Bhadra Dasi: On the 20th of May, I gathered with my fellow initiates in the temple for our initiation ceremony. For the twenty-four of us, it was our special day. We had all bathed and were in brand new robes, because it was necessary to be completely suci to receive initiation.
Indeed, it's proper to be completely clean whenever in the presence of a maha-bhagavat. I had an orange harinama-chadar around my shoulders, and applied neat, clear tilak. I plaited my hair in two plaits, one at either side, making sure that the part in the middle was completely straight; and put blue ribbons at the ends of each plait.
Receiving initiation from Srila Prabhupada was the most important event of my life and I felt it was necessary to dress up for it. I had made sure that my bead bag was freshly washed and spotless.
Srila Prabhupada was before us on the rich red, pink and gold vyasasana. He spoke for some time about the glories of the holy name, and the offences against it which we were to carefully avoid. Listening intently, we sat on the cool, newly laid marble floor at his feet.