I don't remember so many details of all those years ago but I was at the airport in San Francisco when Srila Prabhupada arrived in 1974 for Rathayatra. It was a big scene with at least 150 devotees doing kirtan. Because I knew the geography of the airport I positioned myself in the place where I thought Prabhupada would have to walk to get to the car. However, the devotees who organized Prabhupada's ride had a different route planned. So what happened when Prabhupada entered the airport waiting area was that instead of walking through the crowd of devotees and everyone getting darsana, they whisked him off through a side corridor. This caused chaos because everyone paid obeisances when they saw him and by the time they surfaced -- he was gone. So they all ran around the airport to find Prabhupada. SF airport is not so modern with not so wide corridors so the crowds of devotees running through the airport caused a huge commotion.

Because I knew the geography I was one of the first to catch up to the Prabhupada group. Prabhupada was surrounded by devotees and he was walking quite quickly. The most surprising feature was that he was so small of stature compared to the devotees around him. This was surprising to me because most of the pictures that I had seen did not convey this image. Another impression I had was that he looked like he was gliding rather than walking.

The next morning after mangala arati, Bhakta Glen told me he knew where Prabhupada was staying and that we could both go and have darsana when Prabhupada came out to go on his morning walk. So we went and a few others were there as well -- I remember Jayo was one of us -- and waited on the sidewalk by the gate of the place where Prabhupada was staying. When Prabhupada came out our small group paid obeisances. Prabhupada saw us and called out: "All glories to the assembled devotees." And we all replied "Hare Krsna" like we do for Prema-dhvani prayers. Then Prabhupada got in the car with some devotees and left for his morning walk.
Ranjit das
(Secretary, Bhaktivedanta Archives)
<< Back                                                                                                             Next >>
Home  |  Srila Prabhupada  |  Meditations  |  Site Map  |  What's New  |  Contact us  |  Glossary

Memories (#18)
About Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada's Books
Selected Writings
Early Writings
Your ever well-wisher
Prabhupada Meditations
Written Offerings
Artistic Offerings
Photo Album
Deity Pictures
Causeless Mercy
Editorial Notes
Site Map
What's New