupada, and Prabhupada was the only one that was looking out. So he left after about 20 minutes. He gave a short speech about where the Rathayatra had originated from, and then we left and went back to the temple and he left the devotees to run the rest of the festival. So when we got back to the temple, Prabhupada was a little fatigued. So he went to take rest right away, and Prabhupada asked me to massage his legs and feet. So as I started massaging him he started chuckling, and then he said, “I thought there would be some fanaticism.” And I said, “What was that, Srila Prabhupada?” Because I remember there were some Christians out there with their “eternal burn” banners and all the rest of it. Then Prabhupada said, “Did you see?” He said, “There was one man, he was shouting. He was standing on the edge of a fountain and he was heckling.” And he said, “Then one big black man came up and he knocked him into the fountain,” and Prabhupada laughed like anything.
Bhakti dasi: Atreya Rsi told me that I had to offer my obeisances to Srila Prabhupada when I walked into the room, and there was no way I was about to do that at my point in my Krishna consciousness. I was too green. I wasn’t about to offer my obeisances to anybody. But I was respectful, so I walked in and I folded my hands and bowed my head slightly and didn’t say anything. And then I didn’t know where to go, so I just went towards the back of the room. Srila Prabhupada was way across the room at a desk, and Srila Prabhupada looked at me and he said, “So, you are interested in Krishna consciousness?” And I remember I didn’t understand a word he said. I’d never met anybody from India before, I’d never heard them speak, so I didn’t understand the accent. Prabhupada recognized my embarrassment and said to my husband, “So you will translate?” My husband looked at me and said, “So, you are interested in Krishna consciousness?” Then we talked for a little while, I asked a few questions.
Then a young woman came into the room with a big bowl of sweets. They were white balls, looked like very large golf balls. I didn’t know they were sweets at the time. Then he looked up at me and he motioned with his finger for me to come forward. So I got up and I went to his desk and he said, “Hold out your hand.” So I held out my left hand and he said, “No, no, no, other hand.” So I held out my right hand and he took one of these balls and he put it in the palm of my hand, and I remember it was juicy. I remember the juice was dripping from my hand, and I was trying to hold it so that it didn’t drip on the floor. And I looked at the ball and I looked at Prabhupada and I looked back at the ball, and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with it. Prabhupada motioned with his hand and his wide open mouth as if to say, “Pop it in your mouth.” That’s exactly what I did. This huge ball, I got it into my mouth in one fell swoop; and when I bit down into it, the juice was just so sweet and the squeak on my teeth really got me and my eyes bulged. It was just such a delightful thing that Prabhupada got such a kick out of it, he laughed and laughed.
We talked for a few more minutes, and then someone came in and said, “Srila Prabhupada, it’s time for you to go to the airport.” The sannyasis left first, and then my husband left and I kept thinking, “What am I going to say to Srila Prabhupada to make him understand how grateful I am for the time that he spent with me and the loving exchange we had had?” I kept thinking, “What can I say? What can I say?” And I was almost out the door and I remember the last minute I turned around, I folded my hands, I looked Prabhupada straight in the eye and I said, “Hare Krishna,” and that was the first time I’d ever said Hare Krishna. And Prabhupada said without a moment’s hesitation, he said, “Jaya.” Then I left, and I was in ecstasy. That was the beginning of my spiritual life, from that point forward.