Raghunath: Prabhupada was riding on Subhadra’s cart, and I was riding on the cart behind him, Balarama’s cart. And my duty was to lower the canopy when we came under low bridges…it was all designed by Jayananda…and then raise it back up again, and it took three or four guys to do it. So at one point we were riding along in the parade, there were no bridges coming or anything, and Prabhupada was on the cart in front of me, and he was looking out over the thousands of people that had come for the parade and it was all quite a scene. At one point, I felt that Prabhupada was looking at me. Even though he was so far away, somehow or other I felt that he was looking directly at me. When that happened, I felt that he could see not only my person but he could see directly into my soul and he could see everything about me, my desires, whatever there was to see in my soul. I could even feel that he could see that I had stashed some laddus in my coat pocket that I was wearing that I had stolen from the prasadam bin that they had for the festival. At that moment I actually waved to him with my right hand, and Prabhupada immediately waved back as if to confirm that “Yes, I am seeing you, I am looking.” Prabhupada had that way of communicating. Even though we were so far away, he could reciprocate in such a positive way.
I was recognized as being something of a hyperactive, a little bit out of control, difficult-to-deal-with kid. My first remembrance of Prabhupada was the wave of utter and absolute thrill and excitement that I experienced seeing him, which even as a boy took me by surprise. When Prabhupada came around, it really transformed me. You took one glance at Prabhupada and you were there, and you could step right into it. It was more than tangible, you ate it, and it would last about as long as I was in Prabhupada’s company. After about an hour, I would start losing it and start acting 7 or 8 years old again. It really seemed everyone was very harsh in comparison to what Prabhupada was about. So as soon as Prabhupada would come, we would get nice clothes and we would get new bedding and the prasadam was really good and the harshness of the discipline went way down, which is the opposite of if you have a military superior officer coming through. Then what happens is the discipline gets more and more severe and strict. Here it seemed to happen that when Prabhupada came around, people lightened up a little bit. They seemed to become a little bit more blissful and respectful and sweet.