(*Click on photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada.)
I was in Vancouver temple, and I heard that Srila Prabhupada was coming to L.A. I’d never seen Prabhupada before so I got very excited and I asked Bahudak, which was the temple president, that I wanted to go to meet Prabhupada. And he said, “If you want to please Prabhupada, you stay here.” So I said, “OK, prabhu.” And as soon as he left I ran upstairs to the brahmacari ashram and I didn’t even take any clothes, I just grabbed my coat and I ran out the back door. I didn’t have any money, and I was in Canada. So I start hitchhiking, went across the border, got across almost to the end of Washington state the first night. And Prabhupada is arriving the next day around 4:00 in L.A. So I think I was about a thousand miles away from L.A. As soon as the sun came up, I started hitchhiking. And the first car that came over was a brand new Corvette, and this guy was an Air Force pilot. He said, “Where are you going?” I said, “I’m going to L.A.” He said, “Jump in,” and amazingly enough he was driving about 120 miles an hour. It was great, it was fun. To make a long story short, he drove me two blocks from the temple in L.A. and I got there about 20 minutes before Prabhupada came in. I ran upstairs, took a shower, put on a dhoti, put on tilak, ran outside into the alleyway and flowers were showering from the top of the building, and Prabhupada’s car pulled up and the door got opened and Prabhupada came out. It’s the first time I saw him, and his smile was great. The devotees were jumping up and down, and it was like being in the spiritual world.