Ananga Manjari: We were in Los Angeles and somehow I got myself right behind Prabhupada while he was paying his obeisances to the deities. When I went to pay my obeisances, his lotus feet were right in front of my face and I thought, “What an opportunity. This is the opportunity of many life times. What can I do? I don’t want to touch him and disturb him at all, because he is in meditation praying to his Lord.” But there was a carnation petal stuck to the bottom of his foot. It was very invitingly sticking out, so I thought maybe I could take this petal and get his mercy without disturbing him. Very carefully I plucked that little carnation petal off his foot and then I got very frightened thinking that someone might see me and they’re going to think that I am disturbing him. I could just imagine some sannyasi booming, “What did you just do?” I got so scared that I popped it in my mouth, like I was eating the evidence. As I swallowed the petal, I thought, “This is the holiest communion I have ever had in my life. This petal is going to keep me here forever.” And it did.


Amarendra: In 1972 before the New Vrindavan festival, I went down to Miami Beach for the 1972 Republican convention. With Mahavir, who was a good friend of mine, we put together a prasadam program for all the demonstrators who were camping out at Miami Beach at a place called Flamingo Park. Every day we would bring prasadam and feed all the protestors who were there to disrupt the Republican convention. We became very popular and one night we were having a street sankirtan in front of the convention center. It was getting dark and we were going through the crowd single file and we couldn’t really see where we were.


There were eight or nine of us and all of a sudden T.V lights turned on out of the darkness. As we looked around, we saw on one side thousands of angry anti-war demonstrators getting ready to storm the convention center. On the other side, there were hundreds of police, national guardsmen and state police in their riot gear with shotguns. We were right smack dab in the middle between these two camps. When we realized our situation, the whole sankirtan party shot up three to four feet in the air and started chanting for our lives. We thought we were going to get caught right in the middle of this confrontation.


As we started chanting, the crowds started to mellow out a little bit. Allan Ginsberg was there and he came up and started chanting with us. Then the leaders of the anti-war demonstration came up to us because they were furious. Outraged, they said, “You’re ruining it for us! You’ve got to stop this chanting! You’ve got to get out of here!” They were chanting their chants about not wanting the war and they had the crowd worked up through sound vibration.


But when we started chanting, we neutralized the impact of their sound vibration by the maha-mantra. After a few minutes, more and more people started dancing and chanting with us. A detective from the Miami police department then came over to us and asked, “Could you please lead these people back to the park?” We headed back to the park and the whole crowd just followed us. Later that night, that same police detective came back to us, bought a book, gave a donation and told us, “You guys stopped a riot. There was a riot that was about to happen and you guys stopped it.” I told Prabhupada that story at another darshan and he said, “Oh, just see the power of the Holy Name.”


From Tape 55  Srila Prabhupada Remembrances