In 1969 Srila Prabhupada came back to America from his first speaking tour outside the country, and the devotees from the East Coast centers rushed to the Boston center to greet him. While Srila Prabhupada was sitting in his room with all his disciples, one came forward with a gift-wrapped box. He wanted to offer something to Srila Prabhupada, but only had a sweater that his parents had sent as a birthday gift. Someone opened the box before Srila Prabhupada. It was an inexpensive synthetic sweater, but Srila Prabhupada said it was very nice. The devotee apologized to Srila Prabhupada, explaining that it was just a gift from his parents to himself. Then Srila Prabhupada pulled off his own sweater, a beautiful, silky Scottish cashmere sweater that he'd received in London, Srila Prabhupada held it out to the devotee in exchange for the one he had given. The devotee was so moved that he broke into tears. Srila Prabhupada always gave more to us than we were able to give him, because he had the greatest thing to give Krishna.
Gopala Acarya Dasa
I first met Srila Prabhupada in Dallas, in January of 1975. He came aboard our traveling bus-asrama around lunchtime, and the cook offered him a silver platter filled with assorted Indian delicacies – savories, fried vegetables, milk sweets, and tropical fruits. He ate a single slice of papaya and said briefly that a yogi requires very little food to maintain his body. Then he offered the rest of the fruit dish to a baby boy, who leaned forward from his mother's arms to snatch a big strawberry. "Children like red," said Srila Prabhupada, smiling.
Recently the child's father, one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples, had left the Krishna consciousness movement and was encountering all sorts of personal problems. When Prabhupada spoke to the disciple's wife, the words seemed to come right from the core of his heart. "Tell him to come back. He is a very intelligent boy." He glanced at the child and said, "Now you become a pure devotee and rescue your father."
Tears welled up in Srila Prabhupada's eyes. His gravity affected the whole atmosphere. "It is like when I cut my finger the pain is felt in the mind as well. Similarly, when my disciple has some difficulty, I feel the pain, also."