Memories associated with the photo.
In New York before Prabhupada fell ill, he had us drawing the story of Prahlada and Hiranyakashipu. He was keen on having the story as a slide show for children, which we eventually did. Prabhupada told us about the poses and demonstrated them. He posed for Hiranyakashipu standing on one leg.
He loved to pose for Lord Nrisimhadeva. At least once a day, he would come into the room, do a roar, and describe how Lord Nrisimhadeva came out of the column. "Rrrrrrrhhhhh!" His eyes would get big and you could see the whites up above. "Rrrrrrrhhhhh!" This was his delight and he enjoyed it very much.
Once Jadurani had him pose like Krishna. He wrapped up in a white dhoti so that we could see how the pleats fell from a three-fold bending posture. He was right there watching us, seeing what and how we were doing.
Reference: This is my heart - Patita Uaddharana Dasa
Sunanda Dasa: In 1971, at the age of 16, I started visiting the Hare Krishna Temple in Brooklyn, New York and got my first taste of Krishna prasadam. In fact, like most of us, I became a prasadam addict, and that was one of the most important factors which attracted me to Krishna consciousness.
In due time I got involved in kitchen services (pot washing was always the first service for new bhaktas), and after getting initiated became one of the cooks for Sri Sri Radha Govinda, New York temple's beloved Deities. Eventually, I became the cook on one of the Radha Damodar Traveling Sankirtan buses and even got the opportunity to cook for Srila Prabhupada during his drive to Gita Nagari farm on this bus
This is the photo of Srila Prabhupada eating pakoras I cooked for him on the Radha Damodar bus, 1976.
100, West 72nd Street, Srila Prabhupada would sometimes discuss with Dr. Mishra the aim of his visit to America, expressing his spiritual master's vision of establishing Krishna consciousness in the West. He requested Dr. Mishra to help him, but Dr. Mishra would always refer to his own teaching work, which kept him very busy, and to his plans for leaving the country soon.
After a few weeks, when it became inconvenient to maintain Prabhupada at the apartment, Dr. Mishra shifted him to his hatha-yoga studio on the fifth floor of 100 West Seventy-second Street, near Central Park. The large studio was located in the center of the building and included an office and an adjoining private room, where Prabhupada stayed. It had no windows.
Spending most of his time in his new room, Srila Prabhupada kept at his typing and translating. But when Dr. Mishra held his yoga classes, Prabhupada would sometimes come out and lead a kirtana or lecture.
Reference: Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Volume 2 - Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami
Bahushira: After Prabhupada's disappearance I began helping Satsvarupa with the Lilamrta by interviewing people in India who had known Srila Prabhupada. One of them was Acharya Prabhakara Misra, Prabhupada's first disciple. Acharya Prabhakara was clean-cut, well behaved and articulate. His demeanor impressed me. He had an M.A. and Ph.D. and was a very cultured Sanskrit scholar and teacher. In Jhansi Prabhupada had told Acharya Prabhakara, "I met you here because I saw you in a dream and I knew I was supposed to come here." Prabhupada and he would do bhajan together, they'd hold Ratha-yatra festivals, and they'd have programs in villages in the area.
Acharya Prabhakara said that on Krishna Janmastami in 1954, he had to go to Delhi. When he came back to Jhansi, he took a little rest, woke up at 1:00 a.m. and heard Prabhupada ecstatically playing mridanga in the temple room. Prabhupada was chanting in total bliss. Acharya Prabhakara went upstairs and saw Prabhupada bouncing around the temple room doing kirtan. Prabhupada was wearing a kadamba flower garland that went all the way down to his feet. Kadamba flowers are very rare in Jhansi and when they are available they are usually the size of a golf ball, but the ones on Prabhupada's garland were big - the size of tennis balls. And he said the atmosphere and aroma was aprakrt - nonmaterial. It was surcharged and smelled like the heavenly planets.
Acharya Prabhakara wanted to ask Srila Prabhupada, "Where did this garland come from? You can't buy it in a market." But Prabhupada wouldn't answer. He just kept doing kirtan, bouncing around the temple room chanting. The next morning Acharya Prabhakara asked Srila Prabhupada, "Where did you get the garland, why did it smell so much, and why were you feeling so blissful?" Srila Prabhupada told him, "I was chanting to Krishna and feeling some love for Him, and He appeared and gave me this garland. I went to touch His feet, and He disappeared. Because of that, I was dancing around the temple room." Prabhupada was crying.
Acharya Prabhakara was very believable and I felt that what he said was valid. He also said that sometimes Srila Prabhupada's mood was to do kirtan intensely. He would chant on and on and on - for three days straight without eating and sleeping. Ordinarily we never hear about Srila Prabhupada chanting for two or three days straight. We hear that sometimes he wouldn't eat for long periods, especially near the end, but remarkably, in Jhansi, he was doing kirtan for a long period of time without eating and sleeping. And the result of his bhajan was that Krishna appeared.
Reference: Srila Prabhupada Rememberance - Siddhanta Dasa
Riddha Dasa : On October 7th, 1975, that evening was spent at Durban City Hall. It was spectacular. The large hall was packed with about two thousand people, mostly Indians, but also many Europeans. The stage had been tastefully decorated by the devotees and the vyasasana was center stage.
Srila Prabhupada entered the large auditorium by the side entrance of the hall, proceeding through the audience. Everyone stood up to honor him as I showered flower petals at his lotus feet. It was glorious. Once on the main stage, Pushta Krishna Swami led the devotees in kirtana with a simple, straightforward melody.
Srila Prabhupada was introduced, and then he sang the Jaya Radha-Madhava prayer and began his lecture on the first verse of Bhagavad-gita. He took the opportunity to tell the Indian community that they had their origin in the very great and rich tradition of Krishna consciousness. He was instilling a deep sense of pride into the Indian community, who for so long had been indentured and humiliated under the oppressive regime of apartheid, instigated by the former British rule.
Srila Prabhupada spoke with great authority. It was clear that he greatly liked his South African audience, and it set the pattern for the remaining programmes in South Africa.
Reference: Mission in the service of His Divine Grace - Riddha Dasa Adhikari