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We offer our respectful obeisances to the pure devotee who came to the West to liberate us from this material world and  help us return to our true home, back to Lord Krishna


I didn't want to go.

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Prabhupada story. I don't have too many. I was always in the back of the room somewhere. But I was there.

I joined the movement in 1971 in Boston on Janmastami. After 1 year I was initiated by the temple president by letter from Srila Prabhupada and beads were sent that He had chanted on.

The first time I saw Srila Prabhupada was in 1969. I was student in college in Boston and a friend invited me to go hear "a swami" speak at MIT. I didn't want to go. I want to go the movies. But my friend insisted. We were arriving a little late and there was no room. All the desk chairs were taken. We sat on the floor at the back of the room near all the shoes. Mostly the guests were young Indian men who were students at the college.

It was very hot and the room smelled very strongly of perspiration and since we were next to the shoes we had that smell too.

Four or five young men in saffron with shaved heads and sikhas began dancing and chanting Hare Krishna all around the teachers desk. They had a bongo. Srila Prabhupada entered the room from a door on the right side of the desk. I was in amazement to see Him. My immediate thought was, 'Oh my God. He doesn't have any bones." I had never seen anyone carry themselves like He did. He was so graceful. His movements were fluid like he was swimming not walking. He was small.

He climbed onto the teacher's desk where a cushion had been placed and sat there cross legged. I don't remember exactly but I don't think He chanted. The chanting the brahmacaris had done was all the chanting. If He had chanted I am sure I would have remembered.
Then He spoke. I couldn't understand even one world. The subject matter was unfamiliar and His accent was very difficult for me. My mind wandered. But I felt good. I felt safe.
My friend asked a question about impersonalism and personalism. Srila Prabhupada answered that He already discussed that in the lecture. And went on to take other questions.

When the program was over Srila Prabhupada got down from the desk and started for the door to the right of the desk. I couldn't take my eyes off Him because of the grace of carriage. Just as He was turning to go out the door He looked back at my friend with a most incredible look. My friend was busy tying his shoes and I poked him to pay attention that the swami was looking for him. But my friend was too slow and Srila Prabhupada went out the door. But I got the look. full in the eyes. I know now that Srila Prabhupada was looking for disciples and my friend had asked a question. Perhaps my friend would be His disciples. But it didn't work out like that. My friend was more attracted to Buddhism. But I got the searching look. It was electrifying to say the least. I was like a deer in the headlights.

By: Meena Devi Dasi

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