At that time, I was maintained…my family was selling hippie bells and beads on Oxford Street, and the devotees used to pass by on harinam. That was quite an interesting harinam sometimes. There used to be one devotee called Ishan and he was French Canadian, he used to play trumpet. He used to wear a dhoti and it was a leopard-skin-patterned dhoti, it wasn’t leopard skin. But they were quite a funny crowd, and they used to go down Oxford Street chanting and sometimes I joined on, once or twice. So finally then the record came out, the Hare Krishna record, and that one I used to play all day long at my little apartment. Then we heard the guru is coming. Prabhupada didn’t disappoint us, he arrived on time. Then I attended the first lecture in Conway Hall. Actually I didn’t understand anything that Prabhupada was saying really. A few little words I could get now and again, but I just sat there just drinking the vibration and the whole divine presence of his being. So by the time the interval came, I went to speak with the devotees and said, “OK, when can I join?” It was just enough to see Prabhupada one time. By the time he’d opened his mouth and by the time he’d closed his mouth was enough for me, and around a week later I moved into Tittenhurst Park. The devotees were living on John Lennon’s estate at that time, and so I arrived there. I got out of the van and the first person I saw was Malati, and she said, “Prabhupada’s in the temple room. Quick, quick! Prabhupada’s in the temple room.” So I ran down this path through the trees into the temple room and I entered into the doorway, and there I could see Srila Prabhupada and he was just blessing a newborn baby. It was the baby of Ishan. Ishan was holding out the baby to Prabhupada, and Prabhupada placed his hand on the baby’s head. Then Srila Prabhupada got down from the vyasasana, and he walked towards the doorway. I was just getting up from paying my obeisances, and Malati immediately said, “Prabhupada, these people are coming to Krishna consciousness.” I just looked up at Prabhupada and Prabhupada looked down at me and he said, “Hare Krishna!” and a big, big smile on his face. It was like at that time everything just went spinning. It seemed that I had been traveling through so many universes and so many lifetimes just to come to that point, to see my spiritual master and spiritual father and pure devotee of the Lord stood before me just looking at me in this first meeting. It was something really, really strong. So then one week later I got initiated, and it was during that initiation ceremony actually that I heard the four rules and regulations from the mouth of Srila Prabhupada himself for the first time. But that was OK with me because I just was magnetized and fixed on Prabhupada, “Yes, Prabhupada.” Anything Prabhupada said was OK, so no problem.

Draupadi dasi
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